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In a country that eats, breathes and lives trade and a country that boasts a separate city for manufacturing pretty much...
In a country that eats, breathes and lives trade and a country that boasts a separate city for manufacturing pretty much everything, Shanghai cuts the clutter and shows you a side of China, which is completed is distinct from the original canvas of China.Not because it isn’t that good or anything, but simply because, if you’re here to see China and its culture, you’re likely to be demotivated at the start itself, because Shanghai is so much about big-ass fancy malls with international brands alluring you to pour our all those yuans (RMBs), and the up market buildings enveloped by spiral wide flyovers twirling around Shanghai’s high-rises.What they say about China is actually true, that with every 100 kms, the architecture always changes, so do the people’s eating, drinking and living habits. Thus, you go a few kilometers away from Shanghai and you are likely to find an entire city manufacturing only socks, the city is called Datang in Zhuji, where about 8 billion pairs of socks are manufactured everywhere. The list doesn’t end here, we have a tiny hamlet namely Gurao, which is called the undergarments capital of China, and you will find the latest of everything as far as ‘inner beauty’ is concerned.Thus in a china which is divided into a plethora of such cities, Shanghai seems to be comfortably placed between its DNA and its aspirations.Shanghai is the quintessential black-sheep, in a herd of colorful stock. Unfortunately and due to logistical convenience, I commenced my China sojourn from Shanghai and spent about 5 days in the midst of skyscrapers and the dynamism of city-life. For someone who was born and grown up in Bombay, city-life can never be exciting or novel. For us, fast life is normal and there are enticing options to party after every few stations. Thus cities are not the go-to options for a vacation for a lot of city-dwellers like me. But hey, that doesn't mean you don't get touristy.Shanghai to me in one word was VAST. It’s humongous and everything is spruced up in a fashion that one has to travel several kilometers in order to get to the next cluster of fun and entertainment, and between that, is just elevated concrete and more of that.As far as connectivity is concerned, since my folks live in China, it was easy to move around as we had a car at most times, and when we did not have a car, the metro transport always saved the day. Let me tell you their metro deserved a total 5 on 5, with the amount of lines they have and the fact that the metro stations are so beautifully placed outside every relevant place one would want to visit.Download the application called Metro Man right away and you can thank me later. In a city where there was a major language barrier, this app helped me sail through my solo travels to the interior parts several times. Just tell the app, the closest station which is in your area and the name of the station where you want to head and after that let the app work its wonders.The metro is conveniently placed, swift and inexpensive in a rather pricey Shanghai. You can cover a good amount of distance between multiple lines (say about 10 stations – 30 kms) in about 4 Yuan i.e. Rs. 40/-. Now you can thank me!Also, if you have arranged a car from outside Shanghai, you won’t be allowed to travel on their highways (which is pretty much the entire city) from 4pm to 8pm, because they give preference to their local vehicles that time and they don’t want the cars of the outsiders to jam up the expressways. That is a thoughtful move for the locals, isn’t it?They have cabs as well, which start at a basic fare of 8 Yuan (Rs. 80/-), but please avoid taking the red color cabs as from what I heard, they have records of being unnecessarily pricey.Most places have a Metro station but the only issue can be, that the Metros stop working around 10:30pm onward (there’s different time for every line of metro), so watch out before you make those late night plans.
Take your kids on a journey to explore the culturally-textured China, South Korea, and Japan. Watch movies with your kids or go dancing with your partner— the Mariner of the Seas will fill your days and nights with activities. The cruise features children’s programmes, on-board performances and a 3D movie theatre, a fitness centre, a spa and whirlpools, and activities such as rock climbing, skating, wine tasting, and dance classes.Depature: Shanghai.Stopping at: Nagasaki, and Busan.When: Five-night starting June 11, 2017.Cost: US$489 upwards per person.INDIA SPECIAL
Reviving its golden days in the 1930s, Shanghai is grabbing the world’s attention again as the most dynamic metropolis in China. From the jaw-dropping skyscrapers in Lujiazui to numerous cosy cafés in the French Concession, this is where East meets West, traditional meets modern, and the grassroots coexist with the luxurious in harmony. Whether you’re a backpacker or a jet-setter, you can always find what suits you best.One of the most distinct building in the world and the Shanghai skyline, the Oriental Pearl Tower houses many restaurants and observation decks with interesting views over the Huangpu river.
Shanghai is a major and busy city in China:-),and what is most attractive about this place is the beauty of the buildings and technology they use for construction🏢.. It is a must visit country once in a life and the golden mask show and acrobatic show is something u have to see.😍. The people are nice👫. The place is beautiful and the food... Omg food is wired but interesting 😃and the one must try is travel in a bullet train and maglev train.. It covered 1500km from shanghai to Beijing in just 4 hours at 450km/hr... on a whole, it was a truly memorable trip..
Day 3Decently satisfied with covering most of the sightseeing worthy places in Beijing, it was time to travel to Shanghai. I was particularly excited for Shanghai since I had no itinerary as such and it was going to be all impromptu. Also, I was eager for my first bullet train experience, and it did not let me down. Close to 1200kms in 4hr 48mins! Shanghai has the largest metro network in the world and this helped me reach my hotel easily. The thing about Shanghai is that every part of the city seems like the central area. Even though my hotel was a bit off the centre, I could venture out at late night, just to get a feel.Day 4Since I had 3 full days in Shanghai, I did not hurry to see the places I had in mind and instead took time to get the feel of the city. I took the metro to the Xintiandi area. It is also known as the old French concession and it is everything European. Right from the pavements, to the trees, to the restaurants and the people, you'd be forgiven to think that you're in Europe. Quite a few vegetarian and vegan options in this area. Shanghai has official fake markets and one such was the Han City mall. It is a 4 storey mall with several shops, all selling fake and lucrative items. Bargaining can go up to the extent of 70-80%. In an hour, I was done with most of my shopping agenda. Post this, it was time to visit The Bund. It is what defines Shanghai. Although rainy and windy, the view there was something else. Being a vegetarian, the subway outlets were a saviour for me more than once.Day 5It was time to check out of the hotel and move to a hostel. Since it would be my first hostel stay I had planned only 2 nights. Reaching there, I realized it should've been more. Easily the highlight of my trip. I stayed at the Blue Mountain Bund Youth Hostel, the best in Shanghai as per hostel world. After checking in, I moved to the other side of the city across the Huangpu river to get a closer view of the Oriental Pearl TV tower and the other surrounding mighty structures. This area was fancy beyond words. There is also a Super Brand mall which is apt for the location. The only disappointing thing about Shanghai while I was there was the weather. It was rainy and windy. The fog prevented me from going to the observation desk of one of these tall towers (probably a reason to visit again). Staying in a youth hostel gives you an amazing opportunity to talk to other travelers and listen to their stories. Being my first solo trip, it was very exciting to hear about stories from other travelers and make a few friends. The hostel was only a 10 mins walk from The Bund view so I headed there again.Day 6I never got tired of The Bund. Went for a long morning walk on the promenade at The Bund. Near the end was the Yuyuan garden, a marvel of ancient Chinese architecture. A talk with fellow travellers the previous night made me realize that I should see a few places relating to the Chinese culture. Even though Shanghai reflects the modern commercialized China, there are certain parts of the city which speak of Chinese culture. I headed for Qibao, an old water town, well connected with the extensive metro. The irony is that as soon as I got out of the station, there was this huge mall. Probably the ancient Shanghai is losing face. Nevertheless, Qibao was a beauty. Bridges to go on the other side with water flowing below and cafés on either side provided some pleasant viewing. I walked around a bit to soak in the atmosphere. Back from Qibao to the other extreme, the Nanjing road street. Huge malls with luxury brands and buzzing cafés all around, reminiscent of Manhattan. I paused a bit of get some hot chocolate and also catch a breath (tough to get in Shanghai). Before heading out late at night again for one last time in Shanghai, I chilled a bit in the hostel (you could spend hours at the hostel doing nothing).
I had a train back to Shanghai at 7:20 AM. The journey that took about fifteen hours while coming to Beijing was to be covered in five hours. Running at speed of 300 kms/ hour I was back in Shanghai in no time. Took the flight in the evening back to Mumbai.Visa: Do It Yourself!I obtained a single entry visa (Tourist and family visit visa (L-visa)) with three-month validity at cost of INR 3,675 through VFS office acting on behalf of Chinese Embassy in Mumbai. It just took about a day to process the visa as I had applied under express scheme. The Chinese are very particular about minimum bank balance (INR 150K) in your account to be submitted as supporting documents for visa application.AccommodationShanghai Soho International Youth HostelVery conveniently located close to heart of Shanghai near People’s Square and metro network (Xinzha Road Station on Shanghai Metro Line 2). Guests were largely local crowd. Has a very good pub attached to the hostel, a good place to hangout in the nights.Sanlitun Youth Hostel (Wangfujing Hostel)I stayed in Sanlitun area of Beijing which has great options for thriving night life of the city.This trip was originally published on mastmusaphir
I took an early morning Air India flight to Shanghai via Delhi from Mumbai that costing INR23K for a round trip. The flying time was around five and half hours from Delhi meaning I can watch at-least two movies from rich on board entertainment library of Air India. I narrowed down on a Hindi movie Dasvidaniya, where a middle aged man wants to live his ten wishes before he dies of a terminal illness, a story lot like my “bucket list” of visiting all the modern wonders of the world, and Ramona and Beezus, a fascinating tale of highly imaginative young girl living in today’s troubled household of America. By the time I landed in Shanghai it was 8:30 PM. I saw three affordable options to get to heart of the city from airport, the Metro, Maglev and Airport Bus. Being crazy about speed I chose Maglev which can run up to speed of 500 km/hour and would ship you to city in no time. If you show your air ticket you get the one-way ticket for ¥40 (Chinese Yuan) on Maglev that took little over five minutes to get to the city from airport that is 40 kms away. Here was the first example of the big dragon rising story what technological advancement China has achieved! Getting to nearest metro station to my hostel was piece of cake to get to my hostel from there wasn’t! I was told over and again always carry addressees in local language in China if you expect people to give you right direction and I forgot to do so. Now the real task began of finding my hostel in narrow lanes at late night with no one really able to help you. Finally, I asked for directions to a cab driver and guess what he gave me a free ride close to my destination!!!!!!Day 02: Inner PeaceI like the idea of hop-on hop-off buses to take a quick trip across any new city especially mega cities as Shanghai. I spent the first morning on the upper deck of the bus gazing through the city while listening to history and trivial facts on a pre-recorded audio system. By end of hour and half on first route I had fair idea of what are the places I would like to visit and how to get around in the city. Seeing the slow moving traffic being on metro as far as possible seemed the best option. It was lunch time and what better way to have my first meal in China as authentic Shanghainese food. To eat I can walk miles, swim seas, cross deserts but this was just queuing up for forty minutes outside Nanxiang Restaurant close to Yuyuan Garden to get a bite of that world famous steamed dumplings. The menu had good variety of dumplings with different stuffing. Unable to decide what to order I narrowed down to their set menu that had assorted offerings starting with hot Chinese tea. The juicy dumplings just melted in my mouth and the best I ever had, definitely worth all the hype and wait, and what an inner peace I experienced. Post lunch I visited Yuyuan Garden, a typical Chinese garden located in old city of Shanghai. The gardens recreate the gone by era of emperor and empress sipping hot teas or being entertained in those intricately decorated halls enclosed in water bodies were gold fish swam. The globular doors at end of narrow alley ways and curvaceous dragon walls were testimony to architectural genius the Chinese had developed in ancient times. Later in the day it rained with thunder and lightening and it was as good as being in my home city of Mumbai. Towards evening I took second route on my hope on hop off bus that goes to Pudong district of Shanghai. Pudong is home to three tallest buildings in China of Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl Tower and Jin Mao Tower. If you love urban architecture this area would be real treat to your eyes. Had dinner at a 100% vegetarian place, truly amused to find such restaurant, with all the creepy stories I had read about what Chinese eat. Ended my day with spending sometime at pub in my hostel.Day 03: On Cloud 9, literally!
The ferry was a fun experience and driving into Shanghai was relatively nice, with well paved and divided roads. Despite the taxi drivers being quite obnoxious, overall the drivers in Shanghai seem to be alright. Now, with the first half of the driving over it was time to be a tourist. We took a train to visit Nanjing and Suzhou and spent a day or two in Shanghai before hitting the road again.
Labeled as Paris of the East, the Whore of the Orient, and haven of opium dens, this city has been a rich tapestry woven of gamblers, adventurers, gangsters, and sailors alongside missionaries trying to save their wicked souls. A vigorous and energetic international metropolis, people from all over the world come here to enjoy its special atmosphere. We marveled at the back street night markets, the new Shanghai Museum, and the mind-blowing contortions of the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe on stage at the classic Lyceum Theatre. Just picture five motorcycles racing around at high-speed, inside a 20 foot diameter steel cage sphere, without crashing. We were continually amazed by the diversity that makes China a destination like no other.
When you like travelling, I think the whole universe conspires to make sure that opportunities to travel present themsel...
When you like travelling, I think the whole universe conspires to make sure that opportunities to travel present themselves in some form or another. I got a chance to go to Turkey in November on a week-long trip for work. Coincidentally it so happened that I landed in Istanbul on my birthday. While this will not be a day on day account of what I did, I will share the places I went to and things I did once I was done with my work.November marks the beginning of winter and a friend advised me to pack warm clothes and jackets as it gets quite chilly in the night (It snows in Jan-Feb). While Ankara is the capital city, Istanbul is the biggest and the most happening city of Turkey. It should be called as the Gateway City - it is on the threshold of Asia and Europe and also Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea (technically Marmara Sea). Flying into Istanbul, Asian and European sides are clearly visible separated by the surreal Bosphorus Strait.
World’s only naturally occurring transcontinental city in the world bridging two continents - Europe and Asia. With its feet set in Europe and its body sprawling into Asia, Istanbul at once is Western and Eastern, modern and archaic. The magic of Istanbul will enchant anyone with its tall minarets, beautiful mosques, buzzing markets and vibrant culture. This Turkish city has attracted the likes of some of the greatest empires in history, such as the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottomans. Its mesmerising to witness the sun setting in the background of Istanbul' s beautiful skyline.
Istanbul is unique – the city where East meets West, it is the only city in the world that straddles two continents, Europe and Asia. This gives Istanbul it’s multicultural atmosphere. Spires and domes of mosques, medieval architecture dominate the skyline. Although not the capital, Istanbul is the heart of Turkey!Sultanahmet – This is the old part of the city, with cobblestoned streets and narrow lanes. You should definitely base yourself here if you want to be walking distance from all the main attractions in Sultanahmet square.
The glittering city of Istanbul has two major international airports and flights from important cities around the world arrive into the same. Taxis, trams, buses and the metro will then take you to the town centre.
Istanbul, Turkey. Since I spent considerable time in Istanbul, I didn't have to ask someone random for a pic. She is a very good friend of mine. :)
This island city-state located south of Malaysia is all about modernity. Synonymous with its iconic skyline that exhibit...
We flew back the same way to Singapore with Qatar. It was uneventful and we made it back to base on time.South Africa had turned out to be beyond our expectations! Read more about our experiences here:Kruger National Park - Self drive vs. Open Jeep Safari10 Things to do in Cape TownDay Trips from Cape TownYou can also watch our vlogs here:African Safari, Kruger National ParkThings to do in Cape TownThings to do around Cape Town
It was going to be a long journey but excitement levels kept our adrenaline high. We were flying from Singapore to Johannesburg via Doha with Qatar Airways. And so after work on a Thursday we set off.
Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia, is a global financial center with a tropical climate and multicultural population. Its colonial core centers on the Padang, a cricket field since the 1830s and now flanked by grand buildings such as City Hall, with its 18 Corinthian columns. In Singapore's circa-1820 Chinatown stands the red-and-gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, said to house one of Buddha's teeth. Today this place is money and known for its nightlife and adult entertainment. The nearby Sentosa Island is popular for Universal studios and bunch of other exciting activities.
SINGAPORE FLYERSingapore Flyer takes you 165 metres above ground, or as high as 42 storeys. Located in the heart of downtown Marina Bay, the Singapore Flyer is now Asia's largest giant observation wheel. From your capsule you can view historic landmarks, marina bay sands , gardens by the bay, raffles place, merlion park, basically the whole singapore.MUSTAFA CENTREThis shopping centre is a paradise of all hardcore shopaholics. It is a 24/7 shopping centre selling almost everything from makeup to clothes to perfumes ,souvenirs, food items and so on . It is located in "Little India".BOAT RIDE IN SINGAPORE RIVER
20. SingaporeOne of the world’s leading commercial hubs, Singapore closes the list of the top 20 most peaceful countries in the world 2016. With its low crime rate, the country boasts a vibrant history, safe urban areas, friendly and welcoming people, and astonishing ornamental landscapes.
Often, traveling overseas is tiresome and forces you to curb your leisure time while being on a city tour. But you can completely alter this experience by traveling by sea.We planned our cruise trip in December i.e. around Christmas time. We booked Mariner of the Sea , Royal Caribbean from Singapore to Port Klang ,Malaysia. It was 2N/3D trip and was amazing, looked like the whole city is sailing and had all amenities for kids,youngsters and old people like a rock-climbing wall, an ice-skating rink ,swimming area,movie hall and a basketball court etc. Additional amenities include enhanced staterooms, expanded dining options and exceptional recreational facilities.Even for food lovers, shopaholics and art lovers ,its the perfect place.Here I am sharing the photo gallery of the cruise.Enjoy!!!
Several airlines have direct flights from Singapore to Kuching including Air Asia, Silk Air, Malaysian Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Malindo Air.What to do?A weekend is obviously not enough to cover ALL of Kuching's attractions, so here is a list of 6 activities that you can choose from:
Bangkok has often been referred to as the microcosm of Southeast Asia. Firmly centrestage on the global backpacker scene...
Reached late at night. Every place was closing down and I was hungry like hell. After hearing 'We Are Closing' almost 5-6 times, one kind lady decided to give me some food. Though I could hardly make her understand what I wanted to eat, but she got the point that I was hungry.
We went on to explore jungle safari - It is basically an amusement cum jungle safari park. From enjoying the dolphin show to chimpanzee boxing championship; from laughing our heart out at the very much realistic cowboy drama to encountering white tiger, polar bear & feeding the Giraffe.
We headed to Bangkok & checked in at the hotel. Bangkok was completely different from Pattaya. It was like any other big cities of India. The skyscrapers, multilevel flyovers, sky train, humongous traffic. We headed to Indra market for quick shopping.
The least expensive approach to head out from Bangkok to Pattaya is by Volvo Bus which costs 108 THB. You can get the Bus from the Airport or Bangkok City Bus Station. The transports leave in like clockwork. Takes around 2 hours from Bangkok Airport and 3 hours from the City. You can either purchase the transport ticket at the ticket counter or book online ahead of time (at a higher cost) at www.thailandbuses.com. The Bus will drop off at Pattaya Bus station and from that point you can hire a Taxi to your hotel.By Taxi- You can enlist a private Taxi (drop off at your inn in Pattaya) from the Bangkok Airport or the City at the cost of approximatley 1200 THB. You may discover a litle contrast in costs with various vendors. You can book a taxi either at the airport or with your hotel or online.Where to Stay in Pattaya:Pattaya City is stacked with huge amounts of inns/resorts/lodgings. The best place is to remain close to the Walking Street. Before booking, look through your hotel on google maps and perceive how far it is from the Walking Street. As you remain nearer to the Walking Street (The Hot Spot of Pattaya), you appreciate the best markets/clubs/eateries/rub parlors at a walkable distance. I stayed in Hotel Siam Bayshore in Pattaya which is an enormous resort with beachfront and 5 star facilities (www.siambayshorepattaya.com). The best part about the property is that the back door of this inn opens exactly at the Walking Street, so you can without much of a stretch stroll down to your hotel after your party hours. For best lodging rates, I would exceedingly recommned www.booking.com which is broadly known.How to Travel in Pattaya:Transportation isn't a stress at all in Pattaya. Taxicabs are shabby and effortlessly accessible.Be that as it may, according to me the most ideal approach to travel and explore Pattaya is to Rent a Motorbike. It is extremely convineint to lease a Bike in Pattaya. the rental shop would request a copy of your passport and hotel details. The Bike would cost you 200 THB for each day (24 hours) with a refundable security desposit of 1000 THB. You can fill the fuel tank with 100 THB and simply make the most of your boundless ride. You understand one more favorable position of the motorbike when you can surpass all the evening traffic, while autos anticipates in the que! Do not give your passport as security for leasing a bike if any rental shop requests it. Simply go to another vendor.Major Spot/Attractions to Visit in Pattaya:1. Coral Island (otherwise called Koh Larn) - You have to buy a tour package to go to Coral Island Pattaya. A Half Day Tour (by Speedboat ride of 30 mins to Coral island with Lunch) would cost you 500 THB. A Full Day Tour (by Speedboat to Coral Island with Lunch and some Water Activities) would cost your 1000 THB roughly.2. Motorbike Tour of Coral Island - You can lease a bike on Coral Island for 300 THB for the entire day and explore the entire island in the most adveturous way. On the bike tour you'll enjoy the fabulous views of the shorelines from the hills of the island and explore diverse beaches and on the off chance that you are an energetic man at that point appreciate the going dirt road romping.3. Big Buddha Hill (otherwise called Wat Phra Yai Temple) - Free Entry (Opens at 7 AM to 10 PM, best time to visit is in morning or before Sunset).4. Pattaya Walking Street - Free Entry (Best time to visit after 9 PM)5. Closseum Show Pattaya - VIP Ticket of the Show for 1000 THB and Deluxe Ticket for 800 THB6. Pattaya Night Bazaar (Market) - (Opening hours: 10 AM to 12 PM, however frequently opens till late)7. Pattaya ViewPoint (otherwise called Pratumnak Hill) - Get the best view of the Pattaya Bay and the City from here. Best to time to go is between 4 pm to 6 pm to watch the lovely dusk from the best.8. Pattaya Floating Market - Opening Hours are 10 AM to 11 PM. Best time to visit is between 3 PM to 5 PM.9. Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan)- Opening hours are 8 AM to 5 PM. Best time is to visit is in morning.10. Silverlake Vineyard - Vineyard with Serene and Romantic environment - Free Entry (Opening hours 9 AM to 6 PM). The Vineyard is situated beside the Buddha Mountain. Vineyard tour costs 250 THB, includes tour by Electic Tram and 2 glasses of Wine.Meals and Beverage:A Pint of Beer from an ordinary groccery store would cost you 80 THB roughly. In a bar or a club it might vary from 100 THB to 250 THB.You can set a rough budget of 200 THB per person for a regular supper. Street food is exceptionally cheap and declicious and one must try it when in Thailand.Street Shopping in Pattaya:The key for a productive shopping in thailand, is to bargain deeply. I am not a decent bargainer but I think my trip realy helped me to brush up my bargaining skills. The best way is to begin your offer with a half price of what the retailer quotes you!Massage:After a long visiting day you will feel blisssful to have an awesome foot rub at the cost of 150 - 200 THB for 60 minutes.Body Massage costs 300 - 500 THB.Do's and Donts':1. Keep your ID verifications and Cards in your lodging while moving out in the night or any swarmed put!2. In the event that you are taking a bike or a car on rent, dependably keep your driving license with you as you are probably going to confront the traffic police anytime. Driving without permit will get you a base fine of 400 THB.3. In the event that you are going in Bangkok, you wil be welcomed for 2 things at each open spot - Tuk Tuk and Boom Boom!! Dont place yourself into any bargain unless you're truly interested.4. Advisable to carry an umbrella, mists can shower whenever!One thing you would love to do everyday in Pattaya througout your stay:FOOT MASSAGE!!Thanks for reading! Khapun Khap :)
Once we headed back to the hotel and once Divyank had settled the money transactions with the Hotel, we booked our Ubers. Four people left first and they got Toyota Fortuner. We were like "Wow"... Then came our Uber, which was a pickup truck... A dream come true... I traveled in a pickup truck.... But still not the one that I wanted ofcourse... But it was fulfilling...We reached the airport and finished immigration check. Then we headed towards the food point, where we had our choice of food. Then announced the boarding of our flight. And there you go... We were off to India...Last but not least, Thanks to Vish, CEO of Cybertech Systems and Software and Raman Sir for co-sponsoring the trip. And also thanks to everyone who wished us success. It was a great overseas road trip we have ever done. Next time, on motorcycles.... What say??? Action Cameras: Garmin Virb Ultra 30 & Garmin Virb XE DSLRs: Nikon D5200 with 18-105mm, NikonD5300 with 35mm prime and Canon EOS 500D. Smartphones: Oneplus Two and Oneplus One Software: Google Snapseed (editing completely done using an Android Smartphone)
Bangkok is great for shopping and a lot cheaper than Phuket but always bargain till you can creep them out :D. Platinum Mall, Pratunam Mall, MBK Mall and Indra Square are the places to shop. Though Indra Square is cheper than others and it also has night market which starts at 11pm and goes on till 9am next day.Our stay was right in the heart of the shopping paradise in Bangkok, at Indra Square!!!. We were right next to Baiyoke Towers but we gave shopping more importance than visiting Baiyoke Rooftop. Haha! Grand Palace, Wat Phra Krai Temple, Golden Buddha Temple, Safari world and Noong Nooch Botanical Garden are family and kids friendly places. Skip these places if you are a couple on honeymoon or holidaying with friends together for fun. We regretted visiting these places. Instead, we could have hopped few new islands and had more fun! sigh!Being vegetarian, I had to survive on Subway sandwiches, salads, fruits and juices. Thank god, I had carried homemade food too with me to survive!Thailand weather is just like Mumbai. Hot and humid all around the year. But do keep a check on the weather when you plan your trip for untimely rains.Bangkok cruise is nothing less than Indians gathering and partying. There are 2 cruises ferrying on Bangkok river. One is for firangs loaded and others for Indians.
On the last day in Bangkok, we woke up late since we had a night flight to catch and we had to pack. We had to figure out how to shift all our shopping from hand baggage to our main baggage without exceeding the weight restrictions. I had carried an extra travel bag with me with nothing in it for just this reason. After I'd filled it up with the items we'd bought, I filled up a new Thai handbag I had just purchased with the rest of the accessories and we were set. We spent some time in the room and decided to catch the train and head to MBK mall to check out (buy) some electronics and do some last bit of shopping. They had a lot of great stuff but I didn't particularly need or want anything so I ended up not buying anything. We spotted a spa and got the world famous Thai massage, pampered myself a little, and finally checked-in to the airport late at night! Our flight was at 2 AM. Worst return flight timings. This time, we were flying back with Indigo.To summarise, here are a few tips to keep in mind before going to Thailand!1) Keep your passport with you all the time.2) Vegetarians, please pack some ready to cook/eat food because even Ramen, chips everything has some non-veg ingredient in them. I ended up buying this seemingly vegetarian ready-to-eat noodles and later found chunks of beef floating in it. I literally cried out of disappointment.3) Do not lose any tickets that you pick up, like - boat ride, bus, or bills for bike rentals. You need to pay all over again if they ever ask for it again and you don't have it.4) If you are going to any temples please wear full clothes that cover your body. Applies to both boys and girls! While Thai people don't normally say anything if you show off your legs or skin, it's frowned upon and they take it as a sign of disrespect. 5) People going from India, I would suggest you to carry less Thai currency from here and exchange directly in the airport only after you reach as they do not deduct any extra amount for each currency. Also, convert USD to Thai, not INR. It may not even be accepted here. Plus, you get more THB for USD. More money, more shopping!6) "Loth rakha noi, dai mai krap". THIS SENTENCE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE! Trust me.7) Key to not get lost in the city/country that you are not familiar with is to simply be polite to the locals and they'll do anything to help you. As much as they do not speak English, they always try to help as long as you are nice and respectful.8) Say NO to Tuk-Tuk rides. They charge a bomb - sometimes more than taxis - and please do not ask them for any directions. They'll follow you and pester you by saying that they would drop you to the place. In Bangkok, they would take you on an alternate route to purposely show you some antique shopping areas to promote certain stores. They have tie ups with certain stores and charge less if you purchase something from those stores. It's just easier to rely on cabs and the huge network trains they have.9) Traditional Thai massage will actually hurt a little. They press it hard, so do not get scared. It's all worth it in the end.10) Wear clothes according to what your plans are for the day. If you are the type to worry about what you eat, please ask them before you order. Even though I specify veg, it always smells of fish and has at least egg and seaweed. Learn basic Thai phrases, it'll be of great help. Thai people do not like loud people, so always be polite and kind. While we headed towards Poonsiri from the Krabi Airport, it was mostly a quiet ride where our minibus was filled with soft speaking Singaporeans, Thai people, Americans, and us. While we spoke and interacted gently and politely like any normal human beings, the bus stopped to pick up a few more Indians at one point. A bunch of guys from Delhi got on and after 5 minutes, I didn't know where to hide my face because of how embarrassing they were as representatives of India in another country. They were annoyingly loud, rude, laughing, and poking fun at the Thai people and their language. Our local languages would sound just as funny to Thai people, but you don't see them making fun about it openly, do you? Please be mindful of saying such things in public space. The American and Singaporean couple just smiled at us awkwardly as the guys continued on, and that was the end of our rapport thanks to those idiots.11) Do not even think of disrespecting their king! Do not disrespect him on coins, notes, and even the smallest of pictures. Apparently, he's done a lot for them and recently passed away.12) What to buy: clothes, essential oils (because in India the same ones are exported and are over-expensive), and lights! Electronics, if you need something. Watch out for duplicates.> The mistakes I made:1) If you are in Bangkok do not stay in a hotel away from the city. It is really difficult to getting around due to the lack of connectivity.2) Changing resorts everyday: it'll take half of your day in doing so. You will not have much time to do the other things.3) Converting cash into Thai currency in India because you end up losing a lot in the exchange. Do convert some amount, but as little as possible. Just to cover any immediate purchases either on the flight or the moment you get off.4) Having a huge plan to cover almost all of the places in 9-10 days which is physically NOT possible. When you say, you're going Thailand, you're going to an entire country, not a city. Can you cover the best of India in 10 days and be satisfied?5) Not visiting Ayutthaya and Damnoen Tiger Zoo. I absolutely missed out on these. North Thailand.Aaaand that's it! Hope this blog helps you in at least some small way because I have literally written down every single aspect of what happened! On my way back from the Bangalore airport to my place, I stopped at a local restaurant, ate chicken biryani, and headed home. That was the concluding moment for my trip. Namma ooru biryani!
We had an early morning flight and landed in Bangkok! What a city, fast life, just like any metropolitan city! The city is contemporary set with tall buildings to the monastery and palace. The city has touch of both. We went straight to our hotel which was near Suvarnabhumi International Airport since our return flight to Bangalore would be extremely early in the morning. Taxis maintain a base fare and it adds a few THB up for every km. We had three days in Bangkok and we planned it meticulously.We did the typical tourist thingy in Bangkok which included going to all the tourist places such as Grand Palace, Wat Arun, China Town, Thanon Plaeng Naam - street food market. In the evening, we took long tail boat for the sunset and discovered some crazy food!During this entire trip, I was unable to adapt to their food on any level because I am not really a fan of meat. Any food we bought had fish oil in it and it was mostly beef, pork, insects, octopus, squid, and seafood of all kinds! Yes, vegetarians, it's really hard to find food for you! All the best.The usual MCD and KFC have completely different menus which I thought would save me but that was an utter flop! I love KFC and even KFC burgers and chicken were topped with fish powder of some kind which gave off a very seafood flavour. Definitely not for me!
1. Siam Niramit.Siam Niramit offers memorable acts of Thailand's most colourful festivals and history of Thailand. You can book the show online or buy it at the counter. Your evening starts with an early dinner and pre show activities followed by the main play. Throughout the show, you'll come across Thailand's history and most beautiful and colourful festivals. If you love dancing you can even join the artists in the pre show entertainment. This has been one of the most amazing things I did in Thailand.Place: Siam Niramit theatres are located both in Bangkok and Phuket.
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The capital city of India is a glorious concoction of the old and the new. Temples that are centuries old, archaic Musli...
It all started from new delhi. This a one of the best place to spend a hot summer, far away from the noisy city to a chilling, calm town at the foothill of the Himalayas. Trip route : New Delhi -> Haldwani - > Nainital -> Bhimtal
The journey itself started with lot of adventures. From almost missing our bus to Manali to meeting unpleasant people in trip. This is the first time we were going for trek through India Hikes. We were informed to report at Nehru Park and India hikes seemed to be very much professional in terms of their list which was provided to us. As this was my 5th Himalayan trek I had a very casual attitude; so much casual that I ended up taking fancy reebok shoes which I can use regularly instead of taking huge trekking shoes which I might not use later on.
So, finally, 4th Nov, Friday night, we boarded HRTC bus from Kashmere gate from Delhi, per person fare was 1200. I would suggest, to book ticket at least 2 months prior because we were lucky to get seat else it is always full. It was 8 PM , when bus started from Delhi. On the way near Murthal, Bus stopped for dinner. There are couple of restra and small dhaba where one can have hearty meal for 100 bucks.We reached Mandi town next day (5th Nov) morning at around 8 am and checked into Rajmahal Palace Hotel. Rent was 1500 bucks per night which was quite alright for 2 people, with 2 bed, attached bathroom, and a TV. Very basic amenities available. But ambiance was quite surreal. Oh! forgot to tell you, we have booked this hotel in the last of Oct only, but again I would advise book at least 1 month prior. Luck was with us, so we have got the hotel room.We have got freshen up quickly as we didn't want to waste time because we had very short time for that trip. After talking to reception guy, got to know that it's better to head towards Prashar Lake as it was winter and hills become dark soon. We asked him to arrange for a taxi, and after 20 minutes taxi driver was at our service. It was November, so fare was quite less, it was 1500 to and fro (mandi-prashar-mandi). It took 1.50 hour to reach prashar lake.
9. 'Rang De Basanti': Colors of North
1. 'Highway': plan a road trip from Delhi to Kashmir
The day started early. We took Delhi - Kalka Shatabdi Express which takes only about 4 hours to reach Kalka.Tip while Travelling with a kid: Avoid long Bus travel as much as possible - kids gets irritated in the narrow and congested spaceSince they serve breakfast on the train, we did not bother the hotel with an early breakfast - though they insisted that it can be arranged. We booked an Uber from the Hotel and reached the railway station in no time. The beautiful India Gate and Connaught Place came in our way.
Day 1: Delhi – Kufri (358km)It was a 7 day-trip, which later turned into 8 days due to major landslide in Kaza. Me, along with my friend started from Delhi on 15TH August 2017. We were on a bike, by the way, and I was riding pillion. It took us 12 hours to reach Kufri, which was our first night’s stay. It was a bum-tiring journey considering, it was the first day of travelling.
The place of disembarkation by train from Seoul to Busan, this is the central station of Busan. It is also where you can purchase a hop on hop off city tour bus, outside Hotel Arirang Busan.Eat: Fish cakes (Eomuk) at Samjin Eomuk 삼진 어묵 Bakery
Day 1: Myeongdong and HongdaeWhat we like most about Seoul is that each neighbourhood has its own unique, fascinating style that can't be found in any of the other neighbourhoods. The only thing all the neighbourhoods have in common are the beauty product shops. They are as common as convenience stores - there's one at every corner.Seoul is very cold in winter, but this trip wasn't as cold as we expected. Most days, the temperature was between zero and 5°C, and we only had a couple of days that were between - 10°C and zero.
Next, Seoul city bus tour! It was getting dark. We were freezing cold actually. After about 45 minutes in the best, we finally arrived! The beautiful view!! But it was too cold to stay outside the bus for a long time! It was actually a really lovely place to walk but I felt worried that I could not feel my fingers because I was too frozen.The view was beautiful, we could almost see the whole of Seoul but our cameras were unable to capture the view. This is why its best to experience being there yourself.
Seoul was my last stop on this trip and I had no intention of spending my last night sleeping in. As soon as I checked into my hotel I headed out to check out the 24-hrs South Gate market. After braving the cold and wandering around the market for over an hour I decide to head back. The next day I’m out the door a little before 9am after having breakfast and in a taxi on my way to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is literally impossible for me to stay outside longer than an hour, so after visiting the Palace, I hop in a cab back to the hotel to thaw out for a few minutes before visiting Namsan Park and the Seoul Tower across the street from the hotel. After I’ve warmed up a little, I walk across to the park and begin climbing the many, many stairs up to the top (how many times have I climbed stairs on this trip now??). The view is great but I’m having trouble focusing on anything but how unbelievably cold it is up here. I last about 30 minutes before heading back down the hill to the hotel to pack (for the last time).
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
India’s second largest city, Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is home to a few hundred captivating contrasts and cr...
Dream a little dream of FUTURE. How smart our cities could be? Is a Blade runner kind of future awaits for us? How would you find an affordable place to spend a night in a hugely expensive city? Is a disruptive way of living approaching fast into our travelling lives? I was harboring all these thoughts while for the first time I heard about the POD hotel in India, that too in Mumbai.The IDEA and where to find themYou can experience these future proof living styles in developed, over populated cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Moscow, London, Amsterdam, New York, Bangkok. The concept behind is secluded and minimized living for a hassle-free stay during a quick visit of these cities. Plus points of these pods are also its close proximity of main communication points like airports, railway stations and pocket friendliness. These make the pod type of hotels popular over a short span of time.No need of VISA to have a taste of PODThe idea sounds tempting, right? But could not plan for the trip right away? No worry. Mumbai now offers the coziest POD experience you could have. The new addition to the Maximum city's ever expanding offering is only 4 km away from Andheri Railway station and 5.5 km from Mumbai International Airport. A well connected spot in the busy city, URBAN POD is a perfect place for a night's stay. Or may be more than a day.The Place and amenitiesThe first thing that you would notice is a clutter free entrance. A traveler's dream is to find a place that is free of all the chaos(when staying the night is the concern) and this place would offer you just that. After you reach the first floor and have not yet reserved a POD you have to complete the necessary documentation. Please do carry an identity proof as it would come in handy for booking a room(POD). If you are carrying luggage, you need to hand them over to the stuff who would take care of it. Did I mention that your shoes are not allowed inside the pod? Okay, it is a shoe-less shrine of a traveler's soul. Besides it helps the place to stay more clean and hygienic.The timing for check in is 15:00 hours and check out timing is 11:00 hours. They would provide you break-fast at the cafeteria till 10:00 hours. Now what would you need for a good night sleep is taken care of the management in a pretty innovative way. A free WI-FI connection, a TV remote, a fresh towel, a water bottle would be offered to you to take possession of before finally catching a glimpse of the POD. The interior is very much in accordance with the minimalist approach of the idea of the seclusion. The pods are built as row houses inside of separate rooms and are very soothing sights.Once inside, you can actually feel that as a human being we really don't require much to go for a sleep. All we would ever need is a soft bed, a dim light(a reading light sometimes), some light fragrance and invitation of sleep.It offers just these in right proportions. End result will be a cherish-able experience for life. The future of smart travelling is here and this proves how.I forgot to mention the common washrooms which are quite spacious and inviting would offer you solace and are enough to calm your weary souls.Still planning to spend a lot for a night's stay in the City of dreams? Please check this place for a new experience with decent pricing which wont hurt your pocket. And remember future beckons, this could the part of a cyber-punk life you always wanted to experience.
Are you reading this, sitting in your office cabin with no Friday night plans whatsoever? After having slogged super hard at work all week, is your new year's resolution of having more fun, crashing right in front of you? Well, we've got good news for you! It's still not too late to get into action and plan an outing that is sure to start 2018 with a bang!Here's How!
Day 2 was Christmas and we decided to cover mainly Mumbai fort and nearby iconic places as they are close to each other. Took the cab to Flora Fountain to start with, but it was closed as some work was going on. Walking through the fort area along the colonial buildings made us feel like we are walking through roads in somewhere in Europe( most of the time :))
We took an early morning flight to Mumbai and reached around 9 AM in the hotel we booked in Santacruz area(Read my review on Fab hotel Embassy Park BKC). We had an amazing breakfast of wada pavs and chai in a small eatery called Ravi's near our stay. After quickly refreshing, we set on our first day of the trip to Sidhivinayak Temple and Haji Ali Dargah. We could not enter both the places due to the huge crowd and were pretty disappointed by then. Decided to go ahead with Lunch and found a nice place called Cafe Noorani(Mughlai style) near the Dargah and its a good place if you are a non-vegetarian. After having a delicious lunch, we went to Linking Road for shopping and found it to be a reasonable place. The trick is to tell 1/3rd if any price the shop keeper tells :) We found travelling in Mumbai pretty easy as we could get cabs and autos very easily and we need to pay by the meter. Ola and Uber also are very popular. Juhu beach was last on the list for the day and chaats were awesome here though the beach was very unpleasant and dirty.
I reached Mumbai around 12.30 PM and the train to Bikaner was at 2.35 PM so I had enough time to reach from Sion to Dadar railway station. Mumbai is not new to me at all and especially in the last 8 years I have travelled to Mumbai a dozen times for a lot of Business meetings and trainings. Train got delayed by an hour at Dadar station and by the time I reached Bikaner there was a delay. I reached my first destination the next day at 4:00 PM.Route:Bangalore-Hubbali-Pune-Mumbai(By Bus)Dadar(Mumbai)-Ahmedabad-Jodhpur-Bikaner(By Train).Rajasthan is a Land of Kings, Palaces (Mahals and Havelis), Forts and Temple ruled by Rajput’s with its rich Heritage and Culture. Rajasthan is well connected by Roadways, Railways and Airways. The best time to be here is between October to March as the weather in this part is very pleasant during that time. The temperature varies from 5 degrees during night to 25 degrees during the days.
Having few more days to spare, I thought to go south and touch the Arabian sea before returning back to Nagpur. So on reaching Delhi, after half a day’s rest, I left for Mumbai. I was touching the land after a gap of 20yrs. The last time I was here, I was a kid in early 1998. The first day, I took a tour bus at Churchgate and covered all the important places of Mumbai. The second day, I dedicated to Siddhi Vinayak Temple and Haji Ali Dargah, before resorting to Marine drive. I caught my train at night towards Nagpur, marking the end of my journey.
Warm delicious broth with bouncy noodles on a cold, wet winter evening is truly comforting. The Japanese don't judge a ramen by its broth, but by the noodles. I love a good broth and I like my noodles just al dente. Many people argue about which is the best ramen in Osaka but I think this one is worth a visit. I added a healthy dollop of garlic and a small mountain of spring onions to my ramen so I was very happy.
Food galore: Osaka (2 days) Okay, we actually used Osaka as a home base for day trips, and didn’t like it that much (twinkling neons, lousy casinos). However this probably had a lot to do with us staying in the rather sleazy love-hotel area of the city, near Namba Station. Indeed, I’ve heard other people say that Osaka had been the absolute highlight of their trip thanks to the buzzing art and culture scene, and most of all thanks to the food. Needless to say I will be back there in the future, rent a bike and take the time to properly explore (but probably upgrade from our funky, dirt-cheap love hotel to more recommendable accommodation) — and you should too.
The Osaka Mint Park is really crowded. Bunch of people want to see the Sakura. Osaka Mint Park has a long road ahead, so you’ll feel surrounded by people, and of course, Sakura. The Sakura is really really beautiful !! If there are only a few people around, I believe it will be more beautiful.
Often christened as the Pearl of the Gulf, Dubai concocts adventures for every kind of tourist. This is the city where g...
Dubai has been one of India’s favourite tourist destinations. It is exotic, has some of the best architectural wonders and is the greatest shopping hub of the world. Adding to its long list of achievements, the city has recently broken its own record with its upcoming tallest hotel in the world — Gevora Hotel. After the JW Marriot Marquis, that held this prestigious title since 2012, Gevora Hotel has been recognised as the new tallest hotel in the world by Guinness Book of World Records.Scaling New Heights: Gevora Hotel
Style, luxury and elegance define Dubai the best. With beautiful beaches, the best luxury hotels in the world, the biggest shopping malls and the best of the world's theme parks, Dubai is easily one of world's premier holiday destinations. And when you add the splendour of Jumeirah's luxury to this mix, you get the most memorable vacation of your life.Each Jumeirah hotel and resort in Dubai radiates sheer elegance and premium luxury – the kind fit for royalty. A stay at one of the Jumeirah hotels is all about unparalleled opulence, indulgent service and unmatched comfort. From the Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, each of Jumeirah's Dubai properties is not only an iconic structure but stands synonymous with incomparable luxury.And if you opt for the Jumeirah Flavours package, you can enjoy incredible privileges including daily complimentary breakfast and dinner across 60 participating restaurants located across Dubai, including the restaurants at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Also on offer is a 20% discount on brunches and buffet lunches at Dubai's participating restaurants. That's not all – you also get complimentary unlimited access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark™, the ultimate family fun destination with over 30 rides and attractions. Other inclusions are complimentary access to exclusive beaches, complimentary internet and access to Kids Clubs.If that doesn't make you want to book Jumeirah right away, let me explain what exactly is on offer!Jumeirah has 10 hotels in Dubai – Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Living World Trade Centre Residence by Jumeirah Living and four within Madinat Jumeirah – Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and the recently-opened Jumeirah Al Naseem. Madinat Jumeirah is the largest resort in the emirate, designed to resemble a traditional Arab town.
Dubai, the city of superlatives is not exactly cheap. Yes, the flight tickets these days are inexpensive, and thanks to hostels and Airbnbs, your stay is sorted too. But when it comes to enjoying sights, visiting numerous theme parks and experiencing other amazing things on offer, Dubai can be a dampener on your pocket. With Michelin Star restaurants, hallmark of fine dining, super cars and the most luxurious hotel in the world - Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai definitely isn't cheap. However, there are some things in this over-the-top luxurious cosmopolitan, like tracing the old city and some only-in-Dubai spectacles, that will keep even the most frugal travellers entertained! There are a few selective experiences that you can have in Dubai, that don't cost a single dirham! Free Things To Do In Dubai1. Experience Dubai’s Culture And Heritage
Dubai is known for majestic skyscrapers, expansive deserts and pristine beaches. Sunshine, seas, deserts, shopping and a whole lot of fun has positioned Dubai as the destination du-jour. The glitzy holiday hotspot of United Arab Emirates, Dubai is admirably a city of superlatives. It is also one of the most exotic and desirable getaway destinations on the planet with a breathtaking collection of premier resorts frequented by some of the most famous and influential celebrities in the world. When in Dubai, you will never fall short of things to do – have breakfast with falcons, ride a bike underwater, dine inside vintage cars, visit an indoor theme park, learn to surf, or just gorge on some of the most delicious Middle-Eastern spreads. See and do: Buy yourself a ticket to be on the (world's highest) observation platform of the tallest building on this planet, Burj Khalifa; experience the dancing Dubai Fountain with the Burj Khalifa in the background; have an adrenaline pumping ride on a desert safari; visit the extraordinary artificial island of Palm Jumeirah and see one of the most iconic hotels in the world, the Atlantis; watch a show at the iconic Dubai Opera; experience thrill and excitement at the world's largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds Of Adventure; don your filmi hat and head to the only Bollywood Theme Park in the world; shop till you drop at one of the many fashionable malls of Dubai.Can't stop yourself from travelling to Dubai? Book your vacation right here
Dubai is known for majestic skyscrapers, expansive desert and pristine beaches. Sunshine, seas, deserts, shopping and a whole lot of fun has positioned Dubai as the destination du-jour. The glitzy holiday hotspot of United Arab Emirates, Dubai is admirably a city of superlatives. It is also one of the most exotic and desirable getaway destinations on the planet with a breathtaking collection of premier resorts frequented by some of the most famous and influential celebrities in the world. When in Dubai, you will never fall short of things to do – have breakfast with falcons, ride a bike under water, dine inside vintage cars, visit an indoor theme park, learn to surf, or just gorge on some of the most delicious middle-eastern spreads. Click here to know more about this glittering city.See and do: Buy yourself a ticket to be on the (world's highest) observation platform of the tallest building on this planet, Burj Khalifa; experience the dancing Dubai Fountain with the Burj Khalifa in the background; have an adrenaline pumping ride on a desert safari; visit the extraordinary artificial island of Palm Jumeirah and see one of the most iconic hotels in the world, the Atlantis; watch a show at the iconic Dubai Opera; experience thrill and excitement at the world's largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds Of Adventure; don your filmy hat and head to the only Bollywood Theme Park in the world; shop till you drop at one of the many fashionable malls of Dubai.Can't stop yourself from travelling to Dubai? Book your vacation right here
Glitzy Dubai is the holiday hotspot of United Arab Emirates. High-rise buildings, shopping malls and outrageous attractions have transformed this desert outpost to the most revered destination for tourists from around the world. Sunshine, seas, deserts, shopping and a lot of fun has positioned Dubai as the destination du-jour. Home to the world's tallest buildings, biggest shopping malls and largest man-made islands, Dubai is one destination that you can visit time and again. With the days being a little less hot and the nights having a delicious chill to it, this is actually the perfect month to visit this destination.Top things to see and do: Be on the world's highest observation platform at the Burj Khalifa; shop till you drop at the Dubai Mall; visit the exotic artificial island of Palm Jumeirah; go crazy at the IMG Worlds Of Adventure; feed the Bollywood fanatic inside you with a visit to the Bollywood Theme Park.Flight cost: Return airfare from New Delhi starts from ₹12,417 for the month of November.Daily budget: Daily budget can be anywhere between 400AED to 1,000AED (₹7,000 to ₹18,000) inclusive of stay, local transport, sightseeing and meals.Where to stay: Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai, Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre. For more options, click here.
Setting off for KL early in the morning to catch our flights back to India, we reached the airport way too early. Googli...
Setting off for KL early in the morning to catch our flights back to India, we reached the airport way too early. Googling around for things to do, we found the perfect way to cap this trip. We headed over to the Sepang F1 circuit and ended up driving go-karts on it. So yes, that happened.
DAY 2We had big plans for this day. One of the major reasons why we came to KL was to visit the Firefly Park at Kuala Selangor and today was that day. We took the train (LRT) to Petaling Street or KL’s Chinatown. This street is filled with shops selling all kinds of stuff ranging from handicrafts to herbs. At night, the main market transforms into a lively night market. Feel free to try your hand at bargaining here even though everything is available at dirt cheap prices.
DAY 3The third day we spent the morning enjoying the infinity pool that our Airbnb had. Late afternoon we head out to one of KL’s most famous landmarks- Merdeka Square. This is the last remains of the British Empire can be seen through the colonial architecture. Sit and relax on the huge lawn while your attention is distracted by the world’s largest flagpole standing at a height of 95m. You will find yourself surrounded by the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (former Secretariat’s building), the Royal Selangor Club and St. Mary’s church which is one of Malaysia’s oldest Anglican churches.
DAY 1We took AirAsia as that was the cheapest airlines available to take us from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Jet Star is another great option. It is futile to spend money on airlines since the flight time is just over an hour. We landed in KL and took a cab to our Airbnb.PRO TIP: Take an Uber instead of using a normal cab. They are much cheaper. If you in a group and you are travelling anywhere in KL, just cab it. It is much cheaper and saves you time.We reached our Airbnb by late afternoon and I must say that if you are visiting KL, then an Airbnb is your best option. You can get lovely spacious rooms for the price of a cheap hotel. We were living near the centre of the city (KLCC), so the major attractions and places to eat were nearby. We had a sumptuous lunch of Nasi Kandar. For those who don’t know, Nasi Kandar is a meal of steamed rice which can be flavoured along with an array of curries and side dishes to choose from. The shops usually have all the curries and side dishes displayed in front of you and you can choose your picks by simply pointing towards them and the shopkeeper will serve them to you. Mutton or Fish head curry is a good combination with the rice.
Kuala Lumpur is also known for its colorful cultures, races and traditions. The city is furnished by it Interesting architecture, famous landmark and unique build.Flights starting from 11000 INR from Kochi.
Destination 1: Kuala Lumpur (Apr 15-17)The Flight: We left New Delhi on 14 April via ‘Air Asia’ flight which left around midnight. The good part about this particular airliner is, it is cheap. The bad part, the flight is too crowded with no in-flight entertainment system and little seating space which makes it slightly (read highly) uncomfortable to sit for 5 hours at one single position. It was like a GoAir or Indigo (actually much worse) except for a longer duration flight. Word of caution: Book Air Asia if you are really tight on budget. Else I would recommend Malaysia Airlines or some other slightly ‘premium’ carrier. (P.S. I never knew this about Air Asia while booking).Place to stay: Tune Hotels, DowntownStay Price: Rs 1500 per night (paid in India before leaving)We arrived KL on the morning of 15 April. The good part is I belong to a worldwide community called Toastmasters, and the great part is KL itself has more than 100 Toastmasters clubs. Hence the moment we landed on the KLIA2 Airport, one of the Toastmasters who I have been in touch with for attending a meeting was already there waiting for us. It was wonderfully kind and generous of him to do so. Malaysian hospitality by a British immigrant Toastmaster!After attending the meeting, we went to our hotel. Tune Hotel is like Oyo Rooms except that the rooms are somewhat smaller than Oyo. But with all the amenities and a good brand name it’s great for a budget hotel.Things to do:I have lived in almost all major cities of India. But when I began roaming around KL, I realized none of the places I have lived compare even an inch bit to the grandeur in appearance and the openness in culture that this city represents. We were awed with the high-rise buildings, the visits across the city from the monorail, the Petronas twin towers, the beautifully decorated cars, the dresses of the women of the city, the free KL bus, the evening rain, the people playing music on the streets for money, and a lot lot more.While in KL, we went to the following places (all of these are definitely Do’s):a. Batu Cavesb. Bukit Bintang – you will be awe-inspired by the gala of the place!c. Street Food opposite Bukit Bintang – heaven for foodiesd. The Petronas Twin Towers – you will keep walking in a shopping mall without realizing when you are underneath the Petronas twinTowers! We didn’t go all the way up to the deck. Personally speaking I didn’t find it worth to spend RM 85 for the view.e. KL City Gallery – You will come across a beautiful city museum with a lights show of entire KL. For RM5, this place is totally worth it.f. I Love KL – Right next to KL city gallery. Definitely the right place to get yourself clicked!g. Chinatown – This place is famous in KL for its Sarojini Nagar type low cost street shopping.h. Little India – If you are from India, do pay a visit and enjoy some inexpensive South Indian food. You can also buy stuff which is part Indian from the Malaysian Indian kirana stores.Food:Speaking of food, for all the vegetarians in the house, Malaysia has their own special version of vegetarian dish which is available almost everywhere in the country. It’s called Roti Canai (pronounced as roti-chanai). Roti Canai is nothing but plain naan served with dal. For a tasty, stomach filling inexpensive dish, this is a safe vegetarian option for those who do not indulge in other foods.Right next to the Tune hotel where we stayed is this place called ‘Pak Punjab’ which serves authentic north-Indian food. Yes, that means paratha, chholey, dal, naan and what not. With tasty food, reasonable prices and hospitable staff, I would recommend this place if you want to taste good north Indian food (believe me you do get craving for ghar ka khana (home food) while away from home).Yet another delicious Malaysian cuisine which I want everyone to taste is the ‘Teh Tarik’ or local Malaysian tea. It has a very different taste which you will never have tasted before. Not only is it unique, it’s delicious as well. We made sure we drink ‘Teh Tarik’ every single day while we were there!Transport:KL has a beautiful train system which was rather complicated for us as newcomers. The monorail connects with the main metro lines (the city has 3 of them). But the good part is, Uber is everywhere! And so is Grab car, which is the Ola of Malaysia (rather south-east Asia). If you have Uber app, no worries. People driving their awesome personal cars will pick you up and drop you to the place of your choice. Alternatively you can also download the ‘Grab’ app for more options.For outstation travel, Malaysia has impeccable roads and an excellent bus service which operates everyday to almost all important destinations across the country. You can book the bus in advance if you are the cautious kinds else you can also go to the bus station and get the tickets at the counter.So after two days of fun, frolic and masti (enjoyment) in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, we took the bus from the KL bus station and moved to our next destination – Cameron Highlands.
It is very easy to misunderstand Kuala Lumpur as a mere concrete jungle. But once you set foot inside, you will find that the blessed forests and landscapes of Malaysia, have been retained with great care, discipline and love in the capital city. There are not many cities in Asia which have a rainforest at its heart, and urge people to take long hikes just as much as they spoil them with magnanimous shopping malls.
Things to Do Just a couple of years old, this casino and resort complex has six hotel towers, two night clubs, a shoppin...
Things to Do Just a couple of years old, this casino and resort complex has six hotel towers, two night clubs, a shopping mall, and the DreamPlay theme park in collaboration with Dreamworks Animation. New in 2017 You can enjoy City of Games remotely, before you plan your trip to the City of Dreams. Download the app ‘City of Games’ to get 2,00,000 chips free and play games. However, if you win, you can redeem real rewards at City of Dreams Manila. Other Locations Macau.
Manila: This place would have never made it to my list had I not lived here. The most underrated city in South East Asia. The Makati part of the city is like any First World city. Intramurous is your gateway to the Spanish era. The glitzy Gloriatas, Greenbelts, Mall of Asia would confuse you if you were in USA or in Philippines. Unlike its South East Asian counterparts, everybody speaks English. Filipinos are the most humble and courteous people in the world. Music and basketball runs in the veins of Filipinos. The old part of Manila is chaotic like any other developing country city but the beauty of the place lies once you hit the highway. The close proximity to beaches and having over 7000 islands make it a must visit place. The only negatives about the city is its traffic and no direct flight from India. Do check out my articles on Philippines, Bohol, Fortune Island, Puerto Galera for more information.Hope this top solo travel friendly destinations post inspires you to take that leap of faith and move on with your Solo Travel. Happy solo travels!This post was originally published on TRAVEL SEE WRITE.
Being just six hours away from Metro Manila I was enticed to visit the surfing capital of Philippines – BALER. So I booked myself in a van going to Baler. Getting out of Manila is a nightmare, especially on a Friday night. It took me four hours to just get out of Manila. The van journey was neither bad nor good. A sleeper bus might have been a better deal.I reached Baler early morning. I was supposed to camp on the Sabang beach but because of the Typhoon, camping wasn’t allowed. So I took shelter in a local’s house to perch my tent.
So this was our destination itself. The place is famous for its raw, untamed beauty, and the Manila mandir. We drove till the Manila village looking for hotels to stay (there were only 4 hotels/guest-houses we could find there and 2 of them were full and 2 were closed) and of course, we were damn hungry by then. We were greeted by the village pradhan who owned a Tea stall on the Jainal-Dauntiyal Road. He informed us that whetever we could see in these few tea-stalls is all that is available at this place. Nothing else as it was not the tourist season there! :) So we decided to have tea at least. Then we saw Maggie and eggs so our breakfast was taken care of at least :)
Manila is pure brouhaha. That's the only word to describe it. Never has organized-chaos looked so appealing. Elongated jeeps called 'Jeepneys', all shiny silver and flashy paint jobs and cyborg-like motorbikes with sidecars called 'Trikes', zip around the roads, skirting traffic. Skyscrapers stand side by side with shanty towns. And the people : Manila is a pretty small city, but there are so many people here that it's earned the title of 'most densely populated city in the world'. But the gentle, Tagalog-speaking folk are a likeable lot, so really, it's okay that there are so many of them. If you have a few hours in Manila, there are a couple of places you must visit. The Walled City of Intramurous is Manila's oldest district; it was where the Spanish ruled from in the 1500s. Guarding the city is Fort Santiago, built by the conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. National martyr Jose Rizal was imprisoned here before his execution in 1896 for seditious activities. Rizal Park, adjacent to Intramuros, pays homage to the hero, and houses the Rizal Monument that contains Rizal's remains. Intramuros is also well known for its cafes and restaurants. Hunker down at one of them and sate your hunger. Chinatown is nearby and is great for a round of bag-shopping and a dose of the crazy before heading to sophisticated Makati for high-end retail therapy and finally, check out the nightlife at Ermita. Be wary of people offering you beer- accepting one is a secret code for ....ummm..consent!
Manila, lying on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, is a modern city with modern conveniences, hard-working people and a rich history. It is also the most densely populated city in the world. Located inside the walled city of Intramuros in Manila lies Fort Santiago, the oldest Spanish fortress in the Philippines. Strategically located near the mouth of the Pasig River just off Manila Bay, Fort Santiago was built in 1571. Originally the site of a Muslim kingdom headed by Rajah Sulaiman the area was destroyed by Spaniards and the fort was built and soon became the main defense fortress during the spice trade with the Americas. The original earthen and log fort was destroyed by invading Chinese Pirates and was reconstructed with volcanic rock. The fort served as a Spanish Fortress, Headquarters of the US Army during the American colonial period and WW2 and was captured by the Japanese during WW2 and used as a prison. Most of the fort was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in February 1945 and is now a historical park administered by the Philippine National Parks Development Committee. Used by the Japanese military, after they captured Manila, numerous Filipino and American prisoners were tortured and executed in the infamous dungeons. Some reports estimate that as many as 2500-3000 Filipinos were executed in Intramuros and Fort Santiago during the last days of Japanese occupation. A cross bearing an inscription and denoting the final resting place of approximately 600 Filipino and American prisoners is located on the grounds. Today the dungeons are closed to the public along with the underground chambers. Visitors are allowed in some parts and can walk the grounds.
TrafficTraffic is smooth in most parts of the city but traffic rules are strict here. Taxis are available everywhere but...
TrafficTraffic is smooth in most parts of the city but traffic rules are strict here. Taxis are available everywhere but If you are going to ride your own vehicle, you have to be careful. Most local people are rich and have their own cars. youngster ride cars not bikes, surprising right?. Expecting to see any bicycle on the road is no less than any dream. Through in old city area (i.e. Batha) you can spot one. Cameras are installed by roadside, so mind your speed limit when you pass by otherwise you may have to visit a police station and that might not be a healthy affair.Taxi
From the very first look, Guangzhou is too different than Shenzhen, as Shenzhen is a tourist destination, Guangzhou is a...
From the very first look, Guangzhou is too different than Shenzhen, as Shenzhen is a tourist destination, Guangzhou is a metropolitan city, which boost the business and tourism both. It is the 3rd largest city of China, Guangzhou has big sky scrappers, it's to huge, to get to see complete city you need more then 4/5 days and still I bet you won't be able to see it all, as distance is far and as I mentioned it is a big city so the places are far from each other. I had my booking done at Westin Guangzhou which is situated in the center of the city, and is just 10 mins walk from the metro station, As I mentioned Guangzhou has many skyscrapers and high rises, it also has the Canton tower which is one to the tallest towers in world, once it used to be the tallest in the world but as the world is growing so does taller buildings are, but still it is in top 10 in world. Canton tower is. 431 meters high and it is a beautiful tower located just next to the pearl river as it flows within the city. It looks beautiful at night when it is lit up in different colors which keep on changing. During my trip I even went to the Guangzhou Zoo Which has some beautiful species of animals and when in China the main attraction is a Panda. I get to see 2 Pandas but wasn't lucky enough to see them in open as both were inside there close enclosure. Guangzhou being a big city has many shopping options from Mall to big shopping streets It's all there. Got some good shopping options for all.
Activate JR Rail pass- Day 68:30am: Head west to Arashiyama by taxi, train or bus.9:00am: Enter Tenryu-ji Temple and exp...
Activate JR Rail pass- Day 68:30am: Head west to Arashiyama by taxi, train or bus.9:00am: Enter Tenryu-ji Temple and explore the temple.10:00am: Leave Tenryu-ji Temple by the north gate, which will bring you into the famed Bamboo Forest. Explore the Bamboo Forest for about half an hour.10:30am: Leave the Bamboo Forest and enter Okochi-Sanso Villa.11:30am: Leave Okochi-Sanso Villa and return to central Arashiyama. Eat a simple lunch of noodles or rice in one of the shokudo (simple eateries) on the main strip.12:30pm: Take a taxi over to Kinkaku-ji Temple, the famed “Golden Pavilion” in Northwest Kyoto.1:00pm: Explore Kinkaku-ji Temple. Yes, it will be crowded at this time, but it almost always is.2:00pm: Take a taxi down to Daitoku-ji Temple and enjoy the peace and quiet of a small subtemple there. Consider Koto-in Temple
Activate JR Rail pass- Day 3TOKYO [ Departure track No.16 ] – Time: 6.15 Hikari 501, Kyoto Arrival- 9.15Kyoto is the cultural and traditional capital of Japan and there is much to find in this regard, think about temples, Zen gardens, the imperial castle, geisha’s and samurai.10 am: Head up to Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Sure, it’s mercantile and touristy, but it’s also beautiful and it’s got a great view over the city. By going early, you’ll beat the daily crowds. Whatever you do, don’t forget to enter the subterranean Tainai-Meguri.11 am: Walk down Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka, two preserved streets, to Maruyama-koen Park to enjoy some greenery.12 am: Walk through Chion-in Temple but don’t linger, since it’s under construction.1.30 am: Enter Shoren-in Temple and enjoy a cup of tea overlooking the garden.2.30: Get on the Tozai Subway Line at Higashiyama Station and get off at Kyoto Shiyakushomae (downtown).3 : Eat lunch downtown and explore Nishiki Market and the food floor at nearby Daimaru Department Store.3:30pm: Take the Keihan Line to Fushimi-Inari Station and walk to nearby Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine. Climb as far up the mountain as your energy permits.Dusk: Return to your hotel and relax and freshen up.Evening: Eat dinner downtown, then walk over to Shimbashi in Gion and keep your eyes peeled for geisha.
First on the list of best places to travel alone for solo female travellers is Kyoto. This city of gorgeously styled temples, art galleries and master pieces of Japanese gardens is best explored walking. For a solo female traveller not just Kyoto but Japan as a country is considered the safest, thus walking through the beautiful corridors around the city with blooming cherry blossoms at night is not a problem at all.
Serene beauty: Kyoto (3 days… or 3 years) Get back to Honshū and head to Kyoto, the place where you’ll find all the stereotypical images you probably have in mind about Japan: zen gardens reflected in peaceful ponds, infinite rows of red gates, and even — if you’re lucky — the fugitive sight of a geisha gracefully gliding down the street. Geishas are professional artists hurrying on their way to work, by the way, not cultural oddities: please don’t stop them to try and make them pose for a picture. Get lost in the silver-green bamboo plantation, get a taste of ancient Japan in the teahouse district of Gion, risk blindness by contemplating the bright Golden Pavilion, stroll along the canal, explore the nearby mountain villages… and maybe consider sticking around for a few years. “I would happily include Kyoto among the ten cities in the world where it is worth living for a little while”, Nicolas Bouvier wrote in Japanese Chronicles The Travelettes Itinerary for Japan(which you should read by the way, no matter whether you have the intention of visiting Japan or not).
Thanks to the Google gods, we were able to find a great restaurant where we could enjoy some local flavors like oyster and sashimi! And surprisingly, it was incredibly affordable! My meal set (pictured above) was under 2000 yen, and came with so many things to try! The oyster was 1100 yen or so on it’s own, and I have to admit that I much prefer mussels, but it was great to try. They also offer kaiseki meals (traditional Japanese meal sets) for a range of prices, but those might need a reservation. Anyway, I would definitely recommend Torimatsu to those of you driving through Kyotango! :>
Kyoto is connected to Tokyo by the Shinkansen or the Bullet Trains which can take you from Tokyo to Kyoto in times that range between 140 Minutes to 4 Hours for the 460 Kilometer journey, depending on the speed of the train you choose to travel in. Kyoto was the capital of the erstwhile Japanese Empire from the 8th to the 19th Century, and thus has numerous shrines, temples and other architectural structures like the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle that provide an insight into Japan's history. After trekking around Kyoto for hours looking at these temples in the heat we had been worrying that we’d be shunned from restaurants looking the way we did (read: sweat-stained tank tops, shorts and mosquito-ravaged calves). However, we were welcomed into a beautiful, traditional restaurant where we were invited to take off our rank sneakers, given a booth, offered sake to try and left with a bell to ring when we wanted something from our very pleasant waiter. In the pub we went to afterwards, the bartender poured us sake in addition to the drinks we ordered and invited us to try Umeboshi, salty plums, with the three locals sitting at the bar.
Home to the Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo where people pay to be caged while they are stalked by ferocious predators!...
Hopping off the Chinese bullet train at Hangzhou Station from Shanghai, a few things that are distinctively Hangzhou hav...
The next day we flew to Hangzhou and upon arrival immediately went to the Banyan Tree Resort, located in the picturesque XiXi Wetlands. Here we saw the stunningly beautiful “Impressions Hangzhou” show in VIP seats. We also had dinner at the fantastic Dragon Well Manor restaurant, arguably one of China’s best. The next morning we visited the beautiful Lingyin Temple, followed by a walk along the “9 creeks, 18 gullies”, a peaceful path connecting pristine forest and tea plantations.
Before you light diyas to impress your mother-in-law, set afloat your own lantern in the beautiful sky of Thailand...
Before you light diyas to impress your mother-in-law, set afloat your own lantern in the beautiful sky of Thailand
Where: ThailandWhat to do: Get a glimpse into the city's soul by heading to Chiang Mai's oldest public market, Warorot. For an enriching shopping experience, visit the Walking Street markets that comes to life only during the weekends. Pay your tributes to some of Chiang Mai's most revered temples, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tso. Taste all the layers of Thai cuisine in a single bowl of gap kow at Talat Thanin.
Slowly moving from Thailand’s present (Bangkok) to its past, Chiang Mai was the cultural and religious center of ancient Thailand. Its ornate, historical structures still boast of the opulence that the Thai land inhabited and still inhabits. Luxury in Chiang Mai radiates from its spirituality, from its splendid fit-for-the-kings Wats. Travelling to Chiang Mai is like exploring the true soul of Thailand. It's surreal experiences like painting elephants and ornate temples are some of the most interesting things to do in Thailand.
We booked an early morning elephant and rafting tour. It was nothing spectacular for us. We had pretty much done most of the stuff back home in India. The elephant ride part of the tour was fairly straightforward while the rafting part was horrendous. With the waters running so low, there was barely any rafting that we could do. The entire time we were stuck in between the exposed rocks trying to move ahead. Overall the tour was a bad experience.
I met up with a friend of mine for this second part of the trip. We took an early flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.Chiang Mai is a beautiful, quiet town in the northern part of Thailand. We went during the off season, so it was much quieter than we had expected. Places shut down by 12 pm. Chilling at the hostel and seeing temples spread out across town were our best bets.We had earlier planned on staying at chiang mai for a couple of nights and then go to Pai (which is another small hill station), but we decided against that. It was probably the wrong season for the Northern part of Thailand. The numerous rivers and waterfalls around Chiang Mai and Pai were running dry with very low water levels (dry season).We chilled at the hostel with a bunch of other travellers and enjoyed the food. I would advise everyone to try Northern Thai food. It is very different to the normal Thai that we are all used to (only for Non vegetarians though). BEWARE: Dont even mention spicy ;)
Culture: Chiang Mai (3 days…. or a month!) Catch one of the many night trains that leave Bangkok’s train station and tuck yourself into a bottom bunk with some snacks for the night. When you step off the train in Chiang Mai, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air from Bangkok’s hectic humidity, and you’ll feel a zen calmness sink into your bones. The cultural activities are endless here, but have a gander around the epic Night Bazaar and eat some uber cheap noodle soup at a street stall before catching an authentic Muay Thai Boxing match. Pop into the zoo to see some Pandas and just generally wander around the greenness, but do prioritise a trip up to the magnificent hilltop temple of Doi Suthep. If you’re feeling daring, drive a scooter up the winding hill or take a Songthaew (pick-up truck taxi) with a bicycle and endure a hair-raising ride back down to town. See more of our tips for seeing Chiang Mai.
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Bangalore or Bengaluru, also known as the Silicon valley of India, will greet you with dreamy weather, Carnatic fusion m...
The preparation for a Himalayan trek started in May. It was to be me, Anoop, Sourabha, and Harsha. For Sourabha and Harsha it was to be their 1st exposure to the Himalayas. But we were at loggerheads; Sourabha wanted to go to Rupin, Anoop had his heart set at Goecha La, me and Harsha were indifferent. After much deliberations it was to be Rupin Pass. Without much adieu we booked our slots in the trek by June end, and flight tickets were booked by July. Excited we!We got all our hiking gear from our friendly neighbourhood Decathlon store. The plan was to be like this:1. We travel to Delhi early morning on 30th Sept, roam all day.2. Travel to Dehradun on 30th Sept with Nanda Devi express, and reach early morning. From Dehradun we go to Rishikesh for adventure sports, and stay there on 30th Sept and 1st Oct.3. Bungee jumping on 1st Oct and roam around Rishikesh at night and4. Do river rafting of 24 Km stretch, return to Dehradun by evening, and rendezvous with the Indiahikes trekkers on 3rd Oct morn.We had an amazing time loitering around Delhi, doing bungy jumping and river rafting in Rishikesh (described in a separate blog post).Day 1: A Long, Twisty but Serene Ride We reached Dehradun railway station at around 6:30am. Anoop and all the other trekkers were already there (sans Mahendra, Jaggi, Hrishi, and Vishwa, who went on their own the previous day). Some nice lemon tea, a group pic and we were on our way to Dhaula. 3 vehicles were carrying 16 people.
From childhood it was my dream to see and explore the mighty Himalayas. And when I got a job at Bangalore and started finding time to explore India with my friend in bike, I still had that spark inside me for Himalayas. I some how managed my unconditional love for mountains by doing small small treks to western Ghats and the near by trekking spots around Bangalore. One fine day I decided to give life to my Himalayan dream when I saw an add accidentally on net about “India hikes” a very popular trekking community. I was not sure weather to give it a try or not. The landscape, weather & so many other factors which I have no clue how to handle and also the budget was also quite expensive. I always take decisions passionately here also I did the same. I choose a moderate to hard level trek in Uttarakhand called Brahmtal summit. For first timer it is a quite hard trek still I choose that because it was the only trek that was available that time which takes us close inside the Himalayan ranges and yes I was thrilled to experience the snow capped landscape this trek gonna offer. It was in the month of Feb which is winter season in Himalayas so not many treks were open also at that time.
And then we realized that we have to get back to our normal routine. We checked out post breakfast and headed back to Bangalore. And luckily we saw few wild elephants when we were crossing the forest.All together it was like a real good cup of tea with a little masala of adventure, sweetness of leisure and a slight ginger flavour of the musical nights.Bangalore to Vythri Village Resort : 300 Km via Mysore
The science of nightlife was earlier explained in case of Hyderabad, but Bengaluru is the ultimate boss of nighclubs in the entire South India. With 5-star nightclubs everywhere to huge international bands performing there day in and out, this city is one of the very best if you're a sucker for endless parties. When it comes to the list of India nightlife, Bengaluru is no. 4 on the list.Tripoto's top 3 of the city: No Limmits Lounge and Club, i-Bar, and High Ultra Lounge.Average expenditure for two: Rs. 3,000Read more about the city.
Day5:It was the last day of our sojourn and we were up around 6 a.m. to bid adieu to the other riders. With that out of the way, we resumed our ride towards Bangalore. Everyone wanted to reach Bangalore early, so we stopped only for tea and light snacks in between. We reached Bangalore at around 4 p.m. with everyone dispersing towards their respective homes
Our ride started from Skanda Motors in Rajaji Nagar, Bengaluru. The seven of us started the journey at 8 in the morning. To shrug off the sleepiness we all had a cup of coffee in the morning. Needless to say, we were all excited and geared up for the ride. Two of the riders started from Mumbai towards Goa and 4 other riders, on their Mahindra Mojo, joined us in Goa.
Nothing like a good trip over the weekend after a long boring energy sucking week!! Not until 6:00 PM did I have the faintest idea that I will be off to Kodaikanal for the weekend. It was just a usual hot summer evening in Bangalore. I get back to my room and jump into my bed to catch my sleep. But I toss and twirl trying to find that comfort position and then I fail. I lay awake staring at the ceiling letting my mind wander at will. All I remember next was browsing Redbus for tickets. And there it was: two tickets to Kodaikanal, like it was saved for me and someone I was sure will accompany me. I called up a friend who was no less crazy than me, and booked us both a trip to kodai. Kodaikanal is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, its name translated as "Gift of the Forest" and it is indeed. I have covered hill stations in South, but Kodaikanal has a raw charm that beats all the others with its less anglicized landscapes and mist covered forests. It is less commercialised and well preserved and oddly enough with no plastic leftovers in sight.Locally known as the Princess of Hill Stations, The city is accessible by road, train or by air. The cheapest being train(Of course depending upon where you are travelling from). The nearest airports are in Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapally. Nearest railway stations are Palani (the ride uphill from Palani is beyond gorgeous), Kodaikanal Road Station and Madurai Junction. Buses run uphill at intervals taking you to Kodaikanal.We decided to take the bus from Bangalore to avoid crossovers and bought our tickets for 850 Rs (you will get it for around 600 Rs if you book three weeks ahead). We also had our room booked on Tripadvisor to avoid the hassle of looking around for rooms.It was 7:30 PM when we were done booking our rooms and with all the uncertainity of catching our bus, waddling through Bangalore's infamous traffic,we packed our bags and left.We did make it to the bus, almost missing it. And as we settled in, we realised we were in seats with no leg space. Either the bus catered only to zero sized figurines or we had missed how much our thighs had grown horizontally over the lazy week days at work. Nevertheless, we were two happy souls on our way to Kodaikanal - the land of magic mushrooms.
Catched bus the same night towards bangalore for i had to attend a 3 day conference. Tried Oyo Rooms during my stay at bangalore for 800 per night and found it to be value for money! from amenities like laundry, water, food to cleanliness, from toiletries standards to AC rooms to cozy beds to furniture used and interiors, everything was beyond my expectations!
The trip to Phuket is incomplete without having a day out at Phi Phi island, Maya Bay, and Blue Lagoon :)The best time t...
The trip to Phuket is incomplete without having a day out at Phi Phi island, Maya Bay, and Blue Lagoon :)The best time to visit Maya Bay is between November and April during the high season when seas are calm and access to the bay is easy.Here is a small video of my trip :
We explored Phuket market (our shopping spree had begun!), Jungceylon Mall (don't miss this huge mall!), Walking street (safe and full of firangs!), Patong Beach (loved the beach vibes!) and our nightlife at Famous Roof top bar was not the one to miss! They have various parties like foam party, bubbles party etc. They offer free champagne to ladies from 12am-1am! This club is very different from Seduction or Tiger's Pub on Walking street in Phuket. We visited many clubs on Walking Street in Phuket! We truly had amazing time in Phuket without any inhibitions or fear of being judged. We enjoyed it just the day we wanted to! One of the best nightlife it has! We also did ATV Riding, visited Wat Phra Nang Sang Buddhist Temple etc.We went to Phi Phi Islands to snorkel in the sea by a ferry which took 2 hours to reach the island, on our Day 2 in Phuket. The ferry ride was fun. The Phi Phi Island beach was too good, very picturesque. Straight out of a movie kinda beach. Blue skies, white sand, blue waters! We took lot of pictures at Ao Tonsai Pier where we landed from ferry. The beach at the pier called as Ko Phi Phi Don is a beach that shouldn't be missed. This hotel pick up and drop day tour can be arranged from Phuket itself and is worth a single dime! You can bargain if you are in big group.Skip Pattaya by all means. Pattaya is strictly for boys/men who come to Thailand for their type of fun. Alcazar show in Pattaya is good, but it can be seen on YouTube too! Walking Street was just meh. Too many cheap people and loads of staring eyes, unlike Phuket! We regretted coming to Pattaya and only wished if we could have instead hopped on to Krabi or Koh Samui Island, nevertheless, there's always the next time!Think twice before you want to click your pictures with fancy dressed ladies (trans-gender or She-males actually!). Every picture clicked with them is charged. Even when you go to ping-pong shows, don't indulge yourself into any activity even if model approaches you. At the end you may realize, you could have coughed up hundreds of baths just to hold a balloon :P (just the way I had to..#@#!#)We had the gala time in Phuket. It is like a paradise. It had awesome nightlife! Most of the times, in clubs or bars, I, and my friend would be the only Indians with the rest of the firangs! There was no awkwardness when we went into ping-pong shows in Phuket but in Pattaya, we were literally stalked!
6. Stay in Phuket old townPatong in Phuket is a tourist attraction but Old Phuket town is quiet and has beautiful architecture. Book a guest house in old phuket town and spend a day or two just strolling around the streets. At nights the streets are lit with really pretty lights and cute shops all over the old town to take back some souvenirs for your loved ones. Strongly suggest staying at the Rommanee guest house.
There is a certain amount of fun in planning out your own itineraries. You can choose what you want to do, where you want to stay, what you want to eat and most importantly how you want to go about doing these things. Let me tell you, first of all it saves a lot of cost, if it is compared to the trip planned out with a travel agency and secondly, you don't have to be dependent on them for your own trip. Phuket 2016 was one such trip which had no planning whatsoever except the flight tickets from Kolkata to Phuket via Bangkok and hostel reservations. It was the first occasion where I relied much more on my spontneous planning skills and that of my extremely annoying but travel-seeking friend Abbas Juzer, who apparently had to spend double the amount on flight tickets coming from Dubai. This was supposedly our stress buster trip after being completely saturated at our corporate jobs and our only objective was to relax, explore, party and have a whole lot of fun. "Two bacheors, Phuket, Thailand, fun", sound fishy eh? You are left to your own imaginations in trying to interpret what that means :P
Day 1, Jan 4th, 2017: As we landed at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, we almost forgot the weariness of the journey from Guwahati the previous evening, the long wait at Kolkata airport, and the almost lack of sleep on the flight due to excitement (or was it too much coffee). Visa on arrival was done quickly enough and hassle free as we excitedly took pics from inside the car as our car sped through early morning Bangkok traffic to Don Muang airport for our flight to Phuket.
Phuket, an island so big has a lot to explore. From elephant rides to canoeing, from waterfalls to ziplining and tour to phiphi islands will take one to zenith. As we missed Indian food badly and desperately needed some spicy taste , we came across an Indian restaurant C-Food run by both Indians and Pakistani. The food is relishing, amazing and cheap in budget.In Phuket, one can visit the Bangla Road to watch out for Muay Thai fight.
Thailand seems to have lucked out when it comes to beaches. Stunners at such short distances. Spotting this tiny island from your flight, it’s surrounding emerald and jade waters leave a lasting impression on you. What a ravishing beauty!Here are the top family things to do and see @ Phuket-
Phuket is good bet to explore while one is here but the internal flight from Bangkok to Phuket was digging a big hole in our meagre pockets so we chose explore Bangkok and Pattaya thoroughly in that one week, and trust me one week was less to explore the both in and out. So the decision to leave Phuket for another time was good plan as Phuket does deserve it's share of time and is more of a romantic place than a student place as it's obviously more expensive than the low-maintenance siblings of Thailand. Vegetarians all the very best, you can always click the food if you can't eat the food.
On the very same day I reached Phuket and as soon as I reached my hostel from airport for the first time in my life, I experienced such sort of things called backpacker hostel. I stayed at Bodega hostel near Bangla Road, Patong beach. I met couple of girls who travelling since last couple of months and then there was this guy who arrived couple of days back in Phuket and few more. I started having conversation with them and trust me it felt so good as if we knew each other for so long. I got along with those people very well and right from there it set the tone for the rest of my journey.
I loved Xian. I had always wanted to see the Terracotta soldiers and I was finally there. The visual highlight was pitte...
I loved Xian. I had always wanted to see the Terracotta soldiers and I was finally there. The visual highlight was pitted 1. Nonetheless, the actual story behind the Terracotta warriors was even more intriguing. Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, had an army of life-size warriors fabricated to battle with him in the afterlife. These artifacts, produced around 210 BC, were not discovered until 1974; local peasants who were searching for a new well site accidentally unearthed the archaeological site. The terracotta warriors varied in height depending on rank, generals being the tallest. Since the excavations had commenced, warriors, chariots, and horses had been uncovered. The estimated quantity of warriors in the three pits amounts to eight thousand soldiers, one hundred and thirty chariots, and five hundred and twenty horses. Inconceivably, the majority of these estimates still lay below ground. In fact, Pit 1 was impressive because of the massive quantity of warriors that had already been uncovered. Pit 3, in contrast, was relatively small. Pit 2, although massive in size, was only excavated in one small section. Only in Pit 1 were hundreds of terracotta warriors visually lined up and prepared for battle. Apart from this we also visited, the Emperor Jindi’s tomb and museum. The excavations have been glossed over so you can WALK above the items left in the ground. In his tomb, all things are 1/3 size. I loved the layers of pigs, sheep, dogs and goats. We also walked on the wide intact city walls and enjoyed the Big Wild Goose Pagoda with its free water and light show.
Another overnight train and we are in Xi'an, one of the ten oldest cities in the world, dating back to 2205 B.C. Like Beijing, Xi'an is one of the four ancient capitals in China and the starting point of the Silk Road. We spend our first day settling down in a hostel and walking around the city. Some places we will visit are the light show at the Giant White Goose Pagoda, Shaanxi History Museum, Drum & Bell Towers, and the Muslim Quarter (food alert!). The next day we head to the famous Terracotta Army, a 45-mins drive from the city. Discovered by local farmers in 1974, the Terracotta Army is now the single biggest attraction around Xi'an. After spending almost a half a day at the site, we head back to Xi'an for a nice local dinner and some rest. On our last day in Xi'an we bike on the city wall and get our tickets for the onward journey to Xiahe.
If Xi'an were an athlete, it would be a highly decorated one. One of the four ancient capitals of China, it is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Warriors. It is also one of the top ten oldest cities in the world, believed to have been around since 2205 B.C. This is serious! Attractions- 1. The Terracotta Army- The single biggest attraction around Xi'an, the Terracotta Army was discovered by local farmers just outside the city in 1974. Most hostels and hotels arrange tours to the site, but you can take a bus from the east side of the Xi'an Railway Station and do the trip yourself. 2. Around the city- A day or two can be easily spent in Xi'an just walking around the city. You can cover the Drum and Bell Tower and the Muslim Quarter (food alert!) in a leisurely jaunt on foot. The light-show at the Giant White Goose Pagoda is worth a visit. Be there early to get good seats. Don't leave without bicycling on the city wall and getting amazing views of the city. 3. HuaShan- A two-hour bus ride away from the city this mountain is famous for its spectacular sunrises and the soldier's path. Try to climb the mountain in the dark to experience an amazing sunrise at the top.
Ho Chi Minh City
We landed in HCMC or Saigon as it is more popularly known late morning on Christmas day. Booking a prepaid cab (first mi...
We landed in HCMC or Saigon as it is more popularly known late morning on Christmas day. Booking a prepaid cab (first mistake) from the airport we set off for our hostel in District 5. The place was a proper boutique hostel called 'The Common Room Project' and was situated in a quiet lane far from the blaring horns and loud pub music. Beautifully set up with probably the most comfortable bed I would have on the trip, it had everything one needs to take a break from a hectic vacation. Only problem was that this was the start of our vacation, and a break is not what we wanted at all. So we dumped our backpacks and immediately took off to explore the city. The sights and smells of Saigon are vaguely familiar to India with lots of street food hawkers, not too many high-rises and lots and lots of two-wheelers on the streets. However, the key difference was the level of cleanliness which was far better than any Indian city. Our first stop was The Reunification Palace which had been the seat of the South Vietnamese government before the North Vietnamese army stormed the walls and forced their surrender effectively ending the Vietnam War. For a history buff like me, the perfectly preserved ballrooms and conference rooms, and the American Huey on the roof was utopia. Quite naturally, our next stop was the War Remnants Museum a short walk away which was full of American tanks, helicopters and fighter jets, along with photo galleries of anti-war protests from around the world, and unexploded ordinances. The museum takes a dark turn as you visit the exhibits on Agent Orange and War Crimes and the mock-ups of the South Vietnamese torture chambers. With both of us visibly shaken and needing a drink, we headed off to Bui Vien Walking Street and went to a couple of pubs and got drunk through the evening. Returning to our hostel, we socialized for a bit with the people there before calling it a day.
Most of the place you visit there are either linked to or remind you of the brutality of the wars faced by the country over the years, notable are Cu chi tunnels, Presidential palace, fine arts museum etc. Other notable places of tourist interest are Ben Thanh market, Notre Dame Cathedral and central post office opposite to it.
After two days in Vung tau, I was back in Ho Chi Minh city. I didn’t take more than two days to experience the daytime buzz and nightlife charm of the city. There are various cafés and restaurants spread around the old town of Saigon to try the special Vietnamese coffee and local delicacies. Nightlife is best enjoyed by chilling out in the Bui Vien street which is the main backpacker hub, with Saigon special beer in one of the many street bar cafés.
The city of Ho Chi Minh offers an array of food to its locals and tourists. They use fresh, simple ingredients to create complex flavours. A food trip to the city of Saigon ( as many people refer to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam) can turn into one of the most memorable ones if you know what to have and where to have it. Here are some of the most popular Vietnamese food that must try:
Taxi to Ho Chi minh city: 4hours, $100
2 nights in Grand Silverland Hotel
Where: VietnamFormerly known as Saigon, the largest city of Vietnam is a living and flourishing symbol of the resilient Vietnamese spirit. Despite several phases of conflict and political turmoils, Ho Chi Minh City lives on and how!Weather: Average temperature remains a comfortable 30 degree Celsius throughout July. But the minimum temperature drops to a pleasant 24 degree Celsius at night.
Feb 10: Day 1: Saigon/Ho Chi Minh CityComplete your visa and immigration formalities at the airport. Dont forget to exchange your currency to Vietnamese Dong before you step out in their land. Around 50 - 100 USD is good to start. You will also find many exchange centers all over Vietnam. Also make sure you have the Visa stamped correctly and keep your passport safe.Outside of the airport you will see City Bus. Ask anyone (who might speak English) for bus# 152. Mostly it would be there right in front of you waiting for you. This bus takes 5000 VND and will drop you at the hostel zone / Ben Thanh market. From here its your choice how you travel to your hostel / hotel. PS: This is District 1Also, from the airport you can hire the taxi. It would be no where close to 5000 VND.I stayed the night at Himalaya Phoenix Hostel. Good place, will give you a quiet sleep. Helpful reception.Take a city tour on a Xe Om or rent a motorbike. This city! trust me is very beautiful. I didnt expect it to have such good cathedrals, pagodas, palaces and glowing skyscrapers.. If you plan to do it on Xe Om, make sure you decide the hourly price first and also remember the places he mentioned. This is just to avoid any cheating/confusion. Next on your target: Ben Thanh market. Its huge!!! I think you will find everything here and with good bargaining skills you will get what you want. I stayed just 1 night in Saigon. I had no plans of cu chi tunnels or mekong delta. Leave those to the people who plan to stay long and who like touristy places.
After landing to ho chi minh city, We felt the drastic change in the panorama of the city. It is a metropolitan city, commonly referred as Saigon. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent republic of South Vietnam.On July 1976, It was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after revolutionary leader Hồ Chí Minh. It is a hub of various companies. It took us an hr to reach the hotel from airport. After check-in, we went out in search of food. To my surprise, our hotel was in one of the famous streets of Ho Chi Minh city, "bui vien street", full of restaurants, nightlife, roadside pubs, discos. After having brunch, we headed towards the War Remnants Museum. It was a takeaway experience. After going to every floor, our minds were so lost, thinking of the sufferings, sacrifices and compromises of the vietnam. The history of vietnam is very deep, full of war and the support from the world. Then we visited various attractions like Jade Emprorer Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Saigon Opera House, Nguyen Hue Street, Ho Chi Minh squares and the famous Ben Thanh Market. Next day, we planned to visit Cu chi tunnels but unfortunately, it rained heavily. So, we missed it. But anyways we enjoyed the city very much. Vietnam is indeed a beautiful country.... Hence proved..
Cruelly made infamous by the American intervention in the late '60s, Vietnam is a mystical land that deserves to be navigated by every serious backpacker. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is the capital and largest city in Vietnam, making it the melange of everything the now stable country stands for. With its high-octane energy on the streets, the finest hotels alongside, and the most expensive of boutiques at the photogenic squares, HCMC spoils tourists and changes their perspective about the country forever.Famous for: Food and art.Things to do: Visit the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts. Nibble on street food.Weather in January: Average temperature is 30 degrees celsius, but remains pleasant all though the day.Average budget per head for 5 days (excluding flights): Rs. 46,000For more details, read this.
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Called the Oxford of the East, Pune is a bubbling cosmopolitan city. A large student hub, this city loves art, culture a...
Day 14: September 30, 2015:I left Pune at 9 AM and began riding towards bangalore. The first leg of the return went peacefully as I reached the outskirts of Kolhapur. A small break for lime soda and I immediately continued riding towards Belgaum. As i crossed Belgaum it was about 2:30 PM.I knew that reaching bangalore by 10 or 11 PM was easy if I continued without a break. Just as I crossed Hubli an near Havery, traffic cops had blocked the highway and diverted traffic towards Ranebennur and from there I had to deviate towards Davanagere. When I reached Davanagere, it was almost 630PM, due to the road condition through the villages.I had a tea and continued towards Tumkur, It was almost 10 PM when I was a few kilometers before Tumkur town. What I hadn't seen in more than a week came back to haunt me. The rain gods came down heavily and the remaining 80 kms to reach home was spent well in getting drenched.When I finally entered bangalore, it was 1145 PM. I had travelled a total of 940 kms in a little less 15 hours. I was trembling and couldn't stand on my feet as the last day journey had taken a toll on me.Finally, I had completed a full 6200 odd kms in about 15 days, going through a lot of "hardship", meeting a few friends, visiting a few places and experiencing unknown roads of the country.It is time to end the blog with a note that everyone should travel to some unknown destination by their own at some point of time in their lives.
Source and Destination city for flight: Pune(PNQ) --> New Delhi(DEL) --> Siliguri(IXB)The price of prepaid taxi was fixed, I was charged 2200 INR for private taxi in December 2016.
The plan was again for Andaman and Nicobar islands , but because it so seemed a far cry , we were obliged to drop the ‘An’ from Andaman.The same group as last time , almost . Just that this time , in the place of the non-kafir , we had Prat amongst us. The packing was done , the bookings were done. Our itinerary was supposed to be of a three-day trip : First travel to Daman , then to Diu (which is a fifteen-hour bus journey from Daman) , back to Daman , a detour to Udvada , the small ghost town of Parsis (Zoroastrians) where a fire has been burning at Atash Behram for more than a thousand years ! without any seventh-year itches , or thousand-and-one-year itches , and then back to home.I had even drawn a customized map , carefully noting the distances and time between the spots we had planned to visit.We were just one day away from the impending journey , and this is where things went awry – violent showers showed up at Daman and Diu.While planning the journey , we had carefully picked up the dates with the brightest , immaculate sun shining on the website portal. Nevertheless, the website defied us – Weather went south !Nonetheless , the following night , a pack of six foolhardy youths sneaked out of their college periphery (owing to lack of permission) and set out to set the Thames on fire ! or the Arabian sea , or… hell! the Gulf of Cambay on fire !!!
We started off at Pune , all set for Aurangabad , sneaked out of the college at 8 pm pretending to be going for random chores , because the college won’t allow us to leave. Once out, we set off for the railway station and boarded a train to Aurangabad.Once in Aurangabad , we right away started our journey after a few samosas on a booked brand new Innova.It was drizzling and the pristine grasslands , hills and forests on the way made the scene even more picturesque. After an hour of travelling, we halted at a petrol pump to pour some fluid into the car and in turn , empty out some of our fluid. But were confronted by a harsh dilemma. There was just a ladies toilet available ( so are men just supposed to pee around wetting random bushes? ) which led us to hold our urges a little longer . However ,N2 and N3 , antiblack and notsowhite , loose cannons that they were , couldn’t keep up and surrendered in the face of their more faithful callings. They peed in the ladies toilet , and that too, in the wash basin , because they didn’t have sound comprehension about how to use the female facility ( how could we possibly have known? Given our decorum of not sneaking into the lady facilities so often).
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It was a long time we went with family for an outing. I and Arriesh's family were planning to visit a place which would be relaxing and close to nature. Being the nearest beach from Pune, we finalized Alibaug. We hired a cab and started from Pune at 7:00 AM in the morning.
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Located off the coast of Bay of Bengal is Tamil Nadu’s capital and India’s fourth largest city. Formerly known as Ma...
So, the plan for this trip started way back in June 2017, when we decided to book a flight to Egypt(Always on top of our bucket list). As we are budget backpackers, we always want a cheap and convenient flight. For any trip plan, we decide the cities we wish to see and the number of days we have to take off from office. Finally we fixed the date Jan 26-31 ,2018 and the flight rate came to 26000 INR per head in July after Yatra Offers. So flight Ticket- Done!.After few months, The next big thing for the travel plan came to Hotel Accommodation,Visa and Forex. In December, we used Hostelworld to book accommodation in Cairo(Reserved) and Luxor(Reserved) for Visa Purposes. Our Egypt tourist Visa were processed by musafir.com. The Visa fees along with processing fees and tax came to 4350 INR per per head.Started our plan for itinerary in Jan first week, decided to stay 3 days in Cairo and 2 days in Luxor. Our Final plan looked like this:Day-126Jan 250AM chennai - 550AM Kuwait26Jan 10:00AM kuwait - 12:10Noon - cairo.. Take Metro to Rameses Station - Walk to New Palace Hostel - Check IN by 1pm..Take rest..Start at 3pm..visit Al-Azhar Mosque,Citadel of Salah El Din,Mosque of Md Ali and back to room by 8.Day-2 - Jan27Check Out - Leave Bags - Start by 7 and reach Pyramid Giza complex((khufu & Khafre) & Great Sphinx)..spend till 1pm. Reach Museum(Must visit rooms 3,4,9,35,46,56) by 2pm..spend till 5pm..back to hotel and take the bags..Get to Ramses Station by 8..get train ticket or board train 86 at 910PMDay-3 - Jan28Reach Luxor 610AM..Reach New Everest hotel at 8AM Check-In get settled and start at 9AM..Reach West Bank (All places 6AM-5PM). Ramesseum,Temples of NoblesValley of the Kings - KV62-tutakhamen,Temple of Medinat Habu,Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari. Return back to Hotel by 8Day-4 - Jan29Check Our and Leave the bags. Start by 8..visit Temple of Karnak 6AM-5PM and 4PM-9PM in the morning and Luxor Temple - 6AM-9PM - 60LE by noon..Back to Hotel by 8 and take the bags..Reach Luxor station and board train to cairo at 940PMDay-5 - Jan30Reach Cairo Rameses Station..Check In New Palace Hotel. Visit hanging church,coptic museum and saqqara pyramid, Khan el khaili if time permits in evening and return back to hotelDay-6 - Jan31Start at 8AM..visit Baron Empain Palace(must-see) Reach airport by 11AM and then back to Chennai on Feb 1, 1:30 AM.A week before our trip, we went to Maharaja Forex to get Egyptian pounds we needed. But due to limited stock and higher conversion rate(1LE=4INR) we exchanged 15000 INR to 250 USD, so that we can change it to EGP in Cairo Airport which eventually came to 4500 EGP. We also had our International credit cards covered.
So I started from Chennai on 21st night. Had booked KSRTC Rajahamsa Executive bus, which starts at 22:09. Those are quite good for ₹450. Reached CMBT by 9 on train and metro rail. Had some chana poori at the bus terminus. Found out my shoes got torn on my way, so bought a new pair of slippers from a shop inside the terminus, and dumped the old one.Bus started almost on time. Put my earphones on, for Leviathan Chronicles podcast. But have a long bike trip next day, so had to doze off early. Just to be clear though, I am not the one whose gonna drive.Day 1
Hi i am AJ Cruz (@ajcruzing)This is my ride to Munnar , Kerela .With tha people i just met that morning of the same dau we started the ride .It was an Epic JourneyLet me put this into a timeline format for you guys to catch up on it.this was DAY 1 .4AM - Woke up4:30AM - i reached the meeting point and introduced myself with the other riders .4:40AM - we took off from our meeting point in chennai after a quick chai .
1) SMS Cafe, Alwarpet
It was that moment, all cousins at one place, one topic lets take a road trip and after researching the offbeat places,the trip to Pichavaram was planned.
Finally Chennai.That night I stayed at my relative's place. Plan for day was to meet couple of my friends working here. This went through peacefully but the night there was filled with thunderstorm and heavy rains. All the trees were falling down on the highway so had to find a shelter. Closest one - Mahindra World City, chengalpattu. Every thing was going according to budget until this point but had to cash out Rs.5200 for a night in holiday inn express. Chose it due to lack of options. Bear with me, this was post 2 hours in the rain cheater and I'm done for the day.
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Rajasthan’s opulent capital is a magical land brimming with desert camps and lakeside palaces. Sitting on the edge of ...
We started at 10:30, my uncle and me after a scrumptious breakfast. We first took to the places where a traveller would go. The beautiful route had a cherry topping added to it with the stories my travel partner told me, he showed me the place where he camped in his school time and why the government banned the place.
Before leaving, we visited a local market, and tried and bought different kinds of namkeens or savory snacks. A visit to Jaipur is incomplete without trying its namkeens. The name 'Pink City' for this city is justified as not only its houses are painted in pink but also one receives a warm welcome.Note: There were 8 people in total. We booked 3 rooms in a budget hotel for 2 days and 1 night, and a traveler for to-and-fro and visiting locales. Shortage of pictures is because of lack of interest in photography then.
a. On reaching Jaipur, immediately went to cover the places on my list. I covered Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jantar Mantar, Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Birla temple and Chand Baori. All along I commuted through Metro or local bus. On finishing the tour, I went to catch the train to Delhi and then to Nagpur.
After exploring Pushkar enough, we took a train to the city of Forts, Jaipur. Again it was my second time in Jaipur but this time managed to explore more places which made me nostalgic all over again. That beauty of Hawa Mahal in the evening, magical Jantar mantar and range of forts made us wonder on how they created all these miracles.
#Jaipur, the pink city of beautiful state Rajasthan is a sign of magnificence and vividness. It is a first planned city of India and largest city of Rajasthan. However, state Rajasthan is a complete place for its visitors as the beauty and essence of rich traditional culture can be found in each and every corner of the state. But Jaipur established its recognition as a versatile tourist destination as it offers superb fortresses, serene temples, amazing havelis and royal palaces. If you are a lover of culture and architecture, like me then you would surely love this royal place. Jaipur is also well-known for its handicrafts and the amazing collection of jewelleries. This fabulous landscape is a perfect blend of palaces, art, culture, and rich Indian tradition. Jaipur is the right place for photographers to capture the beauty & culture of this historical city. If you really want to know about the roots of Indian culture and tradition, then you must visit this place.#How to reach Jaipur:Jaipur can be reached from anywhere in India due to its good connectivity. Jaipur is well connected to all the major cities of India; you can either go by train, by air or by airways.>>>Through Train:You can easily get various trains for Jaipur from Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Patna, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kota and many other popular cities of India. Jaipur has three railway stations, Jaipur Junction, Durgapura and Gandhinagar. Jaipur Junction is a main stoppage of all trains and few trains also stop at other two stations as well.>>>Through Airways:Jaipur airport, situated at Sanganer offers frequent flights to and from many major cities of India, including the national capital Delhi.>>>Through Road or Buses:Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation offers excellent bus services for Jaipur to Delhi. You can easily get many A/C and non A/C buses on every half an hour. Apart from Delhi, many express buses are also available to and from Jaipur. Jaipur has a good and well-connected highway so you can go by car or taxi as well.#Places to visit in Jaipur:I have visited this royal city before 2 months and really this was my most memorable experience of touring Jaipur. Jaipur city has beautiful historical palaces and forts which gives the glimpse of old Indian Architecture design. Here I have listed some of the most important charms of Jaipur, that can’t be missed if visit jaipur.>>>Amer Fort: Amer Fort is one of the prime attractions of Jaipur and located 11 kilometers from Jaipur. This fort is also called as Amber Fort; a beautiful fort is well-known for its majestic surroundings and spectacular palaces. If you like to experience the Hindu and Muslim architecture together, then you would surely love it. The red sandstone and white marble pavilions are the most delightful experience of this fort.>>>Jaigarh Fort: This beautiful creation of Maharaja Jai Singh is just located at around 900 meters from the Amber Fort. This spectacular fort is standing on the hilltop so you can explore the entire city of Jaipur from its top. The panoramic views of the pink city can be best seen from this fort. Jaigarh Fort is also called as Victory Fort.>>>Hawa Mahal: This is a most important attraction of Jaipur, located on the southern part of the city. This amazing five storied building contains a well designed museum, depicting the past and present of Jaipur. The stunning Hawa Mahal can be best visited at the morning time when the golden rays of sun touches to it. Hawa Mahal is also known as the Palace of Winds.>>>Nahargarh Fort: This glorious fort is located on the edge of Aravalli Hills. Nahargarh depicts the royal legacy of Rajasthan. If you are a wildlife lover, then you must visit this place while touring Jaipur. It is believed that this fort was considered as a hunting residence of the kings.>>>Jantar Mantar: This is one of the most beautiful places of Jaipur, crafted with marble and local stone. Jantar Mantar is declared as a national monument where you can explore a vast collection of astronomical devices that help to foresee eclipse, find earth orbits, track stars and much more.After exploring these magnificent places, don’t forget to visit other beautiful charms of the city like City Palace, Jal Mahal, Albert Hall, Govind Devji Temple, Raj Mandir Cinema, Laxmi Narayan Temple and so on.#Nearby Places to visit:>>Bagru: This is just around 28 km away from Jaipur, located at the southern part of Jaipur. This place is mainly known for its hand printed cloth industry.>>Sanganer: This is located at a distance of 15 kms from Jaipur. Sanganer is well-known for its traditional crafts. You should also visit a beautiful temple of Lord Parshwanath.>>Ramgarh Lake: This Lake is found at the 35 km north east of Jaipur. It is a good picnic spot for tourists.>>Samod: It is situated at the 40 km northwest of Jaipur. It is an old place where you can experience the great Rajput haveli architecture.Ranthambore and Sariska are the renowned wildlife sanctuaries situated near to Jaipur. All the nearby places can be easily reached from Jaipur either by bus or taxi.#Place to Stay in Jaipur:There are many option to stay in Jaipur, you can pick any of the option as per your budget. You can choose 5 star hotel, 4 star hotel, 3 star hotel, 2 star hotel, Budget hotel, Guesthouse, Apartment and so on. All the hotels are quite luxurious and provide all essential amenities, depending on their charges.The Raj Palace is a most luxurious 5 star hotel of Jaipur but quite expensive as well. If you can afford this, then you must stay over there to live royal life. Hotel Meghniwas, Clarks Amer, Hotel Bissau Palace, Dera Rawatsar, Saba Haveli, Hotel Om Tower, Hotel Mansingh, Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur Inn, and many more are the budgeted options to stay in Jaipur.My visit to Jaipur was amazing and I am sure you will also equally enjoy this place as I did. Make sure you don’t miss the must seen places of Jaipur. Shopping was the other most interesting part of my visit; in fact it was a real treat for me. There are many fabulous places that offer many high quality items. You can visit Anokhi, Kripal Kumbh, Art Chill, Gem Palace, and Hot Pink. These are the best places to shop. So, plan your trip to Jaipur and enjoy thoroughly. But yeah i would suggest you to stay at Zostel Jaipur. It's a nice and big property, beautiful location with everything just minutes away. The common room and everything are beautifully equipped and the best part is the kitchen and the coffee machine. Terrace is nice, but would have been nice if decorated like Rishikesh zostel.Zostel is India’s first chain of backpackers’ hostels. Hostels for travellers are a popular concept across Europe (not to be confused with school/college hostels). They are budget accommodations which are perfect for people travelling on a shoe-string budget. They go beyond accommodation and focus on travel as a lifestyle. Zostel is a facilitator that helps people gather new experiences and to #LiveItNow.PS: This is not an advertisement for Zostel. I just loved staying with them. Hence sharing the experience.
We boarded an overnight train from Bairagarh Raliway Station (near Bhopal) and reached Jaipur Railway Station by 9:30 am. The metro station is just nearby and we boarded the metro till Chandpole. We had a cup of tea just in front of the metro station and started searching for a room to freshen up. A cycle rickshaw driver took us to Simla Hotel which satisfied our needs as it was at a walkable distance from all the spots that we wanted to cover that day. We got two big rooms for quite reasonable price. After refreshing a bit, we entered into the sights of Jaipur.As soon as you will step into the streets of Jaipur, you will get to know why its called The Pink City. All the buildings across the street are painted in a terracotta “pink” colour which represents welcoming and hospitality. The paint was produced from a Calcium Oxide compound and is extremely durable in the arid conditions of Jaipur.