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ShiviApril 11, 202012min1210

 

The hunger to travel never ends. This endless lust for travel is relatable with all the wanderlust out there. Yeah, well, even I’m not able to travel, thus what to do? 

There is a way to break this, read books, by reading books on travel we can satisfy our wanderlust in the tough corona times. Keep reading…

When you enter a search into Google on why we travel, it takes you to detailed articles of ‘Can travel make you more creative?’, ‘Can travel make you fall in love?’ and much more. While some of these may be completely clickjacking, I can’t help but admire the emphasis we all have on the act called travelling. 

Now as we all are chained to chair at work for a long time which does not seem to end soon, I pay my, condolences to my friends who are in dire need of a holiday and aren’t able to. When you have this kind of heartbreak, only a quick trip can fix it. But sadly not right now, in the times of Corona Pandemic. 

I feel sad to hear the stories of lockdown, with no pleasure of travel at all. And then I hear lockdown on the borders and travel ban imposed across the world. I can’t help but feel a sting of worry. Some of us have lovers self-isolating 8,000 miles away and that seems like an unreasonable situation to be in. But if I thought mine was a sad story too, but it’s hard not to think the world without travel writers, travel influencers, content writers, reporters, whose duties are connected with free movement and travel all over and now almost verbose in a worldwide lockdown.

Now that we are in isolation because of the pandemic-inflicted world, free movement is like a distant dream. The month of April is usually when people move out for travel as the exams get over, then Good Friday and other long weekends. Regrettably, for most of us, COVID-19 has assured the derailment of our travel plans. Nevertheless, when one inspiration runs dry, there are many others to keep yourself immerse into positive things. 

So whatever your reasons for travel may be, post-Corona you guys will have to wait for a longer time as the travel industry will be the worst hit. Small hotels, homestays, will have a hard time to recover. I would recommend you to get yourself your favourite cup of tea of a cup or coffee, then, find your much-loved corner or a place on the couch and let the travel stories take you to an exile, many miles away. 

 

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Pico Iyer’s Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells (2019)

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

 

In his most recent publication, Iyer snaps down his view on travel on answering to his longtime home in Japan. As a nation whose calendar is characterised by occasions to honour the dead, come autumn, he represents Japan from a new prospect and directs on the mundane routines that unite people’s lives. 

 

Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land (1992)

“But now, travelling down that road after so many years I felt no excitement at all, only an old, familiar sensation, one that had always accompanied me on my way back from Damanhour, no matter whether I’d been away an hour or a week: the lassitude of homecoming mixed with a quiet sense of dread.”

 

Known as one of his best works, Ghosh takes the reader on a journey from England to Egypt by this book. He goes in quest of a despicable slave from the 12th century, but during his travels, he meets the interaction of varied faiths, holy men, retailers and alchemists. His story is one that genres and ages and envelops the reader in a well-travelled past.

 

Shivya Nath’s The Shooting Star (2018)

“I remember the years I had been too afraid to dream of sitting on the ledge of a humble yellow house, chatting with a family that wasn’t my own, chatting in a language that wasn’t my own, in a part of the world so far away from the one I grew up in and yet not that different.”

 

Shivya Nath’s debut bestows her story from when she quit her 9-to-5 corporate job and travelled the world for seven years, the last two without a permanent address. Her goal to convert from an average girl to a free-movement soul is apparent throughout the book and she endeavours to create a new life and reinvent herself through this journey from the foothills of the Himalayas to the tropics of Ecuador. 

 

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love (2006)

“Traveling is the great true love of my life… I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby—I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.”

 

One of the bestsellers of 2006 and later a blockbuster on the big screen in 2010, Eat, Pray, Love is a must-read for readers viewing to hit the reset switch on their lives. Following her divorce, Gilbert travels to Italy, India and Indonesia, learns a new language, submerges herself in a new culture and along the way takes an inward journey into what it means to truly be happy with oneself.

 

books to read

 

These are some of the travel books which I loved and thought that can satisfy other people wanderlust as well. If you have any comments about this blog please leave on the comment section. In case you are interested in reading any specific blogs please let us know by clicking here and we will try to publish it soon.

 


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ShiviDecember 18, 201911min1200

 

Ecotourism in Goa – Be A Responsible Traveller – We all know Goa is known for what all…

Once a hippy-paradise with swinging palms and the exclusive coco-hut, Goa is one of India’s highlights as the perfect beach and honeymoon destination. Over recent years, we have seen Goa growing at its own pace and has become a victim of its own success as well. We all must have heard that Goa has ruined now. Goa is expensive, Goa has become dirty, the beaches are overcrowded. Also, we would hear that Goa is destroyed by over construction and over-tourism.

 

goa beach sunset

 

 

What is Then, Which is Ruining Goa!

Additionally, we have heard and known about numerous reports saying that Goa has been destroyed because of over-tourism, expensive food, expensive shacks, etc. What do you think is true? Or it is a hoax? When I went to Goa recently I figured it out and went to the interior of North Goa to discover what is it? And why this notion is so much-hyped. Although Goa is rightly known as a beach destination, there’s bounty more to the beauty of Goa than coconuts and cocktails and of course night clubs.

 

goa houses

 

 

Dive Into The Diversity of Goa – Ecotourism in Goa

Goa’s interiors are rich in biodiversity and wildlife (where they haven’t been endangered by increasing as much as on the coast, but more development *is* acting as a threat). Goa is dwelling to six national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, extending from north to south. I don’t suggest all of these, as some of the wildlife sanctuaries appear to be little more than zoos, with animals kept on chains (I don’t prefer this personally). Beautiful Netravali Wildlife Reserve, although, I can vouch for this place.

 

goa traditional design houses

 

The interiors and ghats offer some gorgeous nature habitats in Goa, or you can stay nearer to the beaches and traverse the backwaters of Goa (yes Goa does have backwaters) and – mostly ignored by visitors but, yes significantly and critically important – mangroves.

Fishermen offer dolphin watching excursions can be observed on most beaches in Goa, but regrettably, dolphin watching trips have led to objections of their own. In several cases dolphins find themselves being aggressively trailed in the sake of satisfying tourists rather than being viewed from a reverent distance.

 

goa life

 

 

It is absolutely possible to enjoy this side of stunning Goa responsibly though; here my small list of some of the best operatives that you can sustain and support. Given a huge number of people that throng to Goa, it’s exceptionally critical to be watchful of our impact in Goa. Here are some valuable ways “you can and we all can” help define our impact on Goa – Ecotourism In Goa…

 

eco tourism goa nature

 

 

Goa is encumbered with tourists just coming to lynch on the beach. There’s nothing wrong with dangling on the beach but when you come to Goa, do your bit as well. What you can do, try to learn about the rich Goan culture and cuisines too, even if you don’t eat seafood, learn about them. Try a spice plantation tour, kayaking in Goa’s backwaters, or an opportunity to taste the local feni. Consider the lesser-known places and spots in Goa or take an opportunity to explore the island, which is also very intriguing.

 

portuguese church goa

 

Goa lacks in recycling infrastructure and recycling of plastic etc. and gradually due to the huge number of tourists the volume of single-use plastic has been a critical issue. Avoid bottled water whenever travel in India (take a pledge) and other single-use plastic items – so what shall you do? carry your bamboo straw and eat in takeaways parcels or dishes.

 

ecotourism goa plastic reuse

 

 

Goa has a water deficiency. It might not look like it, but the water often gets redirected away from homes to resorts, leaving locals with not much water to use. Avoid resorts with swimming pools, especially which are near the beach (consider the sea as best swimming pool, Yeah!) and be attentive to your water waste – take short showers, not long baths, turn taps off while cleaning teeth.

Although Goa is moderately liberal compared to some parts of India, you should still be courteous in how you dress. Leaving the beach and moving out until the resort or homestay is not Cool!! please wear a sarong or some loose clothes. Shorts are usually fine but not the kind that reveals your peachy butt. 

 

candolim goa beach

 

Not everyone in Goa is party lovers, be mindful of this as well. We’re not trying to tell you to be spoilsports, but all of the parties in Goa and night clubs have in a certain way have taken a toll on local culture, wildlife (because of the noise) and have immensely caused pollution too. If you’re in Goa to party, please be considerate of others and respect other tourists.

 

goa travel

 

Drugs are completely illegal in all of India, make sure you don’t end up putting you in trouble. You are in Goa to witness the expanse of the ocean, lovely beaches, sexy shorelines, beautiful architecture (from the Portuguese times) and a lot more, thus please explore wisely for not to harm nature.

 

 

goa architecture

 

 

Ecotourism In Goa, It’s Time To Hit It Right!

Last but not least, my list will not end (haha) try to stay in homestays and resorts that are with eco-credentials as far as possible. Plenty of suggestions in this guide, WOFF, don’t skip, read them all, for next time you travel, you contribute to nature!

 

For more travel blogs, guides, and writings hop-in here!

 

vagator goa

 

 


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ShiviNovember 18, 20197min2260

How to rekindle and make new friends, while on a work trip to a new country/destination?

It was a beautiful Monday morning and I was checking my E-mails in the office, while one of the E-mail suddenly grasped my attention. My boss has asked me to provide my passport details, in which later on I found out that I am supposed to travel for work perspective to Hong-Kong for a month. It was surprising and intriguing to me. This was a short trip where I was supposed to meet clients and channelize the desk work to foreign clients of my company. Being an introvert guy and single, this notion of travelling alone to a different country makes me crazy. It is not that I have not travelled before, I did and I was always accompanied by some of the other office colleagues which were not the case this time. Anyways not much of the option the day of my travel arrived and finally I departed and landed in a new country, Hong Kong.

What’s Next…

I reached to the hotel, settled myself and then rushed to the office as it was my first day in the new town. I was decked up and then the day came to an end and my fear started popping up, more I was closer to my hotel, lonelier I was feeling. It was just the first day in the country where I have landed and has not spent even 24 hrs and already homesickness started biting me. After dinner, I went for a walk down the lane near the central park. I saw all the new culture and people around me. Sitting quietly on a bench, I was browsing on the internet and saw an ad of an app which mentioned how you can make friends at an alien place. For an expat like me, this idea of making friends at foreign territory hit me though I have not registered myself.

Registering and Rediscovering

Next day after my office I moved out of my hotel and went to a pub, sitting alone and lonely watching people talking, laughing, and smiling with each other. I gulped in a couple of drinks and saw one lady name not revealed was sitting alone. I approached her and we started chatting here and there. I asked her number so that we can connect later on and she politely denied and I understood this was a very short meeting which can only last for some hrs etc.

When I was heading back to my hotel I decided that I am going to give it a shot. I registered and started looking for accomplices who are there in Hong Kong and soon I found one person called Rachel (name changed).

She was a lawyer and was there in Hong Kong for an assignment for a couple of weeks. We met at a place called SpeakEasy (old town of Hong Kong) and get along immediately. We started talking about how lonely and alone a person feels when they are in a new city or a new country. How you feel lost in the new culture and new place? And how apps help in making life easy for all those people who are just looking for a good and genuine company when you are travelling. It can be for work or you are just a traveller, everyone needs to be with someone to share thoughts. Even if you are a backpacker or a solo traveller, you would like to explore and mingle with local culture and communities, which is again a daunting task. Nevertheless, this app helped me in achieving that a bit.

 

make friends while travel

Finding a companion while travelling

We met a couple of times and roamed around the city together visiting new places. She has been to Hong Kong before that makes it easy for me since she knows a lot of places and helps me in discovering those which was not easy for me to explore so easily without me wasting time looking on the internet.

Before we said a final goodbye to each other we met one last time where we first met and I told her that it was really good to have a new friend for a short period with whom you can roam around and share some experiences of yours and listen to other person’s experiences. Rachel immediately agreed to me and said that how her last couple of visits were not that great and this time after we started moving out together exploring places was a different experience altogether.

Those people who are going on a short or a long tour and are looking for some companionship since they feel lonely, I will suggest them to look for mobile applications like Couchsurfing etc. and register as it a different experience to be with some person chatting and talking and exploring new destinations.

 

Leave your comments on how you met your friends while travelling!


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ShiviOctober 15, 201911min660

Breaks from work are something we all need in our lives. Tranquil destinations, sexy beach lines, gorgeous skyscrapers, listed and busty markets, etc. are which we all look forward to when we are on vacations. We all look forward to Diwali holidays, whether we are in school, college or at the workplace. In India, Diwali holidays are being eagerly waited and if we can club a weekend with our Diwali vacations, nothing’s better than this. With this, we get the perfect excuse for international destinations to tap for. Visit international destinations this Diwali with your family and friends. Going international is something which I’m not promoting though, Indian destinations are equally bright and shining. But opting international destinations on Diwali gives an opportunity to explore how Diwali among Indian communities are celebrated abroad. Here are 8 International Destinations To Light Up Your Diwali for sure:

Singapore

Singapore is a different and obvious choice when planning a trip to International destinations on Diwali. Other than the major vacationist attractions of the city, you can visit Little India to explore the bright lights, fireworks, and decoration. Singapore has a prominent presence of Hindu culture that gives Diwali celebrations in Singapore an Indian feel. After the little red dot country indulges yourself in Diwali shopping at Orchard Road.

 

Singapore diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Dubai

Just a neighbouring country, with a very short span of flight away, is Dubai. This stunning and bustling city with shopping malls, markets and humungous buildings make sit a perfect destination for Diwali breaks. Moreover, a mid-week chunk of the population in Dubai is Indian, which is an added advantage to witness Diwali in its own way. all the more it is an action-packed celebration! What all you can see in Dubai – view of the city from Burj Khalifa, Mall crawl, an evening at the Dubai Fountains – it’s free!

 

dubai diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bangkok

Bangkok is a gorgeous destination to visit round the year, thus, this Diwali you can surely visit Bangkok for some celebrations and decorations. Bangkok is convincingly one of the most suitable options. Ostentatious malls, multi-cuisine eateries, ancient temples and pagodas, exquisite beaches, and various entertainment parks make this city an impeccable package for a fun-filled vacation. The major sightseeing in Bangkok is – Reclining Buddha temple, Tiger Temple, Bangkok Zoo and Safari World, Floating market and many more.

 

bangkok diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Bali, an unbeatable international destination this Diwali

Known best among honeymooners, Bali is undoubtedly a destination to visit. But why on Diwali, yes, it is one of the favourite holiday destinations for beach bums and makes a superb holiday destination around Diwali. November is the best time to plan a tropical beach vacation, especially if you want to avoid the season swarms and get yourself a placid vacation. The best things to do in Bali are: Surfers will love to surf the Balian beach, don’t miss the Bali theatre performance and of course visit to the Uluwatu Temple and no surprises Ubud for a relaxing Diwali vacation.

 

bali diwali holiday

 

Check for flights accommodations here

Malaysia

The enchanting islands, stretching beaches, and chic resorts make Malaysia one of the most desirable international destinations to visit on Diwali. Do visit Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi and make your Diwali bright and a fun-filled one. You can unwind at the beaches, try adventure sports, hike in the rain-forest, take a step in a casino or just climb up to the top of the Petronas Twin Towers, where you will enjoy a flabbergasting view of the city. Batu Caves, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Twin Towers are the major attractions to visit.

 

Malaysia Diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

Hong Kong

This is one of the most visited, during Diwali holidays from India. Perfect for shopping, cruises, amusement parks, Disneyland, ocean park, night clubs, museums and whatnot. Hong Kong has everything to offer to make it your enjoyable Diwali vacation. With these varieties of places to offer, Hong Kong is a hotspot for all desirous travellers, especially those travelling with family and kids. You can also cover a day trip to Macau and enjoy the peculiar beauty of the picturesque island as well. Apart from the attractions mentioned above, one can also visit Victoria peak and Lantau Island.

 

Hong Kong diwali holiday

 

Know more about Hong Kong travel and things to do.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Maldives

A group of scenic coral islands in the Indian Ocean is kenned as the Maldives. It is just 5 hours from India and quite famous among honeymooners in the World. The ritzy resorts and extrinsic water villas magnify the charm of the place. If you are looking to spend some one-on-one quality time with your family, friends or beloved, then the Maldives is the destination for you. Owing to its hassle-free travel, sun-kissed seashores that offer an assemblage of water sports, Maldives has made its way on the list of most dependable International destinations on Diwali weekend.

 

maldives diwali holiday

 

Top places to visit in the Maldives are, Mafushi, Hulhumale, Ari Atoll,  and Kuramathi.

Check for flights and accommodations here

Turkey – an amazing international destination this Diwali

Turkey is full of cultural sites, palaces, beaches, museums, and mosques that can satiate your wanderlust. All these spots can be covered with the glittering view of the Bosphorus Strait. While Asia on one side and Europe on another, this Eurasian country is a dazzling choice for a Diwali weekend trip. Exceptionally if you are in chase of an exciting vacation abroad. The major sightseeing in Turkey to go for are Bosphorus Bridge, Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and Butterfly Valley. For adventure lovers, try hot-air ballooning in Cappadocia.

 

turkey diwali holiday

 

Check for flights and accommodations here

 


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ShiviSeptember 17, 201917min960

Continued from Part 1 

Here’s the remaining part of the blog about Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip a Guide for Bikers part 2…

 

bike rentals in leh-ladakh

Bike Rentals

With the tourism soaring high you can easily get bikes on rent for Leh-Ladakh. You can get it from Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali, Shimla, Srinagar and Leh. Do remember that the bikes need a permit from Srinagar separately for Leh, as the association will not allow bikes of Srinagar to enter Leh. Thus, if you coming from Srinagar change the bikes from Leh, else you can take it from Manali, Delhi or Chandigarh. This Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip Guide will help you to plan properly.

Renting bikes can be a tricky. Getting quotes from different vendors and comparing them is a tedious and a time consuming task. You can visit BikeRentalia to compare bike rentals in Leh to choose the best rentals in no time. Try them out!

 

What All Is Needed For Bike Rent

All you need to submit is the valid ID Proof, driving licence, a consent letter and deposit if the rental company asks for. Ideally, the charges range from 900 rupees per day to 1800 rupees per day for the bike rent (depending on which type of bike you wish to hire). Delhi, Karol Bagh is the prime hub for rentals, when in Manali, you will get many near the Mall road and near the bus stand. In Leh, you will find numerous near the Leh Main Market. Also if you need to hire a mechanic then there is an extra cost for it on daily wages.

 

Best Routes for Leh-Ladakh Bike Expedition

Route 1: Manali to Leh & Back

 

 

Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,569 kilometres

Route 2: Srinagar to Leh & Back

 

 

Route Map: Delhi → Jalandhar → Jammu → Srinagar → Kargil → Leh → Karu → Sarchu → Manali → Delhi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,295 kilometres

Tip: Avoid the season of Amarnath Yatra, July to August as the road route will be crowded and have numerous check posts.

Route 3: Delhi To Leh And Back

 

Route Map: Delhi → Manali → Sarchu → Leh → Khardung La → Nubra Valley → Kargil → Srinagar → Delhi

Distance Covered: Approximately 2,022 kilometres

PS: These routes are starting from Delhi, hence the maps are showing this way, if you wish to do Leh to Leh back you can do this way as well. Then the route will be:

Leh → Khardungla → Hunder → Diskit → Nubra Valley → Pangong Lake → Changla Pass → Tso Moriri Lake → Thang Langla → Magentic Hill → Hall of Fame → Leh around and sightseeing → Back from Leh via a flight.

 

Leh to Nubra Valley

Leh to Pangong Tso

 

Leh to Tso Moriri

 

Accommodation in Leh-Ladakh

If your bike trip includes 8 to 15 days of travel, then the major points discussed above will get you fair and clean homestays and campsites. Nothing to worry as you will experience the best of Ladakhi culture and warm welcome and yes, the best of local food in Leh-Ladakh. A point to notice is that maximum of the restaurants, food joints are vegetarian, to their max they will serve you eggs. So be prepared if you are a hard-core non-veg lover. For Vegans, good news, Leh has two famous Vegan restaurants to relish great vegan dishes.

leh-ladakh accommodation

 

 

The cost for the homestays would range from 500 to 2500 per person depending on the kind of room you are taking. The rooms and campsites are well equipped with basic amenities and an attached bathroom. Please note that the Ladakh region faces water issues, thus, save water as much as you can. They rely on solar panels for hot water and electricity thus, save mother earth and our nature by conserving and respecting it.

 

camps in leh

Petrol Pumps on The Route of Leh-Ladakh

Petrol is the most crucial thing when it comes to bike tours and particularly to Ladakh. This region has less number of petrol pumps thus it is recommended that refill the tank whenever you et a petrol pump and always carry extra fuel in the jerry cans.

 

 

Petrol Pumps in Leh-Ladakh

 

 

If you are taking Srinagar to Leh route, then you would not find many issues for petrol. The bike tour from Srinagar to Leh has more dependable alternatives when it comes to petrol pumps. Get a full tank from Srinagar. Next stop is Nagpal, later, Ganderbal on the route, you will get two petrol pumps. Get a refill at Kargil, then next is at Khalsi, then it is a smooth ride to Leh. Which you can smoothly arrive in Leh. From Leh onwards do carry extra fuel as you will get one Diskit, Karu, Thangste.

 

Petrol Pumps on the route

 

If you are on the Manali-Leh route, there are four petrol pumps. Get you a tank full at Manali, later you have one at Tandi, 110 km from Manali. The next one is at Karu, 30 km from Leh. Finally, Leh city has petrol pumps. It is almost a 350km with not a single pump, hence you have to depend on the fuel you carry.

 

Acclimatization in Leh-Ladakh

While planning to ride to the ‘Land of High Passes’ you must know everything about acclimatization. The high altitude of Ladakh often gives visitors acute mountain sickness (AMS). Therefore, you need plenty of rest, fluids, exercise as well as proper nutrition to acclimatize to such heights. The higher you go up in the mountains the more there will be a lack of oxygen. Acclimatization is the very basic requirement for a successful Ladakh Bike Tour.

 

Read the next blog (Part 3) on things to do in Leh-Ladakh Bike trip and some important tips to cater to:


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ShiviMay 8, 201910min1550

Hong Kong’s Nightlife – Hong Kong is popularly known for its cosmopolitan culture and nightlife. Its dynamic nightlife is from the dice games to the swanky bars and speakeasies – each on has its own character. Thus, whether your intentions and reason to visit the country is business or personal or travel & leisure – the nightlife has to be on the charts. Like mine, it was a business visit but I made sure I had my share of nightlife in Hong Kong.

nightlife district hong kong

There are 3 things what I found while roaming around in Hong Kong and would highlight a few below:

Hong Kong is a compact country but you’ll find ample options for nightlife which are even deeper and concentrated. The narrow streets and insider hidden bars and massage parlours are in the majority. These massage parlous and bars are legal in the country. Not just the massage/spa but they are the female parlours who look for their potential customers on the side of the road and narrow market streets. For my surprise, it was legal as I mentioned above and you would get what you want. Ahah! Well, not creepy it is sensational.

Lan Kwai Fong & Soho hong kong night life massage bars

The vast majority of sky-bars, clubs and restaurants are located around the Central area of Hong Kong main island. And please see that you can cross the harbour on a boat and make your way up one of Kowloon’s highland and sexy growing list of rooftop bars too! For more on nightlife read here

“Another thing that you would find is – across these streets there are awesome pubs where people come after their hectic office schedule, have a drink or two and move on to their respective places. There are a lot of places where you can have a drink without being disturbed by anyone” (from a blogger who’s my friend)

Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo are the two most widely held areas for drinking and nightlife in Hong Kong, proposing a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Lan Kwai Fong is in the eventful and flamboyant Central Business District, while SoHo is a bit more erudite, located just south of Hollywood Road (hence the name).

Trouper drinkers often treat Lan Kwai Fong as a drawn-out warm-up before faltering into the Wan Chai area (Hong Kong’s red light district) later in the night. If it’s bludgeoning you’re after, Lan Kwai Fong hosts the city’s best dance floors and red light area. Read below my experience

One such club – Red Apple where you would pick any girl who will give you company and if you like them you can take them out but that comes with a cost and cost is really high. This club from outside looked like a normal pub. But the moment you will enter you will find many chicks dressed heavily and sexy on the floor.  I sat on the table near to bartender, then, one of the females came and started talking to me, asking me what I do and all that stuff.  Then she kept one of her hand on my shoulder asking me to come to the corner.  Ultimately she told me I can take her out if I am interested and these are the charges. Wooo.. this I experienced for the first time and was crazy. (from a blogger who’s my friend)

lan-kwai-fong-nightlife travel blog hong kong

Other than this, there are nightlife districts in Hong Kong such as:

Temple Street Night Market – Yau Ma Tei Kowloon

Nightlife in Kowloon brags a whole host of rooftop bars and clubs that take the full lead of awe-inspiring views crossways the bay to Hong Kong Island. Bars like Ozone is the ‘highest bar in the world’, Aqua spirit, Eyebar and many more. You will find sky-bars and site of the red light area as well.

Causeway Bay nightlife

Causeway bay actually does not have many late night clubs and bars but if you looking for clam and relaxes speakeasies and bars this place is the best for you in Hong Kong. Causeway Bay’s proclivity for delightful vantage points and some friendly local bars will lure you to get integrate yourself into some lively bar-room conversation.

Eyebar night club hong kong blog

Hong Kong Island

This place is a den for clubbing – you will find hidden bars, underground style clubs with chicks dancing on the floor to pick from for the night and many local style bars dotted around the side on the streets with plenty of drinking spots for expats. Places like – PLAY, Dragon-I and Volar they all assure erotic and exciting night of dancing, and love. Meanwhile, there’s morpmarket Bungalow and this gay-institution of Propaganda and hi-so hangout at Hong Kong Beijing Club. Must visit place for (a bit costly though – to enter you will have to pay to range between – HK$ 120 to HK$ 350). You can ask any local for gay-institution of Propaganda clubs – they refer it “PP”.

Hong-Kong-nightlife kowloon travel blog

Hong Kong nightlife ranges from fashionable art and after-dark shopping to all-night smashing clubs and high-octane entertainment. For me, I have read a lot about Hong Kong but these weird and unusual things about its nightlife were never talked about. And the most surprising thing is they quite easily available here without any fear of police or administration (with all women safety in mind) making it legal still it’s not much being gabbed about.

Read all about Hong Kong to know more about this stunning country


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ShiviApril 24, 201915min13757
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Skyline Spirited Blogger

No wonder Hong Kong is a metropolitan country that does not have a rich history in terms of reign and emperors but yes it has, in fact, quite an interesting fact which is that – Hong Kong was under the British rule from 1841 to 1997 before handing sovereignty over to China. This agreement was established post a 50-year period of autonomy when Hong Kong achieved governance by a “One Country, Two Systems” agreement. Since then it is a complex yet technologically advanced nation and is a “Special Administrative Region” of China with its own currency, constitution, passports, and official languages (Cantonese and English). This travel blog will take you to a few things that are essential before you travel to Hong Kong

Please note that, do not speak Mandarin when in Hong Kong, they do not consider it as their language as per locals, thus avoid this act.

Hongkongers are very proud of their culture and heritage thus when in Hong Kong learn few gestures and signs which can make them feel like being an expat. For instance, avoid addressing them as Chinese as and they are proud to be Cantonese rather than an extension of Chinese.

The currency

Hong Kong currency is Hong Kong dollars – HK$ – The Hong Kong dollar is the official currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is the governmental currency board and also the de facto central bank for Hong Kong and the Hong Kong dollar. Official website: hkma.gov.hk

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

 

Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Currency Coins Spirited Blogger

You can exchange your currency at the airport or else you have reliable foreign money exchange counters in the city within your location. If not required do not carry much of cash as you may find ATM’s and money exchange counters easily. But remember you will have to carry a lot of cash while shopping and roaming around as Hong Kong deals in cash majorly.

Getting around

Getting around Hong Kong in the budget is possible via metro line, ferries, and buses. A very well connected network all through Hong Kong. In fact, take the airport express train from the airport for central as it is just 24 minutes and cheap.

Another historic mode of transport is a ferry that is very cheap – starts from 2 HK$ from Victoria harbour and then you can take a tram to the Central Peak which is the skyline of Hong Kong. (it is just 30 cents).

MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger
MTR Hong Kong Train Spirited Blogger

Remember before you step out the airport please buy an Octopus card. It is not only for public transport but it gets used at convenience stores, and even at some coffee shops. This card is really helpful for solo travellers and for travellers who are travelling on a low budget. Hong Kong does have Uber and affordable taxis – that starts from $3); however, the latter sees a “changeover” in hours as the shift changes.

What to pack before you come here

Hong Kong weather sometimes is unpredictable – still, the entire year Hong Kong is oppressively quite hot and humid. When you listen to any local saying that it is summers – they mean it is the season that stretches from late April to late October. This means it has a rainy season as well. Please carry lots of jackets, an umbrella, rain sheets, as rain showers are unpredictable. Moreover, Hongkongers never turn off air conditioners – it is pretty cold inside the hotels and at the workplace. So better be warm is the tip.

Eat as locals do

The biggest hurdle for a traveller in Hong Kong is the variety of Cantonese and Chinese food, from which to distinguish is a big task. Do share food as Chinese cuisine is all about sharing. If you sharing twosome then order one portion and share. Enjoy dim sum at traditional restaurants on the streets near central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon etc. Do remember not to put the chopsticks in a vertical position as it is a sign associated with funerals.

Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger
Cantonese and Chinese Food Spirited Blogger

Shopping

For the serious traveller, Hong Kong is a shopping paradise but no second thought Hong Kong is dammed expensive for any national coming here for shopping. You’ll find ample shops in every possible street in Hong Kong. You’ll be spoilt for all the vivid choices the streets have to offer. From the Avante Grande malls to all the international brands’ outlets at central and Tsim Sha Tsui you will get hooked by the variety it has to offer.

Hong Kong Shopping Malls Central Peak

But for shoppers who looking for bargained shopping explore the largest shopping street in Hong Kong – Temple Street. Do also check other streets in Yau Ma Tei and Tung Street in Mong Kok for cheap clothes and electronics. With this do explore Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Cheung Sha Wan Road in Sham Shui Po for cheap clothes.

Temple Street Hong Kong Spirited Blogger

One tip – Bargain, bargain and bargain as much as you can, show your skills if you do not see any price on the products, but if you see any price on the product this means the attendant will not be willing to negotiate.

Nightlife

Hong Kong is not quite popular for a good late night culture, but this is not right it is like another New York or Manhattan. It is not a speedy country, and can’t be compared with the neighbouring Bangkok but the evenings and night clubs are happening, in the pubs of Tsim Sha Tsui – where you may find many expats taking a stroll on the sideways of the streets. It is filled with locals too. Lan Kwai Fong is the city’s nightlife heart and comes alive as happy hour slopes in and on the weekend nights, the street turns into one big open-air bar and LGBTQ nightlife scene with doors open for all. Sky bars are big business here, and please remember if you intend to experience be ready to eye-watering prices for cocktails.

Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger
Hong Kong Night Life Streets Spirited Blogger

Please note: Do feel free to carry around a beer or glass of wine in the street as Hong Kong has lax open-container laws. 

Here’s a quick sneak peek into some basics to survive in HK:

  • You don’t have to be fluent in English while talking to the locals but please speak slowly so that they understand word by word in pieces.
  • Don’t use flowery or tough English terms. Keep it simple.
  • Try to catch their actions if not able to make them understand what you are asking.

You can also learn a few Cantonese phrases online.

  • Hello – Néih hóu (pronunciation: Neyi Hou)
  • Good Morning – jóusàhn (pronunciation: Sou San)
  • How are you doing? – néih hóu ma (pronunciation: Layi Hou Maa)
  • I don’t speak Cantonese – ngóh m̀hsìk góng gwóngdùngwá (pronunciation: Wa sihk gwong dung waa)
  • I’m a vegetarian – ngóh sihk jāai (pronunciation: Wa sihk taai)
  • How much is it? – Géidō chín a (pronunciation: gei cin aa)
  • Are there any discounts? – yau mou zit aa (pronunciation: yau mou zit aa)

 

Keep reading and happy travelling 🙂 

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you wanted to know about Hong Kong Travel, will share the bog soon! 


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ShiviApril 1, 20188min2592

It is rightly called as Dalia Lama’s abode – McLeod Ganj and when I gave a thought to travel solo to this wonderful place I never realised that by the end of my travel journey I will be in love with this place evermore.

When travellers talk of heading up to Dharamsala, what they really think to visit or experience – to see the Dalai Lama, to visit the best treks with valleys, to trip high on the hippie hills – reason can be many for different kind of travellers, so as mine as a solo traveller.

Dalai Lama Temple Mcleodganj

Here’s why and how I loved McLeod Ganj why I love to travel solo to this place.

Starting with the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, which is 3 kilometres north of Dharamsala town (or 10km via the looping bus route. This small place is the home to a huge Tibetan population, that includes the monks and the nuns and other locals.

dalai-lama-temple - Mani stones

So, the Tibetan government-in-exile is based out here just at the downhill of Gangchen Kyishong. When I visited McLeod I was amazed to witness this huge part of Tibetan population that is peacefully yet unofficially residing here. This is one of the main reason why this destination attracts thousands of international visitors each year to volunteer this Tibetan community. One thing which holds my attention is the courses which you can take on Buddhism, meditation or yoga, and then of course trek in the Dhauladhar mountains, Parvati Valley and many other players lying deep on the foothills of Dharamkot and McLeod. You can shop at the Tibetan crafts, or just hang out with the firangis all around who come here and stay for long to witness this remarkable blend of culture and heritage of North India.

McLeodganj Local Market

Travelling solo makes you close to your soul, and helps to challenge yourself in any situation. One cool thing that I learned on my visit to Mcleod Ganj is that it is the suburb of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, which is popularly known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” as it has a huge population of Tibetans. Moreover, the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.

You get good homestays to stay that is cheap and comfortable all through your journey. Being a solo traveller or a “woman solo traveller” (yeah, had to quote it this way as it is India and there are some parts of India that are not easy for woman solo travellers) I was a bit sceptical on how and where to stay. But McLeod Ganj offered me the best and the safest stay during my entire vacation. The streets are colorful and perky filled with local cafe’s and shops that offer local jewellery  Apart from other stuff one thing which caught my attention is a handful of shops that offer musical instruments.

Cafes of Mcleodganj - SpiritedBlogger

There are some of the unbeaten places to visit in McLeod that will leave you speechless with its natural surroundings and snow-cladded mountains.  Hike to the mighty Triund Trek, it is 9 km away from Mcleod Ganj, beautiful peak and an ideal place for a solo traveller to relax and rejuvenate amidst the mesmerising meadows.

Triund Trek - Spirited Blogger

Bhagsu Falls and Bhagsunath temple lies 3 km from the McLeod city. A beautiful walk, great surroundings, stunning pools and lush green vicinity makes it a perfect place to visit. This place has its own historical importance that dates back to Lord Shiva, Nag Devta and the King Bhagsu. Due to this reason, this place is worshipped by both Hindus and the Gorkha community.

Bhagsu Falls - Dharamshala

Other than this, I took a road to explore Namgyal Monastery, took a trail till Naddi, Tsuglagkhang (Dalai Lama’s residence), a non-gothic architecture – the church of Saint Johns in the wilderness and the list can be countless. McLeodganj has everything to offer to a tourist. For me, it is like a second home, where every time I go, I feel new and explore new things.

Best Time to Visit – September to June

How to Reach – Passengers buses are available till Mcleodganj bus stand. Then hire a taxi to reach further in the town. One can also walk the lanes. Pathankot is the nearest Railway Station.

Come to McLoed… and breathe free 🙂

 


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ShiviFebruary 3, 20189min12111

 

We recommend having 6 days to explore this route; this provides you with sufficient time to take in the tradition in each position even as no longer being rushed off your feet so that you can see the whole lot. So what follows is our suggested itinerary for your Golden Triangle experience.

Day 1: Starting in Delhi

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When you arrive in Delhi and you’ve got safely dropped your belongings off at your chosen hotel it is time to explore Delhi city tour . But there are many choices in this culturally alive metropolis so we propose starting with The Red Fort. A certainly unmissable landmark that was built in 1638; The Red Fort is awe-inspiring at any hour of the day. It is valued at noting that the fortress is closed on Mondays, so factor that into your plans.

Swaminarayan Akshardham should be subsequent up in your list as it’s a remarkable ode to Indian culture and architecture. By the point you have visible these 2 Delhi attractions it’ll be nearing late afternoon so Humayun’s Tomb is the subsequent vacation spot. Humayun’s Tomb is an extraordinary illustration of the Mughal structure and is found in attractive grounds where you can chill out as you expect to rest to your hotel after a tasty meal.

For a place to stay in Delhi we suggest The Dusit Devarana for the traveller who needs some luxury on their commute; or The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa for those who don’t wish to ruin the financial institution yet nonetheless experience alleviation in Delhi.

Day 2: Forts and Tombs

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At present, you are going for Same Day Agra Tour From Delhi, the primary sight after getting observed your resort might be Agra Fort. This UNESCO World Heritage site was built in 1565 and is still as impressive now as it was back then. Open on a daily basis the fort is comfortably accessible to acquire entrance. In case you have accomplished a tour of Agra Fort a brief trip to the Amazing Tomb of Akbar The Great is Next. One of the vital facets on show here are immaculate examples of the intricate Arts of the Mughals and are really exciting to peer up close.

Finally, see the Taj Mahal in all its splendour. As one of the vital seven wonders of the old world, it’s no mission to spend a good deal of time here; you have got to keep until sunset when the beautiful constructing is splendidly illuminated.

For a style of luxurious on your seek advice from to Agra; a stay at the Oberoi Amarvilas is compulsory. If The Oberoi Amarvilas is out of your price range then we recommend bedding down in Howard Plaza The Fern.

Day 3: Taj Mahal Sunrise Tour

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This morning you’ll savour the Taj Mahal once more, this time bathed in the wonderful mild of the morning. After taking in this individual scene it is time to consult with a different area in Agra; Itmad-ud-Daulah. This does conceal in the Taj Mahal’s shadow but continues to be a satisfactory factor to discuss with on your travels, ordinarily known as a “Jewel box” this is a beautiful addition to your commute.

You probably have received your fill of Agra it is time to head to Ranthambore countrywide Park. Upon arrival here it will be evening, so after settling into your hotel and filling up on some food we suggest relaxing in guidance in your busy day the following day.

The Oberoi Vanyavilas must be you in if you want some Safari luxurious; a less expensive option is Tiger Moon hotel. Each might be a welcome web page after a day of travel

Day 4: Bengal Tigers

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Today you will spend the day on the Ranthambore Safari, with so many extraordinary animals to peer this is definite to be a pleasing day. As one among India’s preferable sites to peer a Royal Bengal Tiger, at present will likely be considered one of your more memorable Golden Triangle commute. For the evening we heartily advocate eating at Niralo Gaon, their speciality is Rajasthani cuisine; you will now not be disappointed.

Day 5: The Pink City

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An early in these days see you depart for Jaipur. The pink city holds many delights for the traveller; might be probably the most particular is the Amber Fort. This beautiful constructing is thronged with tremendously distinctive architecture and luscious gardens. A consult with here’s an actual step back into the prior, be certain to consult with the Sheesh Mahal here. A visit to Hawa Mahal ought to be carried out in the course of your keep in Jaipur, an architecturally beautiful palace; it is going to take your breath away.

If you’re seeking a luxury lodge expertise for the period of your stay in Jaipur, then there may also be only one choice; The Raj Palace; real specialists within the trade of luxury hoteling. A just right finances alternative is The Holiday Inn.

Day 6: Complete the Triangle

 

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That is your final day on the Golden Triangle go back and forth; at present, you are going to travel again to Delhi and entire the Triangle. From there that you can either fly house or continue exploring the attractions and the sounds of India.

 

We hope this has been important for you in planning your very possess Golden Triangle Tour.

 


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ShiviAugust 19, 20179min1220

Travelling is exploring your inner being. It always fascinates me as it brings a lot of challenges and expedition in my kitty. This time when I was planning my next trip, the third highest peak of Maharashtra named Ghanchakkar that is positioned beautifully amidst the Sahyadri ranges came out from my bucket list. 

Ghanchakkar Peak

Overview of the destination:

These ranges offer an opportunity to observe the beauty of nature and lush green terrain that is perfect for hiking and trekking. Of course, any traveller would love to visit this place. SO, here I decided to take a plunge to the Ghanchakkar peak.

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

The topography of Ghanchakkar plateau in the western India is a rugged terrain with stunning mountains amidst the Sahyadri mountain ranges in Maharashtra. Ghanchakkar plateau is the third highest peak in the Western Ghats of Sahyadri mountain ranges. It stands beautifully, guarding the two small villages and the flora and fauna, at the height of 1532 meters ( 5,026 ft). 

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

Two base villages surround ascents of the peak, out of which we visited Shirpunje village, which is positioned around 22 kilometres from Rajur on the northern side of the Sahyadri Mountains. Taking this village, a base one can trek the Ghanchakkar peak in around 2.5 hours.

Let’s begin our journey:

I would love to begin my journey with letting you guys a bit about this rugged topography and Rocky Mountains of Ghanchakkar peak. Although, the region is surrounded by gorgeous views, waterfalls, lakes and an extensive forest region that are the virtual paradise for camping, trekking, climbing etc. This region provides an array of choices for outdoor adventures and nature lovers.

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

It’s indeed a pleasure to illustrate the whole experience of the trek on a canvas of magnificent mountains standing high, stunning waterfalls and nature at its best. The group of around 24 adventure enthusiasts went crazy just with the thought of going on different type of trek and camping.  This gusto led me to take a wrong train, Alas! But, I managed to get on the train to move ahead. 

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

Well, wait, the journey to the base camp was thrilling as the monsoons added an extra charm to our trip. The lush green vicinity and the roads all drenched with rains made the view awesomely great.  Not just this, the when a 7-year-old kid sat on the top of the jeep, everyone went awe-struck, she enjoyed immensely in the rains while on the top of the jeep with other travelers. 

Unforgettable trek experiences

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

Accommodation: When we travel accommodation becomes an integral part, thus here, I had a home stay this time, which was in the heart a small remotely located village surrounded by the peaks and waterfalls. Yes, visualizing it is divine! The base village was actually a very tiny village that is not developed with a lot of modern amenities and lifestyle; rather I loved the place because of their immense welcoming attitude and treasured culture, which ideally, I was unable to experience in my urbane and chic lifestyle.

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

With few fellow trekkers we stayed for a night and relished local cuisine, home cooked by the villagers (Staple Maharashtrian food), in fact, we all helped them and learned about the local food that they eat. Moreover, it was great fun to cook with them as well. Wow! What a thrilling experience with the entire team and the co-trekkers. The stay was warm and cozy with mesmerizing views from the windows, needless to mention it was raining, thus the lush green grass and the tiny ponds made us felt like kids again. The whole idea of connecting and gelling up with the villagers paid off when we played with the kids of the villagers. It was indeed an unprecedented experience.  Of course, selfies can’t be resisted! 

Ghanchakkar Peak, Travel Blogger

Trek and Trail: We went for a night trail to enjoy the cool breeze and the serenity that this place has to offer. The team had fun at a huge lake that was approachable with an interesting small trek. The panoramic views and the rains was a terrific experience.

Come let’s go #solo and #gocrazy 

#spiritedblogger 



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There is a piece in me that like to tenderly imagine my maverick and seditious soul. But, precisely, I love to have a picky and cosy relationship with my soul that can rub up against a little bit, putting me alive.


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