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ShiviNovember 18, 20197min6400

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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ShiviNovember 14, 20199min109218

Is Leh-Ladakh only for bikers? Most of us have this question in mind whenever we think of travelling to this terrain. Can Laid Back travellers or those people who are not fond of biking can travel to Leh-Ladakh? Just to answer these quick and genuine questions, here is the Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh. In this blog, I am going to talk about that and also going to cover what all places can be covered in short period since travellers usually want to cover a lot of places in a short period, who are on a leisure trip. 

 

hunder camps

4 Nights 5 Days Trip To Leh-Ladakh

I know most of the people think that cramming a lot of places in a short period is not ideal. It can be the most tiring travel as well. I agree with most of you all and even I have experienced this during my travel journeys when I have a time crunch. Nevermind this Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh will help you to plan an adventurous yet appealing trip to this beautiful destination in India, Leh-Ladakh. 

 

hunder sand dunes

 

Day 1 of Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh – Take a direct flight from Mumbai or Delhi to Leh. In this way, you can save a minimum of two days since taking a bus from Delhi to Manali and then Manali to Leh takes 2 days. Once you reach Leh take full day rest, sleep as much as you can and drink a lot of water since water will keep you hydrated and rest will help you in getting acclimatized. In the evening you can visit the local market and the Hall of Fame. There’s a light & sound show that happens in Hall of Fame which is must watch. It will give you a feeling of how our soldiers fight in one of the most difficult situations which are out of our imagination.

 

Pangong lake route from leh

 

Day 2 – Leh to Pangong Tso Lake

You can hire a cab from Leh for which rates may vary from cab to cab. You can even opt for Self drive car, though I won’t suggest that as routes are not that easy for someone to drive in these terrains. While going to Pangong Tso Lake you can cover Hemis, Thicksey and Shey monasteries en route.

 

pangong lake

 

Its 5-6 hour journey which is tiresome but once you reach the lake, the beauty of that place mesmerises you and you feel cherished. You can stay over in the camps which ranges from 1500-2000 inclusive of meals per person depending on the season when you are going. Stay overnight in Pangong and then head back to Leh. Stay Overnight at Leh.

 

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Day 3 – Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder

Start early and feed your stomach with a little food since you will be passing from the highest motorable road in the world – Khardung La, you might feel dizzy. Keep yourself hydrated and keep on having candies as oxygen can be an issue here. If you feel a headache or breathing problem there are army camps and Dr is available to help you out. Have some tea/coffee and get yourself clicked at the world’s highest motorable road.

 

khardungla leh

 

Once you pass Khardung La you can see monasteries in Dikshit. These monasteries are very very old monasteries and worth watching. After spending some time here you can continue your journey towards Hunder which are dunes. In Hunder you can find camels of 2 humps which is only available in Dubai. You will be surprised and keep on wondering where this white sand has come to such a place. Stay over in Hunder as you can find a lot of beautiful camps and price is negotiable.

 

double hump camels hunder

Day 4 – Hunder – Sumur – Panamik – Leh

After having breakfast you can go to Sumur which has a famous monastery. From Sumur you can head towards Panamik which is famous for hot springs. Start your journey from Panamik to Leh. By evening you will be back in Leh. Do some local shopping in Leh as Leh is famous for dry fruits and some other local hand made stuff. This ends your journey here, but Day 5 can be a buffer for local Leh market, amazing food to relish, roam and shop in Tibetian refugee market. There’s a lot to do in Leh and around as well. Thus Day 5 can be utilised like this way. If not you can take a return flight the same day. 

 

Leh local market

 

 

Head back to your destination the next day with beautiful memories.

Final wrap on Tour Itinerary For Leh-Ladakh

Though Leh-Ladakh is considered as Mecca for bikers and you will find a lot of bikers en-route, but this place is also something which can be visited by those who don’t love bike riding. This very simple itinerary can help you in planning and executing your vacation plan and you can enjoy it to the core keeping small things in mind.

 

Happy Travelling!


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ShiviOctober 22, 201913min5075

Good News! Siachen Glacier Open For Tourists

This looks intriguing and exciting for all the traveller since ages who have been waiting for this chance from the government to happen. The Indian army had regularly carried out their operation and people used to go to these mysterious glaciers for expeditions until 1970. But later they stopped it in 1984 when war broke out between India and Pakistan over the Siachen Glacier. 

We all know how precious this belt is for India as Pakistan and China are the countries with whom India has always struggled on borders. Numerous decades passed with wars and flirtation due to power interface over the glacier. Why such fascination and power game on the glacier. What is the mystery and charm of Siachen that has made even the Britishers lure over it? And now when the Siachen glaciers open for tourists. 

 

Siachen Glacier Satellite View
Picture Credit (Wikipedia) – Siachen Glacier Satellite View

 

Let us see a few comments from –  Lt Gen BS Jaswal (Retd) Former Army Cdr, Northern Command

The idea of tourism in this area is not de novo. Since 2007, trekking activities have been undertaken by teams from the NDA, IMA, NCC and Military School, Chail. There is no reason why others can’t be permitted to delve in such ventures. He quotes that, today, the adventure has become the buzzword, so why not add adrenaline to the aspirants’ dreams?

It will also motivate the youngsters to join the fauj. It will help them repose faith in the Indian Army and the Air Force and convince them that the forces are capable of maintaining our territorial integrity and that they can operate and sustain in extreme climate and very hostile terrain. It will be a capability demonstration for our countrymen.

 

Exploration of Siachen Or Rose Glacier

Why rose glacier and what is the history of Siachen. The Siachen Glacier is one of the most discussed and significant glacier in the Himalayan Karakoram region. A Glacier with all the reasons to be famous and esteemed, not just for the Political agendas but also for expeditions and explorations. I shall clear this with a brief note below that will make you all understand the importance of Siachen glacier. At the time of Partition and a bit before that when the people at those times knew the glacier as a wonderful land in the Wilderness of the Himalayan Karakoram Mountains.

It is one of the largest Glaciers outside the Polar Regions and for the early Explorers and movies it was next to impossible to conquer and explore such massive Glaciers. In fact, they could not believe that these huge glaciers could exist anywhere outside the Polar Regions.

 

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Picture Credit (Wikipedia)

The first-ever credit for Siachen exploration goes to Lady Fanny Bullock and her husband William Hunter Workman. They were a rich couple and travelled to India on cycle and once they got to know the Himalayas, they could not go back for long. They both fell in love with the Himalayas forever. During their trip, they discovered some unexpected mountains, snow peaks and unseen glaciers in the Himalayas. With the help of local potters, they explored the unseen of the glaciers in the valley. Due to limitations, they did not enter Karakorams and other range fields around. 

 

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Picture Credit (Wikipedia)

Siachen Glacier Open For Tourists

India has opened the doors of the Siachen area for tourists and tourism. Recently our Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has announced and tweeted about it. That the entire area has been opened for tourism.

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Picture Credit (Twitter)

“Ladakh has tremendous potential in Tourism. Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers. The Siachen area is now open for tourists and Tourism. From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for tourism purposes.”

 

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Picture Credit (Twitter)

 

He was in Siachen recently for the inauguration of newly ‘Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge’ at Shyok River in Ladakh. It is when he announced about the potential which Ladakh tourism has. By making ways and doors open for the tourist it will have better avenues for the tourism industry and for travellers from across the world. The distillation of tourism in Siachen will act as a scalper to open innumerable opportunities. The time will tell, how the tourism industry will shape, but certainly, it is a piece of good news for travellers like me!

 

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Picture Credit (Wikipedia) – Map issued by UN

 

Some of the statistics about Siachen Glacier

Elevation5,400 m

Area700 km²

LocationKarakoram Range; Controlled by India, disputed by Pakistan

Length 76 km (47 mi) using the longest route as is done when determining river lengths or 70 km (43 mi) if measuring from Indira Col[1]

Parent rangeKarakoram

 

 

Want to read more about Leh-Ladakh expedition click here and leave your comments. 

Connect with me for more blogging services and do read my book available on Amazon 

 


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ShiviOctober 15, 201911min3553

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 28, 201910min15137

Navratri Festival with Gujarat Tourism

Among the most distinguished of festivals rejoiced in Gujarat is Navratri. This nine-day long festival is celebrated to glorify and worship Goddess Durga or Shakti. It is recognised by various pandals or enormous tents that form the energetic and mesmerizing dance of Garba or dandiya with traditional Gujarati music. It lasts with special fasting food and various other manners in which people commence and complete it. Come and celebrate the Navratri festival with Gujarat Tourism.

Classification of Gujarat festivals is inadequate without the mention of Navratri. Observed for nine long days with huge grandeur and show, Navratri is devoted to all the nine forms of Goddess Durga. All the communities come unitedly to dance in unison during Garba, an apparently simple dance, where the crowd moves collectively in a synchronised circular movement.

 

navratri goddess

History and Ceremonies of Navratri Festival

The inscription has it, that there was a very stalwart demon king, known as the Mahishasura. By worshipping Lord Shiva, he obtained mighty powers and began to perform wickedness on the people who took the name of the Lord other than him. He was so exultant of his powers that he began to treat himself as a God. To protect the world from the immoral practices of the demon, the holy trinity of God (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) came together and by coupling their powers, created Goddess Durga. When Mahishasura saw the Goddess, he got attracted to her beauty.

 

History navratri

 

The demon king was so hypnotised by the beauty of the Goddess that he sent her a proposal for the marriage. The Goddess accepted to marry him but on one condition that the Mahishasura have to beat her in a battle. The king was so proud of his powers that he quickly accepted the challenge. The battle between the Goddess and Mahishasura lasted for nine nights and at the end of the ninth night, the demon king was abolished by the Goddess. From then on, the nine days came to be known as the Navratri.

When

Navratri is celebrated for nine nights, commencing on the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Ashwin, approximately corresponding to dates in the Gregorian calendar in September/October. This also usually accords with the end of the rainy season. Dasara/Vijayadashami is the tenth day of Ashwin.

Where

Garba happens at night in communities and regions all around Gujarat, so just step out and follow the booming Garba music. Vadodara is deemed the cultural capital of Gujarat, and the most inquired after location for celebrating Navratri. Try to visit at least one village Garba too, for a spectrum of experience. After the puja starts the music; it is evident to those who are familiar with the style and alluring to many. People enjoy dancing and begin to play dandiya in a circle, swirling away till late into the night. It is not surprising to find dancers with swords or lit flames and other exhibitions.

Religious travel during this festival focuses mainly on the Shakti Peethas: Ambaji, Pavagadh and Bahuchraji near Mehsana. There are also major ceremonies in temples such as Ashapura Mata-no-Madh in Kutch, Khodiyar Mandir near Bhavnagar, and Chamunda Mata Mandir at Chotila on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway.

See below for the day-wise schedule:

Navratri Day  Day  Form of Goddess Tithi Pujan Colour
Day 1 Pratipada Shailaputri Maa Ghatasthapana Shailputri Pujan Red
Day 2 Dwitiya Bharmacharini Chandra Darshan Brahmacharini Pujan  Blue
Day 3 Tritiya Chandraghanta Sindoor Tritiya, Sowbhagya Teej Chandraghanta Pujan Yellow
Day 4 Chaturthi Kushmanda Varad Vinayaka Chauth  Bhouma Chaturthi  Green
Day 5 Panchami Skandamata Lalita Panchami Upang Lalita Vrat, Lalitha Gauri Vrat, Skandamata Pujan  Gray
Day 6 Shashthi Katyayani Maha Shashti Saraswati Awahan, Katyayani Pujan Orange
Day 7 Saptami Kaalratri Maha Saptami Saraswati Puja, Kalaratri Pujan, Utsava Puja White
Day 8 Ashtami Maha Gauri Durga Ashtami, Maha Ashtami Saraswati Mata Pujan, Mahagauri Pujan, Sandhi Puja  Pink
Day 9 Navami Siddhidatri Khande Navami, Durga Visarjan, Maha Navami Ayudha Puja, Kanya puja Sky Blue

 

 

Other than this, in various Indian states, the Navratri festival is been celebrated. For example – West Bengal, Jammu, Rajasthan. Travellers from all across the world come here and plan their holidays in this season. If you wish to know more about this festival keep reading or comment for specific information.

 

PS: Whenever you travel, wherever you go, I request you all, to travel safe and try not to hurt the local communities and environment. Get hooked for more travel blogs…


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ShiviSeptember 17, 201917min5620

Continued from Part 1 

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

 

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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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ShiviSeptember 16, 201911min6452

Well, we are talking about Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip Guide

Mecca for Bikers and Adventure Seekers – Leh-Ladakh.

Now it is a Union Territory post defunct of Article 370 by Indian Government. Having said this, the rule for bikers and the zeal to drive the adrenalin rush on these roads of Leh-Ladakh doesn’t end. Leh-Ladakh is the land of high passes, and here I bring you a fresh guide for bikers who would love to ride these stunning roads of Leh-Ladakh amidst mountains and beautiful meadows. Check this Leh-Ladakh Bike Trip Guide, and know everything about the expedition.

 

Leh-Ladakh Zanskar River

The Journey

Of course, the journey is not the one which is pampering enough to soothe your senses. Rather it will test your fortitude, grit, would make you feel dizzy, would suffer altitude sickness, hurt your body and mind, take care of your bumps while sitting for long hours on a bumpy ride on the bike – nevertheless, this journey will change the way you see the world. As you make the journey of a lifetime, you grab the experience of infinity. From the punctures to the bike’s battery fallen on the ground, from the drastic weather changes to the never-ending hurdles – man, these variables are frequent and countless that could go wrong, yet the exaltation it gives is unmatchable.

 

leh-ladakh bike trip

 

To make your expedition work well and a memorable one forever, here I bring you the best tips and tricks and collating all the information which you would like to know from scratch. I’m sure this quick guide will help you conquer the highest motorable roads in the world which you find in the land of stupas – Leh-Ladakh.

 

Nubra Valley Leh bike trip

Best Time To Visit Leh-Ladakh

The best time to go on a bike trip to Leh-Ladakh is from June to September or maximum October 15, post this snow starts assembling on the peaks and on the lower ranges as well, that makes driving tough. These months facilitate the bikers to enjoy the best of Ladakh, as much as they enjoy their bike trip to Lahaul & Spiti. Nonetheless, most of the riders love to initiate their crazy journey of bikes and rides with Leh-Ladakh, that offers magical landscapes and undying vistas all over the terrain.

 

 

Leh-Ladakh Mountains

What is the best time for the bike trip to Leh-Ladakh

Ideally, 10 to 12 days are enough if you are starting from Manali/Shimla or Srinagar. But if you are intending to ride from Chandigarh or Delhi then 15 days are the best fit. Now, this also depends on a lot of factors like weather conditions, bike selection, halts and stay overs, on what speed the rider can pull of km on this twisty and steep road. I would suggest plan the trip with maps in hand so that you get an estimate of travel time. Else you can contact reliable travel agents who will help you customise your trips appropriately.

The cost of the trip

This is again a tricky one, as every traveller is different in its own way. The cost depends on the accommodation you are choosing, type of bike you are taking on rent, food bills, permits, fuel, shopping, etc. But if I would have to give you an estimate for the whole bike trip for 15 days on the bike it would range somewhere from 33000 to 35000 per person. This includes everything with permits, fuel and miscellaneous expenses.

The selection of bikes for Leh-Ladakh

With bike lovers outta there and for the first-timers it is very important to choose or pick the bike in which you are comfortable with to ride the mountains. I would recommend you to pick the bike which is the best suitable for these roads rather than going for the popularity factor (for selfies and posing). Nothing is important than your safety, thus the five best bikes which you can ride are:

 

Royal Enfield – A bike with an engine of either 350 CC or 500 CC will be great.

Royal Enfield Himalayan – A 400 CC engine, this Royal Enfield Himalayan will surely make your ride finest and trouble-free on the rugged terrain. Just a suggestion for the pillions, take a trial of the back seat, if you are comfortable then go ahead, as for the rider it will be easy.

Bajaj Pulsar – It is the most liked after Bullets. Pulsar has variants of 150CC, 200CC, and 220CC, choose any, they can be a reliable partner on your journey.

KTM Duke – This bike is a lightweight bike, thus it can be worthwhile for the roads of Leh-Ladakh. Duke comes in variants like – Duke 390, and Duke 250. Go for it if you can ride them.

CBR 250 – This bike from Honda is certainly a cracker. just be careful of its Contigo tyres which can be a bit tough to handle, in case of change of weather. But if you can change the tyre you can put bike’s torque and fi technology to immense use and favourable.

There are some other bikes as well which the bike rental association in Leh-Ladakh give on rent and consider due to their lightweight engine are – Yamaha Fazer, Bajaj Vikrant, Yamaha FZ, and Hero Impulse.

 

Read Part 2 for bike rentals, best routes to take, accommodation, petrol pumps, things to do etc. and for more travel blogs on Incredible India read here…


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ShiviAugust 28, 20198min14190

A hidden gem…Grand Canyon Of India

 

Gandikota: The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

 

Well, you may be surprised by what the title is all about, but trust me you will be amazed to know that a grand canyon also exists in India. Gandikota is the place, (Grand Canyon Of India) a beautiful and stunning paradise in the heartland of Bangalore. It is a weekend getaway from Bangalore. Just right on the spot, it is a destination which you would be awe-struck to visit.

In India we do not witness gorge formations, thus it is also called as the Indian version of the grand canyon or desi grand canyon. As an avid traveller, I shall refrain myself of not comparing the two as it will not be a justice to these different destinations in the world.

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

So, let us know more about Gandikota Gorge formations or Gandikota Canyon:

It is a quaint and very simple village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its panoramic gorge formed by river Pennar that pierces through the Erramala hills. This impressive piece of Nature’s design has come to be known as the Hidden Grand Canyon of India by the tourists and travellers who visit this place and get beguiled by its beauty. Thus they tend to compare the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

 

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

What to do when in Gandikota

Sitting on the banks of Pennar river and enjoying breathtaking views you can’t even think how the river must have broken the cuts and formed this stunning gorge. It is believed that the river has cut the slabs over centuries now. This is beautiful to imagine how the flow of water got intruded by the river and has formed the gorge. The entire area is covered with deep dense valleys and huge granite boulders.

Going back to history – Geologists says that it has an important role to play in the history of Andhra Pradesh. Geologist P.D. Sabale studies and explains how it was formed. The River Pennar cuts the pink granite and makes abed rock here. Cutting the ingenious, acidic and hard compact mass of granite the natural decomposition of the rock took place.

 

Gandikota The Grand Canyon of India Travel Blog

 

Adjoining the formations is the medieval fort which speaks history in itself. The fort Gandikota is named from a Telugu word Gandi which means gorge. This fort holds a fort and a temple. Once you visit you will get mesmerized with the ancient architecture. You may find the debris scattered of the ruins of temples and mosque dating back from the Qutub Shahi and Vijayanagara periods.

Other spots to visit in Gandikota are – Madhavaraya temple and Raghunathaswamy temple, Jamia Masjid of Gandikota fort, Rayalacheruvu Lake, enthralling interiors of Belum Caves, you can also do camping and other water activities.

 

Gandikota fort Travel Blog

 

How to reach: Get a train from Gooty Junction. The nearest airport is at Kadapa 77 km. Nearest town by road is Jammalamadugu.

Lodging: APTDC Complex – it is spread at 12 acres, you can book a cottage and has an area for kids to play. For more hotels click here

Best Time: between September to February as the weather is suitable and enjoyable, else the summers are like 45-50 degrees.

Tip: there are not many food joints near the fort and temples, thus either take some munching with you or keep your stomach fill before you start your day. Carry some candies and lots of water.

 

Gandikota fort travel blog

There are numerous other attractions in and near the village that charm visitors. The most special being the antiquated, radiant Gandikota fort that sits wonderfully on top of the gorge. Apart from the unmatched majesty of the gorge, the mystical appeal of this fort makes a visit to this village all the more compelling for history lovers and adventure seekers. For more such travel blogs and stories, head on here – Facebook, Instagram, or just scroll more…

Product that I recommend, if like it go ahead, click and Order it from here


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ShiviAugust 6, 20198min9548

Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct

 

leh ladakh post article 370 blog

FAQs – Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct

  • Will my trip get affected post article 370?
  • Can I pass Srinagar – Kargil route via Leh?
  • Is Srinagar highway safe to bike ride?
  • Leh Ladakh is a UT now, will it affect tourists like me?
  • Is it safe to stay and roam in Leh Ladakh?
  • How about my flights’ tickets! Shall I cancel?
  • I’m a travel blogger and working on a travel project will it get affected?
  • Shall I think twice now to visit Leh Ladakh in the august end?

Well, many apprehensions and questions that are hovering your mind regarding the Leh Ladakh post Article 370 Defunct and it’s tourism and maybe your visit to this beautiful destination. It is viable as well, and this is because of the current situation of Leh Ladakh due to article 370 defunct.

Let me take you to the blog – Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct, where you will find it completely safe to travel to this gorgeous destination which is now a UT – Union Territory.

Article 370 has been thinned, Jammu & Kashmir has been departed from Ladakh–and the two sections have become separate Union Territories. Expecting trouble, the government of India have asked tourists and pilgrims to move out, and have deployed a huge amount of soldiers and troops into the state. The situation is unpredictable – yes, it is true, as of now and no one knows how things will gonna be in coming days. The only affected highway currently is – Srinagar-Leh highway – Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other parts of Kashmir Valley are on a tension zone. But when we talk about Leh & Ladakh? No, is the answer (According to CNT‘s report Angrub Dorje, who runs Discover Ladakh has stated, “Both Leh and Ladakh are completely safe.) 

 

ladakh leh tourism due to 370 article spirited blogger

 

Let’s have a check – It is a regular day here in Ladakh, the schools are open, the internet is working, access to local market and regions around is pretty safe. The tourist spots are open and many of the tour and travel agencies will now take you to Leh-Ladakh via the Manali-Leh highway. (as quoted by WanderOn’s Leh-Ladakh tour package guy – they are taking the troupe via the same highway – Manali – Spiti Valley).

The business is usual here in Leh Ladakh, as the local transport has not been affected here. As of now, no restrictions have been implemented on transport, in fact, it is safe and we have tourists here who are enjoying their holidays. (it is when the CNT team spoke to locals and 3-4 tour operators).

Even though the circumstances in the paradise of India – Jammu & Kashmir is unpredictable and scary, the region of Ladakh is truly safe, with no indications of tightness and fury. So, plan without thinking twice.

As mentioned by – Tsering Angmo, Assistant Director of Tourism, is asking people not to worry. “Everything is normal in Leh. The airports are completely accessible. I would recommend anyone who is visiting to not worry at all.” (CNT report). There has being a bit of tension on Srinagar border as vehicles are being stopped but that’s all is a precautionary measure for Kashmiris and tourists out there. As the bill is also passed in Rajya Sabha by 2/3 majority.

 

ladakh leh tourism due to 370 article Spirited Blogger

If you are travelling by flights –

  • If flying to Leh – flights on Vistara, IndiGo, GoAir and Air India are on time as of now.
  • If you’re flying to Jammu and Srinagar, IndiGo has waived the fare on all cancellations and rescheduling of tickets (charges on fare difference will be applicable if any) to Jammu till 9 August.
  • If you’re flying to Srinagar: After announcing a cap on fares at Rs9,500, Air India has further lessened its ticket prices to Rs6,715 from Srinagar to Delhi and at Rs6,899 from Srinagar to Delhi till 15 August.

 

The information on Leh Ladakh’s post Article 370 Defunct, has been taken in the best interest for each and every traveller – the credits for the information is to CNT team and WanderOn. 

 

For any further information of Leh Ladakh Travel leave a comment or Ping me 


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ShiviMay 31, 201912min11317

When I planned my trip to Assam I had no idea what it would be, as it is the first time I was travelling to Northeast India. These seven states have always lured me to my heart for exploration to the core and when I got a chance to take a bike ride trip for 10 days I was super excited and on my toes. I’m sure this small travel blog will give you a hands full information and my experience about the pilgrim and religious life of Assam.

Northeast India Travel Blog - Religious & Heritage Assam Tour

Let’s get started with an overview

North east india map with seven sisters

The seven states of India’s northeast (NE) are dotingly called Seven Sisters, and Assam is the eldest of these. Why they are called with this name is very simple to understand but for this one has to go back in time to know. A quick one for you – The Four of today’s independent States―Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram were a part of the undivided Assam till 1972. Apparently, the present day Assam continues to be the doorway to the North East.

The international airport and the main railway station in Guwahati is the key point for all the nearby destinations and flights to take nationally and internationally. These seven states are amazing in their own way and one can really find one’s soul in peace when in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and others. The entire region has unmatched natural beauty and mystical aura. There is too much to write on these states thus, I’m starting with religious travel blog first.

seven sisters of india travel blog

Quick Facts of Assam

Nearest Airport: Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport

Currency: Indian Rupee

Languages: Assamese and Bodo

Best Time to Visit Assam: November to May

Festivals: Rongali Bihu, Kangali Bihu, Bhogali Bihu

Assam’s mystic aura will take your religious quotient to another level as there are numerous Hindu temples in Assam. It hosts some of the oldest in our history that includes one Shakti Peeth – Kamakhya Temple, Kedar in Hajo, Umananda and many more.

assam mystic grassland travel blog

Kamakhya Temple

It is the holiest temple of the Hindus and is one of the oldest Shakti Peeth out of 51 of Goddess Durga. This temple is not only known for a pilgrim but it has a mythological and mystery attached to it. You can read more about it in my dedicated blog on this temple soon. It is on the top of the Nilachal Hills, where a huge number of devotees come during the Manasha puja and Ambubachi. There are other temples surrounding the main temple which are dedicated to many other goddesses and deities, which are called as Dasa Mahavidya. Kamakhya Devi is respected as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’ and because of it alleged that the goddess ‘menstruates’ during this period. If you are a traveller then try to visit on working days as weekends are decked up with locals.

kamakhya temple shakti peeth

Nabagraha Temple

Another distinguished temple in the city is the Nabagraha which signifies the temple of nine planets. The temple of nine celestial bodies is located on a hill named Chitrachal in the southeastern part of the city of Guwahati. The most important celestial boy is the sun and there are 9 phallic emblems of Lord Shiva. Each of these represents different colour and arrayed in a different coloured cloth – they are Surya, Chandra, Mangala, Budha, Brihaspati, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu.

Due to this the temple is also a research centre of both astrology and astronomy. The tower of the temple is now a bigger one as it was destroyed in the earthquake, but, later it was resurrected. Noticing the inner part of the temple – the Garbhagriha survived the earthquake, while the upper portion was rebuilt.

navagraha-temple-guwahati travel blog

Umananda Temple

The Umananda Temple located at the centre of the Brahmaputra River, you have to take a ferry to visit this temple. It is a peaceful and tranquil place to be. The view from the ferry and the river is mesmerising.

peacock island guwahati temple

Hindus come in large numbers to visit this temple of Lord Shiva. On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, there is a grand celebration. A huge number of people observe fast and offer their prayers on this holy day.

Umananda-Temple_travel blog guwahati

Mahamaya Dham Temple

The Mahamaya Temple is another prime religious temple of Hindus. It is located in western Assam. There are a group of temples as well dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that if one ties a tiny bell on a banyan tree here then the wishes come true. It is one of the greatest Shakti Peethas for Hindu pilgrims ‘Parvatjowar’ the local Devotees like – Kacharies, Koches and Naths worship Goddess Mahamaya. She is a beautiful goddess deity, do visit this place.

Hajo, Assam

This place is full of magic, trust me, it has one huge mosque called as Powa-Mecca, it has a church, a Gurudwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib and Hindu temples or Lord Shiva and Ganesh in the area surrounding. This place is like an Enshrined religious harmony with the amalgamation of Hindu, Muslims and Buddhists worshipping places. It is a small town on the banks of Brahmaputra river, just 24 km from Guwahati. The Hayagriva Madhava Mandir, Powa-Mecca, Ganesh temple, Kedar temple. All these sites are under the Archeological survey of India and fall under world heritage sites.

hajo, assam travel blog

There are many other historic and heritage pilgrim temples in Assam like few in Tezpur, Shivsagar, Majuli island and others. But these are the most prominent ones. If you need more details about these temples and their history contact me will try to share some more info. Also, if you wish to read more about travel blogs click here. For now, if you are planning to visit Assam, then put these in your itinerary. You will be awe-struck with the beauty and peace for self-exploration.

 


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ShiviMay 8, 201910min7160

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, 201915min77157
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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ShiviMarch 20, 201910min6294

Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

Holi is an ancient and prevalent Hindu religious festival distinguished throughout India. It is a spring festival, also known as the festival of colours. The colourful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which befalls around the month of March. It is the second most extensively celebrated festival of India after Diwali.

The story

This festival is celebrated as the victory of good over bad also. There are numerous mythological stories behind the origin of the festival. But, one which is in Indian traditions is about killing Holika, the sister of Hrinyakashyap. – Owing to that it is celebrated. Holi festival is also broadly related with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha. The festival also holds implication with reverence to end of winter season and the onset of the summer season. So, there are many on the charts as Indian religion is vast.

Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

With a long weekend coming up this Holi, it is the time to put on your travelling shoes and travel to some of the below-mentioned destinations in India for some crazy Holi celebrations. Get beaten with sticks, or enjoy a concert or join the locals in the streets as they shower gulal and water to each other or get drenched with vibrantly coloured powders and water or watch the ‘Holika Dahan’ or just calmly soak in the bewildering experience of perceiving the band of itinerant spiritualist minstrels of Bengal. Witness all this on Holi 2019 in a different than the usual way, as India is Incredible.

Just pick up any destination from the below and play your famous Holi festival in India Go Travel!

  1. Barsana, Uttar Pradesh: Holi with Sticks

Barsana, Uttar Pradesh: Holi with Sticks Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

Indian men don’t always rule the nestle! The women of Barsana and Nandgaon villages near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh hit men with sticks – no wonder it is the tradition in town which is known as Lathmar Holi celebrations. Unfortunately, I being a solo traveller would not recommend the other solo travellers to come here alone due to the repulsive behaviour of men, who continue to go around assaulting women. However, you can visit it with your friends or group to experience the sight to catch the giggling women taking absolute pleasure in putting the sticks to use. The Barsana Holi is definitely the most famous places to celebrate Holi in India and will give you all the ambiences of Mathura Holi for sure!

  1. Mathura and Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh: Traditional Holi

Mathura and Vrindavan Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

It is one of the most additional Holi celebrated in India. Here the Holi celebrations get underway on Vasant Panchami which is the end of winter – 40 days before the main Holi-day. It is in the town of Mathura and Vrindavan – an easy four-hour drive from Delhi. Mathura is also well known as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, while Vrindavan is the place where he spent his childhood. Also to notice is that on Ekadashi before Holi, the city celebrates Phoolon wali Holi where flowers are thrown at the devotees by the temple priests. Vrindavan is also known for a unique celebration of Holi where Widow’s Holi began a few years back to break the resolution that prevented widows from playing with colours or wearing coloured clothes.

  1. Shantiniketan

Shantiniketan Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

Shantiniketan is a timeworn and leading university in West Bengal, where the great Nobel laureate and poet, Rabindranath Tagore introduced the Basant Utsav to re-experience the ancient tradition. Till today the ritual is followed and celebrated in matchless enthusiasm and vigour. Inspired by Holi and springtime the students dress up in a colourful outfit and put on a huge ethnic extravaganza for the visitors. All this contentment, colours, and joy of Shantiniketan make it the best Holi celebration in India. Students wear up in spring colours and put on a huge traditional program for visitors, including dances to Tagore’s songs. This is followed by the typical throwing of colours. Basanta Utsav has become a valued part of Bengali history and culture, and it fascinates abundant foreign tourists.

  1. Jaipur, Rajasthan: Holi and Elephants

Jaipur, Rajasthan: Holi and Elephants Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

This is one its kind in India and is celebrated with full enthusiasm and zeal. It is an elephant festival which kicks off Holi celebrations in Jaipur every year on Holi eve. Elephant parades, elephant beauty contests, traditional dances, and the tug-of-war between elephants, locals and foreigners are some of the events on this day. This destination can be covered by solo travellers as well. All this makes Holi extra fun! Please see: That this event hasn’t been held since 2012 due to pressure from animal rights groups. So, if you do not get this you can try Holi of Pushkar and Udaipur it has its own unique charm and playful atmosphere with loads of sweets to relish.

  1. Punjab

Punjab Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

Punjab in India is a traditional and rich state with a variant of festivals and customs. One such is Holi too! The celebrations of Holi in Punjab are by the Sikhs which differ from the entire country in many ways. The locals shout-out their hearts following their tradition. Besides, they display their martial arts on this day and have fun with colours in the evening. Delicious halwa, puris, gujias, and malpuas are eaten and served to others.

  1. Hampi

Hampi Holi Blog - Spirited Blogger

It is sporadic to find celebrations of Holi in South India. But, it is true Hampi is one of the known destinations for Holi, people from all over the world come here to celebrate Holi. And this is because of the presence of a large number of western tourists in Hampi and this is because it is a world heritage site and quite popular among foreigners. In addition to the use of coloured powder & liquid colours, the celebrations of Holi in Hampi also include a loud riot of music and dance.

 

Be Happy 🙂 #keeptravelling #share #like #comment #happyholi


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ShiviMarch 12, 20197min8134

Katal Dhar | Lonavla | The secluded and mysterious waterfall | Travel Blog Trek

Katal Dhar waterfall Spirited Blogger Travel Trek Blog

Somewhere near Mumbai or somewhere in Maharashtra, you may find this amazing waterfall which I would love to mention in this travel blog. It will not be somewhere, technically but amidst the mountains, Sahyadri, and the gorgeous standing ranges in Maharashtra, you find – Kataldhar waterfall. The name is intriguing, isn’t it? Katal means a form of rock – Dhar is the brink sharp edge of a sword or a knife. In short – “Katal” means a Rock & “Dhar” means a Waterfall.

Katal Dhar The mysterious waterfall Spirited Blogger Travel Trek Blog

You must be thinking why this explanation is given here, because when you will see the pictures and would explore the waterfall with me, and you may find that how sharp and steep the waterfall is that can kill you with its awe-struck views and mesmerising sounds.


About the fall – This is a Natural Waterfall, which completely depends on Rains. It is close to Lonavala and can be reached from Mumbai as well. As in Monsoon Lonavala becomes the most popular destination for all the Trekkers, but apart from all these resorts and clubhouses there’s this waterfall and “Kataldhar Waterfall Trek”. This trek gives you the real trekking pleasure in rains. Imagine that you are rappelling down from this waterfall which is at the top of around 350 feet with an overhang of more than 100 feet. The most important point is the gear and clothing when you trek to this fall. Everyone, please wear Full Sleeves & Full Track pants to avoid power bite from insects. Once you reach the base the entire valley will surprise you with gigantic waterfalls of Kataldhar. The waterfall is near Lonavla in Pune district – Maharashtra. It is basically not very famous among the travellers but it is certainly secluded and worth a visit. It is also because to reach the valley is a bit tough job and you need some basic experience of trekking before exploring this place.

 

The views and the beauty of the waterfall:

As soon you enter the forest, the sound of the chirping birds would thrill you, you will forget the city’s life and all the hustle and bustle that keeps you worrying about everything. To make the way to the waterfall is really tough as you need proper maps and directions to reach the valley (see the picture in the end). The most important thing is the instincts that make you reach the spot as you will find hardly anyone there. After walking some distance, the sound of the water falling from the distance got will get you there. Ahah! Well, the view to die for…

 

 

 

When I visited My heart filled with joy and started frisking.. and I knew that it’s the waterfall which I was looking for, From the spiky bushes and botchy trails, the point to witness is a huge waterfall, with thundering water currents. But how to get this waterfall? – While walking on the route keep watching and looking for the letters coloured in White on the Big Rock as “ Kataldhar Waterfall”. One more thing there are two 2 identical mango trees that identify the waterfall way. See some of the pictures below. Keep following the path and you would find some more pebbles coloured that will exactly take you to the waterfall. For any trekker, it is worth a visit and a surreal trek to go for this monsoon.  

As a solo traveller, I would say please visit this amazing waterfall and get drenched in the views. 

Accessory that I have used for Clicking the images


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ShiviDecember 18, 201813min91327

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

Wander with me in the most stunning and breathtaking landscapes of India which is incomparable with anything in the world. Well, I have not travelled the world but I would definitely say that Spiti Valley is one of the gorgeous valleys of the Himalayas. As I discovered the dazzling sceneries, deep-blue lakes, barren terrain, sun-kissed white peaks, and wildlife with some of the remotest villages of India. I have been touched by the magic of Spiti, and I know you will be too. For knowing more about Spiti and the places to see read my blog here…

And for the exploration in its true sense and warming and cosy homestay and accommodation in Spiti valley, keep reading below.

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

If you want to travel around Spiti in the real sense, then staying with a local family in their house, eating and cooking with them whilst enjoying the local food like what they eat and how they cook is one of the best ways to go about it. Homestays in Spiti are a very common concept today and a different way of lodging. It gives you acumen into how punitive life is at such altitudes where people have to scuffle every day in extreme climatic conditions and terrain. Thus, staying in a homestay will offer you a sense of serenity and delight like no other. In fact, you can move out with a local to their fields, and help them cook food, sitting next to the ‘tandoor’ – which is a local heater. Enjoying the grazing lands of their cattle is a sight not to miss when in Spiti.

Lahual & Spiti Valley Homestay Travel Blog

Here are the best Homestays to stay when you are in Spiti Valley and do consider them as my personal review and recommendation as well:

Solo Yolo – Kaza

Incredible Spiti, amazing Kaza – though Kaza has numerous homestays and hostels to stay and relive the homely feeling amidst clouds and mountains, my favourite is Solo Yolo. Many foreigners and Indian travellers love to stay here. It is situated in Kaza near to a cricket playground which makes it an ideal place for stargazing in the night and view of the mountains and snow from the windows. The rooms are cosy and comfortable. The dining place is yet another spot not to miss. What about the caretakers – man, they are superbly friendly and happy going. They would help you with everything you need for your stay and roaming around in Kaza.

Solo Yolo - Kaza - Spirited Blogger Travel Blog

 

SoloYolo Kaza Homestay - Spiti Valley - SpiritedBlogger
SoloYolo Kaza Homestay – Spiti Valley – SpiritedBlogger

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul

India’s last village on the border of Indo-china – it is in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. While my trip to Spiti valley I happen to stay one night in Chitkul. The view of Bapsa River, Mathi temple to get a glimpse of the ancestors, and the population of around 700 people who live here since ages – are worthy to pay a visit. You may find cheap hotels and affordable homestays and zostels in Chitkul. Where I stayed was the Sunny Mountain View which is owned by Mr Chetram Ji – an old man but young at heart. The rooms are clean with subtle wooden work. You get the balcony and the view from every window of the room – just be there once and rekindle your love for mountains and India’s last village where our road ends.

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

 

Sunny Mountain View – Chitkul - Spirited Blogger

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

Tabo is a small town in the Lahaul and Spiti district that lies on the banks of the Spiti River. This place has a charm of Tibetan and Buddhism culture and you may see it influential enough in the entire terrain and breeze. Tabo is an absolute gem and the homestay where I stayed is Kesang Homestay – it is just on the road of Gompa Bus stand and what a beautiful and peaceful place to live in. The rooms are pretty spacious, clean and comfortable. The super friendly owner with her gracious smile will make you feel rejuvenated. I happen to get the opportunity to taste local Tibetan food too. She helped me to get plenty of local knowledge and places to see in Tabo. With this friendliness and warmth, it is a great place to stay.

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

 

Kesang Homestay – Tabo

Other than this in Chandrataal was the Camping Tents

This lake is at the surface level of 4250m; it is in the middle of the Himalayas and falls under Spiti Valley. This moon lake is wedged deep within the mighty Himalayan ranges which gives you spectacular views and positive aura to be there. For staying options – you only have tents there as the human population is not allowed to make hotels and also it remain closed for three months from October to January end, until the snow descends. I too stayed in a tent there – a very clean and undisturbed tent with attached bathroom. It has extra blankets for the dipping temperature which goes to even -8 to -10 degree Celsius in October and a bed in good condition. You are served with fantastic ginger lemon honey tea clubbed with breakfast and dinner with local flavour. Anything at that altitude where survival is tough is just a divine feeling.

Chandra Taal – The Moon Lake in Spiti Valley

Keep reading, Keep travelling.. the world awaits you!

Be Happy "</p



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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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