Part#2 – Unleashing Northeast India – Land of Lamas, Rains, Rhinos and Momos!! By Abhimanyu

Part#2 – Tip toeing – Tawang and reaching Dirang!

We slept over with the Soldier’s stories of peace and altitude and how they live in extreme climate conditions at various posts across length and width of this beautiful Country called India.

@Tawang, the night temperature dipped to sub-zero and 3 layers of cloths, 2 blankets and a heater could brave us through that night.

Hold on, if you have landed to this page directly, please click Part#1 to read the prequel. Do come back here.

Day#3 –

  • Bumla Pass and Madhuri lake
  • Travel time – 8 hours tour
  • Road Condition – Good (Mostly)
  • Stay – Hotel Mon-Paradise

Woke up fresh and got ready at 8 am after eating some ready to eat poha and upma prepared by Akshata (Chotu). Reached downstairs to find our Chauffer for the day Mr. Tashi.

No, don’t think that Simanta got bored of our poha-jalebi talks and decided to part ways. In Tawang you are required to book a local taxi to visit Bumla Pass and Madhuri lake. Cost is approx. 5000/- all-inclusive and tour duration is about 7~8 hours. I think this arrangement is made to provide earning opportunities to the locals. That’s Good specially for Simanta as he got a rest day to spend with his favourite mawa and probably talk to his family over phone.

Tashi drove a Tata Sumo and could speak Hindi fluently. He had a footballer’s physique, spikes hairstyle and donned Ray-Ban aviators. He played some good music from the 90’s era which we really enjoyed.

Before moving ahead with trip, an important information is that all tourists (including Indians) need an Inner Land Permit(ILP) to enter Arunachal Pradesh border. The fess is about 250/- per person and it can be applied online. Our tour agent got this arranged for us before the commencement of trip.

Tawang to Bumla pass is about 35 Kms and takes about 1.5 hours to reach. The path is so beautiful that you would never want it to end. We visited in February and it was the perfect time as the mountains was covered with magical white fresh snow.

Tashi had to tie a metal chain on the tyres of Sumo to escape skidding on the snow.

Reaching Bumla Pass we were thrilled to the core, only Dev had seen such heavy snow before this day during his visit to Swiss Alps. It was difficult to even walk as the snow was soft, fresh and about 3~4 ft deep or even more.

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All tourists were taken to a Army shed and served free hot tea and water for FREE. You are expected to wash your glasses and keep them clean for the next lot of tourist. Before we move further in the day, let me brief you about Bumlapass, histroy and its geographic importance.

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Bumla Pass, situated at an altitude of over 15,200 ft is snowbound for almost the entire year due to its steep elevation and presents a beautiful view of the Tibetan plateau. The road to the pass takes visitors through many sleepy hamlets and scenic lakes, making the drive memorable. Elegantly maintained by the Indian Army, Bumla Pass is a must for those who want to see how Indian soldiers protect the borders in the harshest of climes. The road to Bum La is also a historical route, the People’s Liberation Army of China invaded India during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. Here in Bum La Pass one of the fiercest battles took place in the 1962 Sino-Indian War. It is the pass from where Dalai Lama entered India escaping from Tibet.

After some tea and talks, one of the army officers took all tourists for a walk towards the border, and while all of us were breathing heavily the siren hooted and we were ordered to march back towards the army shed. It was scary as we thought there is some activity from China’s side but after another free tea and talks later, the officer told us that it was a routine round from the China side and there was nothing to worry about. Let’s go again, he said.

Officer explained us about the meetings that take place every quarter between the two army’s, talks of peace and co-existence, exchange of culture and some gifts from each side. Chinese are tough nuts, he said and guided us back to the Shed. Some pictures, snow fights, another round of tea and bowing down to our soldiers for their courage and bravery later we were all set to visit Madhuri Lake(Sangestar Tso) with our Tashi.

Indian actress namely Madhuri, danced besides Sangestar Tso in koyla movie and since then locals fondly call it as Madhuri lake. Now that’s real swag!

While waiting at Bumla pass, Tashi removed the metal chains thinking they aren’t needed any more. He was wrong, as our cab got stuck in snow as on the way to Madhuri lake.

All of us got down and tried to help but little did we know that our soldier would arrive all of a sudden in a truck and get us moving in minutes. Salute them, smiling and feeling useless at the same time we got inside the cab. Trisha(my wife) started to feel heavy head. Tashi told us it normal to experience this for people from the plains like us. Altitude and extreme sun rays to be blamed.  

Right on the turn towards lake, an army officer told us that the road is blocked due to heavy snow. We could not see the lake where Madhuri Dixit danced in 1997. I was 9 years back then and other three even younger. No worries guys, this kinda stuff keeps on happening on roadtrips and hill terrains told our very own Akshata Dixit. 😛

A few minutes later curvy roads, an army officer in uniform asked us for lift and we happily stopped to invite him inside. I think all soldiers have a lot of stories and they are great story tellers as well. He narrated a few to us and then Soldier and Tashi started to talk about current Prime Minister – Shri Narendra Modi. Tashi told us that, he likes Modi very much and trust that only Modi can uplift Arunachal Pradesh. There was no college in Tawang and everyone either dropped out after high-school or had to enrol in other states for studies, but now Tawang has a basic college, told Tashi.

The soldier got us some hot water to drink, which is the best way to beat the altitude sickness. Trisha felt a little better and after some time tashi dropped us to Hotel.

After lunch Dev and Akshata went on to see Tawang War Memorial with Simanta. Me and Trisha decided to rest for a while. Some chai, talks and lying around was what we needed.

After an early dinner in the ground floor restaurant and thanking Raju- the chef for the lovely food we dozed off again. Yes, like how the pigs would do after spending some playfull times in the mud.

Day#4 –

  • Tawang local and drive to Dirang
  • Travel time – 9+ Hours
  • Road Condition – Good (Mostly)
  • Stay – Gonpalok Homestay

Next morning, it was time for us to bid adieus to Tawang but not so quick. Simanta had some plans for sight seeing and we also have “never say never” attitude. 1st place was Tawang Monastery. Monasteries are usually serene this was more that just serene. It was surreal. We were welcomed by harmless monkeys and after spending some time in the Monastery, waved goodbyes from young kids wearing Buddhist robes and having books in hands.

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Next up was a Giant Buddha Statue, located at an elevated place. We found a small and pretty café behind the statue to spend some good time and have tea and Maggie.

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Last up was the Tawang local market, almost all shops sell similar stuff which are woollens, souvenirs, incense sticks, cups/ mugs and footwears. We also got some to get back home with us. I love my dragon printed cup and still have my tea in it while writing this for you.

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Our time in Tawang was up and Simanta was ready with his mawa filled mouth and engine thumping. Next destination was Dirang.

Dirang was not in the original plan but last night we decided to alter the plan to ditch Shillong and include Kaziranga National Park. The decision was taken as the travel time to Shillong was too much for a day and we had to celebrate Dev and Chotu’s Anniversary. So, reaching to the next place was very important.

While driving back down-hill, we all admired the innocence and embracing nature of people of the beautiful state called, Arunachal Pradesh.

We stopped at Jang for a sightseeing, you will have to stair down about 200 steps to reach a river valley. Source Wikipedia : Nuranang Falls (also known as Bong Bong Falls), some 100 metres high, is located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in this part of the country, yet is unknown to many travelers. It lies some 2 kilometres away from the town of Jang on the road connecting Tawang and Bomdila, so it is also known as the Jang Falls. There is a small hydel plant located near the base that generates electricity for local use. The Nuranang river originates from the Northern slopes of the Sela Pass. Just below the waterfall it falls into the Tawang river.

We were hungry and Simanta stopped at Jaswant garh war memorial again. Remember in the 1st part I told you about the free tea and hot water. This is the same place that serves them. We got some idlis, dosas, muffins and tea. The taste, view and soldier’s passion deserve respect and admiration.

About 4 hours drive and crossing Sela pass again we finally reached Dirang. Do not miss to buy fresh fruits from the shops on the highway side. Dirang is known to produce variety of fruits.

We faced some difficulty in reaching the home stay but when we entered Gonpalok Homestay. We thought, “stay ho toh aisa.” No words can describe the taste of hot pakodas that were freshly cooked for us by the caretaker lady along with hot tea. Later in the evening we celebrated the much awaited anniversary at hotel Norphel Retreat. It was very well planned and organised by our freelancer travel agent. I leave you with some pictures to ponder on and be jealous of us that we did this the trip only a month before the country wide lock down was imposed to tackle Covid-19 spread.

 

Pet-full aur dil housefull, reaching back we slept like pigs would do after spending some playfull times in the mud. Sure of waking up to sunrise, cool breeze and blue sky – What else does a metro lad need!!

Hope you liked our journey till now! Write some encouraging words in the comments section and share the link with your friends, also ask them to share and comment…

Part#3 coming soon… where we move towards plains from the mountains and see the mighty Brahmaputra river, tea gardens and 1 horned rhino.

Much Love 🙂

Abhimanyu@Yatripandit

Part#1 Unleashing Northeast India – Land of Lamas, Rains, Rhinos and Momos!! By Abhimanyu

Part#1 – Reaching Tawang from Assam via Bomdila !

It was the occasion of our 2nd anniversary when four Sharmas’ planned to explore North-east, India.

We had a fantastic company of Dev and Akshata who got married a day earlier than me and Trisha in the same month of Feb and year of 2018.

Me and Dev shared room during my 1st job in Mumbai and we jelled up pretty well for obvious reasons like being Sharmas’ from MP/CG and loving beer. Since we got married almost on the same day, we could not attend each other’s weddings, and this was the chance to cut it by celebrating the anniversaries together.

Tickets were booked in August’19 and we then finalized our itenary during December’19.

We read a few posts and then finally decided to book ourselves with a Freelance travel consultant from Assam.

7th Feb 2020, finally the day had come when me and Trisha embarked the road in our new Honda Amaze from Pune to Mumbai. Akshata arrange for a safe car parking over a week’s time in Mumbai. It was an early morning flight from Mumbai to Assam, we had our masks on as there was a buzz of Covid19 around the world already. Landed in Assam to find our driver, Simanta and pre-booked Innova Crysta.

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Mumbai Airport

None of us had slept last night but there was no sense of deprivation. It was the time to make memories, none of us had been to this side of Incredible India.

I decided to narrate this trip in multiple stories in sequence as it was a beautiful long ROAD trip.

Day#1 – Trip start, 0 Kms

  • Guwahati Airport to Bomdila
  • Travel time – 9+ Hours
  • Road Condition – Good (Mostly)
  • Stay – Norgay Guest House Homestay

Journey starts from plains and takes you to the mountains. Located on the Foothills of Himalayas, Bomdila could be considered as an entry point of Arunachal Pradesh. Simanta played some asamese music while driving and halted at a random café so that we can have some Momos, maggie and tea. After 1st stop Hindi music took over Assamese and we were friends with Simanta. He was a character, loved his dose of Indian tobacco(jarda or mawa) while driving and always smiling. Never said no to our demands and was a true host in all senses.

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Lipsmacking Taste

We also got a chance to Enter Bhutan Border, smart Simanta got his diesel tank full as it is cheaper in Bhutan than in India.

As we were driving up-hill the air was getting colder and heavier. We drove alongside a river stream (Kameng river), Simanta told us that it comes all the way from China to meet the mighty Bhramaputra before merging in Bay of Bengal. We will meet Kameng river multiple times during our journey through Arunachal. Just before reaching our homestay in Bomdila we purchased some liquor as it will be helpful in keeping ourselves warm during the course of journey and its cheaper than Goa in Arunachal. 🙂

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Bhutan Border
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River Kameng

Homestay was clean and economical, we had to pay extra Rs. 300/- for a room heater. That’s Ok we were happy and rich (as it was just the first day).

For dinner we walked down the stairs and found a restaurant (name forgotten), but please find it right opposite Dragon restaurant. The momos and noodles which they served were the best that we had during the trip. Please let me know the name of this restaurant in comment section. I can eat those momos all my life and die happily.

Pet-full aur dil housefull, reaching back we slept like pigs would do after spending some playfull times in the mud. Woke up to sunrise, cool breeze and blue sky – What else does a metro lad need!!

We were sporting jackets and woolens now. Simanta was ready to drive us to Tawang, the dreamland that I wanted to visit since the time I saw it in TV a decade ago.

Day#2

  • Bomdila To Tawang
  • 200 Kms (approx.)
  • Travel time – 8+ Hours
  • Road Condition – Hilly and average
  • Stay – Hotel Mon Paradise

Visited the mesmerising and peaceful Bomdila monastery, saw the little monks chanting and praying in sync. The whole atmosphere was so serene, that trying to narrate it here would be loud and might kill the serenity of the place. Check out our youtube video link below.

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Nam yo ho !! – Buddham Sharnam Gachhami 🙂

After, seeing the monastery we commenced our journey to the land of Lama. The car was cruising slowing with 2 constants, Simanta’s Mawa and Kameng river running alongside.

The drive from Bomdila to Tawang will always be extremely close to my heart because I was about to experience my 1st snow sighting.

Sela pass – You beauty!! I had heard that there is silent a kid within every adult, I was unaware of mine till I saw the 1st snow of my life. I could not stop myself and ran down the stairs, which led to a frozen lake called Sela lake.

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Stairway to Heaven

The whole area was covered with snow we were playing, while clicking some pictures on our phones and many many more in our hearts. While we were down near a frozen lake, those stairs which we walked down seemed like a stairway to heaven. God was generous and suddenly it started to snow, we had such awesome experience before we had to run back to the car as it was a hailstorm. My 1st snow was a helluva experience. Remember the liquor that we bought last night; finally we could do justice to it using fresh snow from the sky..

I even ate some snow. 🙂

Hailstorm turned violent & we had to leave or rather escape from Sela to reach our next pit stop aka Jaswant Garh war memorial. It’s about 22 Kms from Sela and 21 Kms before Tawang.

You must see this video to live Sela Pass a lil more

A bit insight about the memorial – Jaswant Garh is a famous tourist attraction in Arunachal Pradesh and it is widely visited all year round. It is dedicated to the warrior, Jaswant Singh Rawat who was killed during the Indo-China War in 1962. He was an Indian rifleman of 4 Garhwal Rifles, Uttarakhand and for his bravery; Jaswant Rawat was honoured by a memorial at the post where he fought the Chinese army. This magnificent memorial is well kept at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. A small canteen is run by army personnel offering free tea / coffee and hot water to all visitors to keep them warm in cold weather. It is unbelievable in today’s world of worshiping money as God, where almost everyone is running behind money and becoming rich leaving behind empathy towards fellow humans. We relished dosa and idli in Arunachal at such height, it still have the taste in my head while I write about it. My wife, Trisha loved the patty and muffins.

Last but not the least; there is a small shop from where you can buy jackets, socks, gloves, caps, etc to withstand the negative temperatures of Tawang.

The memorial is surrounded by beautiful valley perfect to gaze on while sipping your unlimited free tea.

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Panorama from Jaswant Garh

Hopped back in the innova with happier Simanta, he already had starting chewing mawa.

We reached Tawang in another 1½ hours, the sun sets early and it was almost dark by 5pm when we reached. While, Dev was co-ordinating with the pre-booked homestay owner we had some difficulties in locating the stay. Finally, have found the homestay just to realise that staying there was not a good idea. It was located far away from town in a dark and abandoned area. Girls felt some safety concerns, and we had to honour this being responsible companions. Simanta’s “never say never” attitude and always smiling face helped us find a hotel in the market area. Name of the hotel is Mon Paradise. It was freezing cold, we quickly changed and reached the lobby area with our packed food and theplas. The hotel guys were happy to heat those for us and serve it with dal, egg bhurji and rice which we ordered from them. Sharing our food with a soldier from Indian Army with a lot of border stories was the best thing that we could have thought of in this trip.

Pet-full aur dil housefull, reaching back we slept like pigs would do after spending some playfull times in the mud. Woke up to sunrise, cool breeze and blue sky – What else does a metro lad need!!

Hope you liked our journey till now! Write some encouraging words in the comments section and share the link with your friends, also ask them to share and comment…

Read the part#2 of the story to see Tawang and Dirang from our eyes.

Much Love 🙂

Abhimanyu@Yatripandit

Guest Post || What I learnt from my travels by Naina

27 years old, 15 countries, 8000+ miles, 11 times circled the globe, 700+ hours, 23 mountains hiked, 9 different time zones..and the list goes on!!

Jet lag — That’s the 2nd most common word in my life.

Over the years I have been traveling to different countries on business or tourist/pleasure while sometimes just to escape the reality and find my focus.

While some people think travel is to : pack all the essentials, just hop on the plane, put your phone in the airplane mode, take that cozy blanket, put on your favorite movie and enjoy glass of fine vintage Château Côte de Baleau Grand Cru.

For me, travel= magic. So quick summary of the things I learnt from my travels :

1.You meet interesting and unforgettable people :

Once I was flying from Munich to New York, and met a very interesting student. She was quite intrigued by the book (Murder on the Orient Express) I was reading. I asked her name and then she introduced herself. As we continued to talk for the next few hours, she told me about her life, how she left everyone to pursue her dreams and how she is working as a part time bartender to make sure she pays her bills and completes her education. While I could see some hesitation in her voice, I was also impressed by her determination to be better in the life.

Life is not “bed of roses”, but how many do you think are determined to make it better every day?

Just 2 months back, I was flying from Shanghai to New York ( business class) and met an investor, must be in her 50’s. While she was happily enjoying her wine, after 50 minutes into the flight, we started talking and that’s when she shared her “grand perspective” towards life and startups. While she had few hiccups as an investor previously and on the personal front due to her marriage yet she never bogged down. I shared few start up ideas, why I thought it can be next the “big thing” and to what level it can succeed or fail. She asked me to send her a business plan. Just few days back I sent her the plan with an empty feeling that she must have forgotten me. I have always been a person who cared about time and details, she replied to me after 3 days and I was completely amazed by her detailed feedback. I thanked her later!

2. You find your “why”

There was a point in my life when traveling wasn’t just a hobby but a therapy. I called it my “inflection” point and it helped me in finding my why. I found myself and it made all the difference in my life.

3. Started writing a book

I have always been an avid reader (completed reading my 457th book recently). Having met so many people in my life and been through so many experiences, I started writing a book ( which I’ll publish soon). Experiences ranged from going on date with an absolute stranger — discovering different “kind of personalities” — an emergency landing — hitchhiking in a new country at 3am — — hiking with different group of people — camping with strangers— drinking wine with guys I never met in my whole life — diving 10 m deep in the sea — — ending up getting hitched for fun in a chapel in the Vegas and many more…

4. You feel “unstoppable”

Someone said it right that if you are feeling over confident, hike a mountain because mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence. Till now I have hiked 23 mountains and that created all the difference in my personality. One such place where I exhausted myself was “Pinnacles in Borneo”. Sharp blade like rocks ( pic below) tested everything I had in me. I cried with happiness when I completed the hike after 9 hours of climb and descend. It made me feel “unstoppable”.

Pinnacles

5. Humbleness and Grateful

More than 8 billion people on this planet from different countries, religion and cultures. Different cuisines, celebrations and colors, I have experienced it all and I cant be more grateful. I became more open to people’s opinion, appreciate the fact that different people react to the same situation in a different way. In short I became more acceptable to the fact that I can be wrong in someone’s opinion and can be idolized in someone else’s mind. Having met so many people I learnt how to be grounded and be a better listener even when I’m talking. Everyone has a story, perception of reality, opinion, experiences and thoughts. There is no right or wrong opinion.

6. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things

Travel allows you to experience living in conditions that you never thought you could survive. But you will. Only when you step out of your comfort zone, then can you really push yourself to your limits and discover what you can achieve. Now whenever I feel I cannot do something, I replay those moments when a task/situation seemed utterly difficult and the way I accomplished it.

“Your strength lies in all those things you completed which once deemed impossible”

7. Finding the way on your own after getting lost.

Ever got lost? No phone, no maps, language barrier, no one to help? Take a deep breath and look around. What do you feel? I felt like wandering on my own.

There is nothing like being lost in Rome where every street corner has another spectacular sculpture; or being lost in Brussels where every neighborhood has a cluster of bistros or bakeries.

By the end of the day, I explored more than I planned. Some one said it right :

“Not All Who Wander Are Lost”

8. Knowledge and fearless mindset

I faced language barrier many times especially when I was in China and Korea. So I learnt Mandarin and Korean. Life is full of adversities and I’m not new to such situations. Bus broke down? Train delayed? Road block? Severe food poisoning? Lost your way? It’s okay, slow down and find an alternative way out.

Many times I asked myself “What’s the worst that could happen?” and that’show I developed a “fearless mindset”.

9. Living the moments

This one is my favourite. I was just out of my cocoon and in Singapore. Like any amateur traveler I was clicking the beauty Singapore has to offer. A European guy was watching me. He came to me and said something I’ll always remember. He said “ Sometimes we are so engrossed in capturing/clicking things that we forget to live the moments and beauty the place has to offer”. He was right! From that time on, I started living in the moments and in my perspective it’s beautiful!

Living in the moments

“An amateur traveller tries to capture everything amazing in his/her camera whereas a mature traveller live those amazing things and moments”

Oh did I forget to tell you about the spectacular vast and infinite “ Sky views”?

Pics I clicked)

View from Plane

Why I wrote this post? Some day I’ll be 80 years old and still be traveling. When I’ll look back, I will read this post again and say to myself “The journey is more beautiful than the destination” and I lived every moment of it.

**** This is my first post, apologies if you find any error/mistake. And, if you like it and want me to write more posts, please don’t forget to “like & comment” because your appreciation would motivate me***** 🙂

Keep traveling !!!

Love Naina 🙂

 

Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from google

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

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My Own Honeymoon Package || Bali & Gili Travangan

ITINERARY

Day 1. Bali – Arrival

Arrival in the Denpasar Airport, meets with our representative, and will directly proceed to Hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure by own arrangement.

Day 2. WATER SPORT + 60 MINUTES MASSAGE (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning at 09:00am pick up to Tanjung Benoa is a very suitable place for Water sport activities or water sports. Water sports can be enjoyed here include a Jet Sky, Fly fish, and Banana boat.

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 Afternoon enjoy 60 Minutes massage for relax your body and mind.

 

Day 3. TRANSFER TO GILI TRAWANGAN (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning at 07.00am will pick up for transfer to Padangbai/ Serangan Harbor for transfer to Gili Trawangan.

Arrive at Gili, take Cidomo transfer ( arrange on clients own) and transfer to hotel at Gili Trawangan.

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Day 4. FREE AT LEISURE (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning Free at leisure by own arrangement

 

Day 5. TRANSFER GILI TRAWANGAN TO BALI (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning around at 08.00am take Cidomo transfer to Gili Harbor ( arrange by clients on own)

Arrive at Gili Harbor check in at boat counter and transfer by boat to Bali. Arrive at Serangan/Padangbai harbor will transfer to hotel at Bali.

Rest of the days free leisure at own arrangement.

 

Day 6. HD ULUWATU KECAK TOUR (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning free leisure at own arrangement.

Afternoon at 15.00pm will pick up for trip to the most southern tip of the island: Uluwatu temple hanging on a cliff over a 100 meters sheer drop to the ocean. Within this area, we also have a chance to see the map view of Bali. As the evening approaches, enjoy the Kecak and Fire Dance to enrich your afternoon.

kecak dance

Day 7. BOUNTY SUNSET DINNER CRUISE (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning free leisure at own arrangement.

 Afternoon there’s no better way to spend a balmy tropical evening than on Bounty evening Dinner Cruise. As the sun goes down we set off on a relaxing cruise around the harbour.

Cruise Include

·         Return hotel transfer (Nusa Dua, Kuta, Sanur, Seminyak, Denpasar hotel area only)

·         Welcome drink

·         International Buffet Dinner

·         Traditional Balinesse Dance

·         Live Music

·         DJ on board

·         Comedy Cabaret Show

·         On Board Entertainment

·         Duration : 17:30 pm – 20:30 pm

·         Boarding commences : 17:30 pm

 Day 8. Bali – Out (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning Free at leisure by own arrangement until departure time to be proceed to the Airport.

 

Package cost – INR 1,20,000/-* Approx. (Ex-Delhi/ Mumba) for a Couple.

If you like the package, please email us or call/whatsapp us on 9975712713, we would be happy to book it for you. 

Of-course we would be glad to tweak and modify this to suit your desired trip.

Story by : Abhimanyu@yatripandit

Image Source : Google images 

Guest Post || Feast Yourself: The Best of What You Can Eat in Frankfurt – by M Taha Khan

Whether during the lunch break or in the evening – food from the buffet has advantages. You can taste as many delicacies as you like for a fixed price, get to know many new delights or eat more of your favorite food. And the offer in Frankfurt ranges from sushi to Mongolian and oriental cuisine to pasta and tapas.

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Sushi Circle

Behind the counter of the Sushi Circles, you can watch the sushi master at work, as soon as the little appetizers are done; they drive past you nicely lined up. You just have to grab it. The assembly line holds good sushi in all variations, but also all sorts of other trifles.

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Especially recommended is the black seaweed salad with roasted sesame. Who after so much fish & Co on sweets would like to change, also will find it here – because between the eccentric, which you simply take off the tape, depending on your appetite, hunger and mood, also go treats like baked banana or warm, filled with bean curd sesame balls past you. For All, You Can Eat there is a soup included, which you can order just like the drinks at the table at the friendly service. The sushi, also vegetarian, you get here to take away.

 

Iimori Patisserie

The Café Iimori in the old town of Frankfurt is wonderfully nostalgically furnished; the restaurant on the upper floor exudes the charm of a Parisian salon.

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Every Saturday welcomes owner AzkoIimoriand their guests with a well-stocked buffet filled with heavenly delicacies: fresh sushi, Japanese and French tapas and sweet temptations from our own patisserie as green tea tart, apple or chocolate tart. Caution, addictiveness! Please reserve Sundays as there is a Sunday brunch.

 

Tapas Locas

In the nice pub Tapas Locas with wooden tables and friendly service, you get the little Spanish delicacies every Tuesday night as a buffet presented. Aioli, olives, tortilla, patatas bravas, fish, and meat – here you can feast as much as you like.

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The selection of food and matching wines is great, the prices are fair. If you do not feel like having a buffet, you can also order a la carte. Sometimes a musician comes by with his guitar and sings wistful songs from Spain on wine and good food.

Cron at the harbor

An All You Can Eat Brunch Fine Art offers the Cron at the port on every Sunday, as well as on selected holidays, you can have a tasty brunch with friends or family from 10:30 to 16:30. You can choose from delicious fresh antipasti (fish, meat or even vegetarian options), a homemade soup of the day, a wide selection of cheeses and meats with their own bread station and cereal, yogurt as is for a fortifying meal, fresh fruits, and even Italian desserts.

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The delicious fun costs € 17.50 for adults, € 8.50 for children from 7 to 12 years. Per person, the buffet also includes a hot drink and a stir or mirror from the menu. If you want, you can order the pasta of the day (5 €) or a fish or meat dish (10 €).

Joe Peñas

The wide range of Fajitas is highly recommended. On top you will find the best what Tex-Mex cuisine has to offer: beef and chicken, seasoned with leaf salad and home-made dressing. There is also a quesadilla, a grilled wheat tortilla stuffed with red onions and cheese.

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Also, the traditional appetizer specialty “Tamales Vallarta” (8 €) from the province of Chiapas is outstanding. Served here is a filling of ground corn, fresh vegetables and chicken in a corn leaf coat, which is steamed over a water bath and refined with spicy salsa.

Shangrila

The Shangrila wants to introduce its guests to the diversity of Chinese-Mongolian cuisine. During the week, there is a Chinese lunch buffet, and on Friday and Saturday lunchtime, as well as every Sunday evening, Mongolian cuisine is served with Chinese dishes.

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A special feature is the live cooking: You select the ingredients at the buffet, such as crisp-fresh vegetables, fresh seafood, fish or meat and the chef prepares you personally on a 400-degree hot plate stainless steel your Mongolian court in minutes. The finished dish will be served at the table. You will also find here all sorts of other Asian appetizers and desserts.

Rodizio Grill

Originally, only beef was grilled from the South American pampas for the dish “Churrasco”, a kind of spit roast. Today you can find other varieties of meat over the fire in the Brazilian ChurrascariaRodizioGrill. You can choose anything from pork, beef, and lamb to poultry and sausages. With a table lamp, you show the staff, if you still want meat (green) or if your needs are covered (red). The meat can be served at the salad buffet, as well as a side dish of black beans (feijoada), rice, fried yucca root (mandioca) and fries served. This place is especially for real meat lovers!

Kish

Take a trip to the Orient during your lunch break – that’s what the Kish restaurant in Bockenheim is all about. There is a Persian buffet each afternoon with dishes such as lamb and chicken skewers, saffron meat, falafel and vegetarian vegetable dishes with oriental spices such as peppermint, coriander or turmeric.

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The lunch buffet takes place daily from 11: 30-15 o’clock. Unusual, but now has proven the payment model: you not only eat as much as you want, you also pay as much as you like and can.

 

AUTHOR BIO:

This article is written by M Taha Khan. He is a professional blogger and content writer who writes for different blogs as a guest author.1558393_829348130421811_2300278366306458111_n

He is a passionate traveler, football lover and a digital marketing executive at Flights to Frankfurt from London.

 

 

Disclaimer:  *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

**Photos from pixlebay.com

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

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Tour Package || Bhutan on Budget

The Trip

This edition of our Bhutan trip is meant for the backpackers, for the budget travelers, and everyone in between. Take part in this 1-week adventure in the land of happiness with EIT and explore the vast mountains, the royal monasteries and so much more!

 Day 01:

Arrival at Phuentsholing. Transfer to Thimphu. Travel Time – 6.5 – 7 hours.
Check into hotel

 Day 02:

Local sightseeing after breakfast (Memorial Chorten, Buddha Statue, Thimphu Dzong, Takin Reserve,
National Museum of Textiles)
Evening sightseeing (Changankha Lhakhang and sightseeing left over from previous day) and shopping etc.

 Day 03:

Mild hike to a monastery near Thimphu
Personalised postal stamps at Thimphu Post Office, and evening free for rest and shopping

 Day 04:

Check out of hotel after early breakfast & leave for Punakha district. Travel time – 2 hours.
All sightseeing in Punakha via Dochu La Pass (Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha Dzong & iron suspension bridge)
Evening free for rest after a hectic day

 Day 05:

Early breakfast & leave for Paro Travel time – 3 hours
Local sightseeing at Paro (Paro Dzong, Dungtse Lhakhang, Kichyu Monastery)
Evening free for rest

 Day 06:

Early breakfast and begin climb to Tiger’s Nest/Taktsang. Climb will take about 2.5 – 3 hours.
Evening visit National Museum and thereafter go shopping/exploration in Paro town

 Day 07:

Departure from Paro after breakfast

This itinerary can be customised to include a longer stay in Thimphu, especially for first time visitors to the country. However, the Price Tag will then change

Note: Bhutan trips are planned in association with our travel partners, Easeindiatravel

For reading a traveler’s 1st hand experience please click Here

For Tariff

or

you can directly contact our tour partners, “EASEINDIATRAVEL“on info@easeindiatravel.com. Mention Yatripandit’s name to get special tarrifs.

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Cheers !!

Guhagar – with Sandy, White Sand and Serenity

We know you liked our last story, kuch khaas hai kaas on Kaas Plateau published in September 2017 and as promised here we are sharing the 2nd phase of that amazing Road trip with Sandy. If you missed reading the preceding story, click here and then read the current one.

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Here you go, After dumping the idea of quitting jobs and realizing that its getting dark, we hit the road again to reach our final destination- Guhagar. It was about 180 kms drive from Satara via karad and Chiplun. The roads were not in a good condition throughout the journey and there were some steep ghats, then we reached to the pre booked Nilambari Resort.

Where to STAY: It was a 3 bed non AC room with attached toilet and television. The resort owner is very friendly and we could bargain and get the fare down to Rs 1000/- from Rs.1500/-. After having typical Konkani poha and tea served at the Resort, we headed to the beach which is about a five minute walk from the resort.

What to EAT: While in Guhagar, one must try Konkani vegetarian food like ukdi chamodak, sol kadi, Bhaves, kokam sharbat and Thali-pith of Suruchi hotel is a must eat. Konkani sea food is globally recognized for its taste and while in this part of the sub-continent, one cannot afford to miss:  kalva, mhakala, vaghal, bonbil, kolim, kombadi vade, mori mutton, Ghol, Rawas etc.

We were awestruck after feeling the smooth white sand on this virgin Guhagar beach. The water was clear and so was the beach. It felt as 3 of us were the only tourists.  After having a dip in the Arabian sea, we headed towards the famous Gopalgarh fort which has great historic significance. It is believed to be built at the start of 16th Century by the Siddis. It was captured by Shivaji Maharah in 1660.

Being one of the most important lighthouses of India, Anjanvel Light house is a must visit. The lighthouse operator explained us the technicalities involved in signaling and controlling the ships. We halted at an unknown and unnamed venue on the hill and facing the mighty Arabian Sea for some time and did not realize when we ended up halting there for hours. The air was the freshest that we ever had inhaled and the breathtaking view was the best ever experience we could have captured in ours lens, eyes and hearts. The thought of quitting job was dwindling all over again. We enjoyed some late night drinks on the beach in the moonlight and under the sky full of twinkling stars.

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Vyadeshwar and Velaneshwar temple:  Both are temples of Lord Shiva and are the Kuladaivat of a lot of Kokanastha Brahmins.

Next morning we were all set to hit road and decided to take the road less traveled, where we had to cross Dabhol creek on a ferry along with our car, which was a superb experience to reach Ratnagiri. Visited an ancient Chandika Devi Temple to reach Pune via not so easy to drive Tamhini Ghat. The ghat is full of waterfalls and scenic beauty during the monsoon. We drove back to Mumbai with a lifetime experience, much improved bond of friendship and promises for the many more upcoming roadtrips.

Must carry stuff on a roadtrip: Aux cable, cigarette point charger, knife, water, jacket, extra pair of shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, old newspapers, mat, bedsheet, nail cutter, mug, DSLR, football, snacks,  beachwear (if the place you heading to has a beach)and hell lot of great music.

Do not miss to listen to the music what we love on roadtrip by clicking HERE

Story by: Abhimanyu

Pictures by: Utkarsh & Sandy

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Guest Post || Trip to the Tranquil land of Lanjhni By Lekha

You all would agree with me for the title if I tell you I am talking about no place other than Himachal Pradesh known as devbhoomi (land of devatas). There is this different sense of calmness once you cross the Punjab border and enter into Himachal.

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I recently got a  chance to visit this paradise and trust me if you are expecting me to talk about Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, Shimla etc, I am going to disappoint you because Himachal is not just these places(for a trip to Shimla you can read Yatripandit’s Story). There is much more to it and that is still hidden on the hill tops, inside the forests and God knows where else. So let’s take you to these serene villages of Himachal (They are no villages) and absorb the tranquility of these plush green places. As you enter the Himachal border from Pathankot , you are welcomed with a cool breeze usually every time of the year and long deodar trees. It will take you around an hour or two to reach banoi chowk if you boarded the Kangra bus from Pathankot. Usually these chowks are named after the names of rivers flowing there or nearby, and let me remind you throughout the way the rivers are not gonna leave you, from the bus you can follow the river waters and it might not be surprising if the bus stops suddenly on the road side and conductor gets down to fill his water bottle from the water seeping through the roadside hill. Yeah, it’s the purest water – chilled and all for free. On the way there are many dhabas (Unlike Karnataka) to serve you delicious tandoori roti along with Kadi and Rajma and this hot meal is exactly what you need on those hilly cold Raasta.

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As you reach banoi chowk, you have to get down and take a jeep to Lanjhni  (It’s a village on the hilltops in district Dharamshala and tehsil Kangra with around 150 houses , built almost one or two per hill ) Usually the locals living there provide guest houses for rent to travelers, but it’s hard to find on your own since it’s almost a non-traveller zone, so you have to make arrangements in advance or you could even take help from the drivers or hotel owners in Dharamshala as this place is just 10 KM from Dharamshala.

Once you are set in that cozy room of your guest house facing tall deodar trees and pin drop silence you have all the time in the world to be face yourself. The silence here is not deafening, it’s music to your ears when you can hear your own heartbeat. I would suggest to reach the guesthouse before the sunset just to be on a safer side (Although people here do not lock their homes..)

Enjoy a great adrak wali chai and let the artist within unwind. (That’s my personal touch to it)

Next morning , it’s an advice to wake up early because you surely would not like to miss one of your life’s best sunrise, the first rays breaking through the clouds(although you are on cloudsJ ) and sun rising behind that green cover of trees .  After making up your morning, the walk through the hills between the clouds would lead you to a soul awakening path, the cool breeze and the warm sun is the perfect combination for the awakening.  No need to rush, nowhere to hurry for…Just Live and by this I mean actually LIVE LIFE.IMG-20170922-WA0001

You have all the time to explore the village now and you would really be astonished to know that this village is built much better than many of the cities we live in, with all the amenities  and yes there is hardly any power cut happening in this village. Please take your time to talk to the elderly people here, you will fall in love with the sweetness of their language and affection , they will tell you how their ancestors bought these hills and constructed those houses which are more robust than many of our recent constructions, they have the plethora of stories some depicting their ancient beliefs and you will feel how innocent and pure their hearts are while some will tell you some daily tales about myths which might scare you a bit,but overall this is gonna be a lifetime experience for you.

If you craving for the outside world , you can anytime tale a local jeep or cab to Dharamshala and ahead to Mcleodganj and have a gala time, do a real time cheap shopping ,enjoy your time with little cute monks in Dalai lama temple , visit the famous Shiva Café and Bhagsunag temple and Falls.

This trip would give you a soul stirring and calming experience or I should say ‘A Murakami experience’.

Please do write to me if you need any details for this place in case you are traveling.

 

About the Author:

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Name: Lekha Mishra

Job: Who cares

Ethnicity: Is often misconstrued and lead to miseries, so don’t have one.

Loves: Time I cultivate the dreams and nurture the art within and love to love the loved ones who make life a lovable livable affair for the downtrodden too.

Outlook about Life: A cup of hot ginger tea and a big window seating with a book or a calm listener or a healer

Do you cry: Often! Yes it cleans the slate.

Shopping: Need more almirah maa!IMG-20171101-WA0000

Yatripandit addon: Lekha is an amazing soul who believes in LMAO theory showing her all 32. She always carries a full of life attitude and is ready for all challenges. We wish her all the best for all future journeys and life.

 

 

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

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God’s Own Country – Kerala

I love traveling! It doesn’t matter whether the destination is at, above or below sea level. As you know, I work for a corporate house as well getting long leaves is a herculean task. I try to utilize all the long weekends and convert them into holidays. Trust me, it’s not that difficult when you plan in advance and have great set of friends to accompany you. I had 4 of them with me.

Last year, we eyed on 15th August (Independence Day Holiday in India) long weekend and planned a 5 day trip to Kerala – God’s own country.

Flight tickets – Check

Accommodation – Check

Intercity Transfers – Check

After a few morning hiccups and winning over a hefty traffic jam on the way to Pune airport, we   on-boarded a morning flight from Pune to Kochi. We landed at the beautiful Kochi Airport to find our pre-booked cab waiting for us at the airport.

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Kochi Airport

It was a neat, a bit old but well maintained Toyota Innova(my fav car for longer roadtrips). I am always hungry to taste local food while traveling; the cabbie took us to a local restaurant in Kochi to enjoy some delicious local Kerala food.

We commenced our voyage to Munnar aka Kashmir of the south. En route Munnar our eyes could not stop peeping outside the car window without blinking. Mesmerized by the beauty of Valara waterfalls we got out of the cabs to click some memories. Valara falls, where the water cascades from an altitude of about 1000 mts, which itself was a treat to eyes and the camera lens. Munnar is known for magnificent waterfalls, we could not visit all (remember lack of leaves for this poor corporate junkie) here is a brilliant article which gives a great insight. http://www.munnar.com/waterfalls-in-munnar.htm#waterfalls.

Where to Stay? – We stayed in Hotel Munnar black forest www.munnarblackforest.com. It’s a budget hotel located on Kochi Munnar road. Rooms are not that great neither the food is. We do not recommend this hotel and search for better options. Munnar is full of better stay options.

Places to visit in Munnar – This gorgeous hill station in Western Ghats is located at 1600mts above sea level. The height and the climate make it apt for tea plantations. We witnessed the whole of mountains covered with tea estates till horizon. The green leafy carpet and the aura of tea plantations surely make it an #instagram paradise. We even managed to gate crash an estate on the way to breathe tea and some perfect clicks.

  • Munnar Tea Museum – As they say,” tea doesn’t ask silly questions, it understands.” When you have such a huge yield of tea, it needs to be processed, packed and marketed as well. This tea museum imparts you enough knowledge on how a tea leaf is converted and marketed as the tea which we use in our households. Established in 2005 previously owned by Tata’s and now by Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company (P) Ltd. (KDHP), this museum has so many historic machinery and models still preserved in good shape. They show a short film which depicts the history of Munnar and its lovely tea plantations. After the film, it also offers a tour to the factory in which you can see and learn the technicalities involved in processing your favorite beverage to come out of morning blues every day. You can taste and buy some tea varieties e.g ginger, masala, green and white tea.

Baith jata hun wahan, Chai bann rahi ho Jahan.

  • Mattupetty Dam – This dam is built near the confluence of mountain streams of Muthirappuzha, Chanduvarai and Kundale Rivers. It is used to generate electricity using hydel power. The large amount of water favors wild animals and birds to flourish. There are a few small shops to buys some local stuff like cardamom, masala and some munchies.

Places to visit in Alappuzha – This laid back heaven in south India is also known as Alleppey and Venice of the East. Well known for the backwaters, canals, lagoons and houseboats.

  • Backwaters – Shikara(boat) ride across the backwaters is a must do and you may book the ride right from the boarding point at the river side. Ask locals or hotel reception for guidance. Avoid hiring the boat through any agent as you might strike a cheaper deal at the boarding point. There are public boat buses which run across this city of Venice … oops; Alleppey.

While on the boat tour cruising on the backwaters; close your eyes, spread yours arms wide and feel the wind pass through your body. The water is clean, calm and serene. One can write books on the breathtaking beauty of this lake city. It surely is a honeymooner’s paradise, a painter’s painting, a poet’s lyrics and a musician’s beats. The song which kept on playing in my head during this trip, as Godsmack brilliantly sung, “I need serenity and a place where I can hide.”

Link to the song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A4Km5PTu5o

Alleppey also has a beach which is usually crowded and not very clean.

Stay in Alleppey – This being  an important tourist destination you can find many stay options from budget homestays to exotic 5 stars. Houseboat can also be a unique idea to stay which serve you great food, comfortable bedrooms and tidy western toilets while sailing across the backwaters. We stayed in a mid-ranged 3 star resort called Pagoda Resort which can be booked here www.pagodaresorts.com. The rooms are comfortable and food is to be relished forever (we were there at the time of kerala food festival). In Pagoda resort, you must gift yourself a kerala ayurvedic massage therapy, to help you forget the worldly affairs, work pressure, targets and let you meet your better and relaxed self. We opted for the relaxing Shirodhara and I vouch for it totally.

When to Go – In Munnar the weather is pleasant throughout the year but if you do not like rains avoid going in Monsoon (June, July and October) season as it rains cats, dogs and sometimes elephants too. Whereas in Alleppey summers are hot and winters is the best season to explore. Or you may plan Alappuzha at the time of Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, on the second Saturday of August every year (we missed it by a week).

What to eat – I strongly recommend eating local food which includes idli, rice, appam, uttapam, dosa, sambhar, rasam, etc. Kerala is known for sea food. One must also try variety of chips/ wafers which are a local delicacy. We enjoyed an authentic south Indian meal and various other food items served on a banana leaf at the very famous Sarvana Bhavan in Munnar.

After cruising about 450 kMs(excluding the air travel) through a few cities and villages, beautiful landscapes, mystic mountains, pleasant waterfalls, a soothing beach, a healing ayurvedic massage, lip smacking kerala food and mesmerizing backwaters we ended up this amazing journey to the God’s Own Country with some memories to be cherished for lifetime.

We can help you plan one such trip. Please write to us on info@yatripandit.com

Abhimanyu@yatripandit

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Guest Post || Going up the peak, Hong Kong – by Becca

Our second day in Hong Kong couldn’t have been better. It started off with shock, when we realized we’d somehow managed to sleep in until 1pm, but I haven’t been able to sleep in weeks due to excitement so the rest was well needed. All day today we’ve been full of energy and have recovered from our jet lag so it’s done us a favor.

It was 28-30 degrees and unlike yesterday the sun was out, the skies were blue and the mist and fog was non- existent. The ideal weather for going up Victoria peak.


We decided to go for lunch at an Italian place called Spasso near our hotel; yesterday we met a lovely Philippino woman who worked there and we said we would go back another day. She was delighted that we kept our promise and seated us outside by the main road with gorgeous, clear view of Hong Kong across the water.

With full stomachs and well-needed increased blood sugar levels, we made our way down to the pier to get on the ferry to Hong Kong island. On our stroll I noticed how nicely the Asian women dressed; some looked cute in knee-high floral dresses with frilly sleeves, others in dungarees or three quarter length baggy trousers.
A ticket for the ferry to central pier cost only 3.40HKD, the equivalent to 30p! The waves were gentle and the water was a deep turquoise colour. Whilst gazing out the window I realised I’d never felt so content. I had no working phone, no make up, no worries and no rush to be anywhere. There’s no better feeling than realising this feeling will go on for weeks to come.

We caught a taxi from central pier to the peak tram station. Walking would only take you about half an hour, but in the heat when you don’t know where you’re going, paying 28HKD (£2.70) won’t break the bank.


Whatever you do, DO NOT be put off by the queue for the tram. It goes really quickly and you’re in such a happy daydream that waiting doesn’t bother you. We sat on the wooden seats of the bumpy tram and got some fantastic views on the city in daylight.


Once at the top, the view got even better, Hong Kong resembled a little lego town, the clouds surrounding the skyscrapers at eye level. We decided to save our ticket for the peak until dark, so we explored the shopping centre inside and took a walk down a dainty pathway, wrapped up in exotic foliage.


We then chose to wait in a romantic little restaurant for a pint of Budweiser until the sun had gone to sleep. The garden was dressed in fairy lights and tropical foliage gave it a chilled out feel. Once again the staff were more than friendly and even gave us mosquito spray to prevent us from getting bitten.

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Finally the time had come for us to take ourselves 428 metres above sea level to admire the city lit up from above. To say it was the most beautiful site I had ever seen would be an understatement. The fog had been kind to us again and disappeared, the warm weather reminded me of toasty evenings in Bulgaria after sunset. Looking at all the windows and lights put into perspective just how populated Hong Kong actually is. It got me thinking about all the people behind the windows and their individual lives.  Some would be sleeping, some eating, some working, some young, some old. It made the world feel much bigger rather than small for once. We got some great photos, but they will never do the real thing any justice.


Before getting the ferry back to our hotel, we stopped off at Mak’s noodles in one of the shopping centres up the peak. The staff brought us free, unlimited top ups of green tea and we enjoyed authentic Chinese food. They had loads of vegetarian/ pescatarian options which made me happy! I had shrimp wonton noodle soup and chestnut mushrooms.

About the author :

Rebecca Gouldbourne fondly know as Becca is an fantastic human and fellow travel blogger. She is on a world tour and always encourages yatripandit.com.

She de12140710_10153362259534081_109508521977048061_nscribes herself as,” my name is Becca (usually referred to as ‘the small one’ or ‘the one with the laugh’). I’m 22, but still a child at heart. I come from the South Coast of England and have an obsession with dogs, food, sun and people. After studying journalism with creative writing and graduating from Kingston university, I have now decided to break free from my repetitive routine to go and explore the real world.” You can keep a track of Becca’s travel tales by clicking the link https://small-feet-big-steps.com/

 

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

If you also want to get featured as a guest author on yatripandit.com, share your story with us on info@yatripandit.com

Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel. This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media

Cheers !!