I have only been in Gujarat four days and it’s been good to me so far. I’m staying in the northern part of Ahmedabad and I love the smooth, wide roads and less traffic. But let me get to the point.
In this west Indian state, most people stay away from non-vegetarian food and there exists a ban on alcohol.
Before you decide to never come here, let me tell you non-vegetarian food is not hard to access and tourists are eligible to buy alcohol in the state in a totally legal way. I will, in this post tell you the story of how I legally bought alcohol in Ahmedabad. Continue reading Visitors can buy alcohol in India’s dry state Gujarat. Here’s how
Credit cards. Those guys from the bank call all the time pestering you to take one. But you don’t trust them of course.
You wonder what charges they will add to it. And your parents have never used credit cards. Any kind of debts are bad… and the credit card is the worst of them! You’ve heard enough stories.
As someone who has used credit cards for years, I will in this post attempt to demystify and de-demonise credit cards for you. If you have never used a credit card, read on to understand how credit cards work and how you can use them to your advantage without the risk of losing a single rupee. Continue reading Credit cards de-demonised: Why you should use them
You come across all these articles on social media on how to spend less while travelling to various destinations.
I know I have. In fact, I’ve written several of them myself! But perhaps the biggest factor and most non-complicated way to get your costs down significantly is largely ignored.
What am I talking about? Read on. Continue reading This simple hack will bring your travel costs down
You cannot travel through the US unless you have your own car.
How many times have you heard that? I have heard it on plenty of occasions and it is not entirely false.
The public transport system is the US is pretty bad. You do have the underground and buses in cities but when you need to travel between cities, it’s convenient if you have a car. There are trains and planes, but they are quite expensive. If you are on a budget, you would rather not use those.
That leaves us with inter-state buses. Continue reading Buses offer efficient & economical travel options within US
Koh Phangan has a very special place in my heart.
You might have heard of this island in the Gulf of Thailand as the venue of the infamous Full Moon Party, but during my visits there over the years, I have discovered that the place has so much more to offer than the party.
If you have a picture painted of the expression “Tropical Paradise” in your head, it is likely to resemble something like Koh Phangan.
With incredibly gorgeous beaches, heavenly sunsets, hikes through forested hills, biking opportunities over hilly, roller-coaster roads, and of course, delicious local food, this is a place you will want to go back to.
In February 2019 (Feb 23 to 27 to be precise), I am guiding a tour to Koh Phangan. Come, join me on this five-day adventure! Read on for details. Continue reading Join me on a trip to the tropical paradise of Koh Phangan
Have a day to spend in Bangkok but don’t want to spend too much? No problem at all, even if you throw in a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant!
Earlier this year, I flew into Bangkok at 6 in the morning and had the entire day in the city before taking an overnight train (I travelled first class. SO GOOD. Video coming soon on the TravelAndy YouTube channel) out around 7.30 in the evening.
So, here’s how I went about it. Continue reading How to spend 12 hours in Bangkok
On June 10, 2008, I got a message from a 28-year-old American man named Chris.
I did not know Chris. He said he was traveling around the world and asked if I would be available to meet up during his visit to Kolkata the following week. He also asked if I could possibly host him for a day or two during his visit.
That would have been unusual coming from a stranger. But this message had come on the “hospitality-exchange network” called Couchsurfing, one of the pioneers of the sharing economy in the tourism sector. [ALSO READ: Why you should be on Couchsurfing] Continue reading There was never a better time to travel for the budget traveller
Japan is a different world and if you are thinking of going somewhere but haven’t decided where, consider Japan.
I’ve talked about Japan so much [Check out my Japan guide by clicking here] that my parents decided to go there next. My dad is 65, and mom, 57, and they prefer to travel by themselves together rather than going with a tour operator.
Earlier, this year they went to Bali for three weeks and had a great time and now they are looking forward to Japan. Indonesia is visa-free for Indians but Japan isn’t. So, I took care of their Japan visa application. Continue reading Japan visa for Indians: The importance of a detailed itinerary
I had my first experience with pad Thai at a shack on the way to a beach on a Thai island.
They served a plate that looked much like noodles from back home, but not quite. Apart from the sticky noodles, there were copious amounts of mung bean sprouts, peanuts sprinkled all over and half a lemon. I didn’t quite know what taste to expect. This was a territory unknown to me. I squeezed the lemon over the plate, wrapped some of the noodles and sprouts around my fork and put it in my mouth.
The sprouts crunched, the sweetness in the noodles complimented perfectly the sourness of the lemon and the nuts cracked between my teeth. Continue reading Anthony Bourdain: The man who inspired me to move
Have you come across this news where a Reddit user realised she had forgotten her passport at a Kyoto hotel when she was in Tokyo and had to take a flight out of the city only a few hours later?
The woman posted on Reddit and asked if anyone could help her. A random stranger did.
The man, who was in Osaka, took a train to Kyoto, collected the passport, and got on the next Shinkanshen (bullet train) to Tokyo. Continue reading There are a lot of good people around
Travelling to Kashmir has always been on my bucket list and this time I finally made it!
I’d always heard Kashmir was a land of magic that exhibits diverse beauty in different seasons. So I planned to start with winter, the season of of white bed of snow, chilling breeze and multiple-layered cloths and traditional Kangri hidden under Pheran (a traditional knee-length cloak).
After I reached India’s northernmost state, the first flavour of Kashmir I took in was with the sip of Kehwa, traditional Kashmiri green tea in my hotel located in an alley close to Dal Lake. I spent the day sailing around the lake.
Unlike other seasons, Dal lake during winter is not so colourful, but still it is mesmerising and equally absorbing. A blanket of mist covers the lake and from it emerges colourful Shikaras captained by the local people, whose lives are very much dependent on this beautiful lake. Sailing the Dal lake it a must-do when you’re in the area. Sailing through Dal lake in winter is like removing layers of fog one after the other and going closer to a refreshing beauty of its floating vegetable market and wood crafted houseboats. Continue reading Why you should visit Kashmir in winter
A lot of people go to Germany for war tourism. I go because I love the food and the people there. But this time, I went to research my first novel. The historical fiction novel is called ON THE ROAD TO TARASCON.
The Internet had different and sometimes conflicting versions of the bit of history I was interested in. So, I decided to go to Magdeburg — a town one hour and 40 minutes by train from Berlin — and find out for myself the circumstances in which a Vincent Van Gogh masterpiece had gone missing on April 30, 1945.
If you have an idea about the World War 2 history of Magdeburg, you would know it was completely flattened by the British Royal Air Force bombings in 1945. As I got down from the intercity express and walked into the city to find a tram to take me to my hotel, I kept imagining how the place would have looked in the early months of 1945. Continue reading What really happened to this Van Gogh masterpiece?