Today (August 15, 2017) is India’s 70th Independence Day — a national holiday — and I am now in Bangalore, the IT city in South India’s Karnataka state.
I had been meaning to visit this city for a long time. Bangalore, per se, doesn’t have destinations which tourists come from far and wide to visit. What it has is a large number of beautiful places around it and this is what attracts visitors.
My agenda, however, has been a little different. I am in the city just to meet up with people.
I have several friends in Bangalore, many of whom have been asking me to visit for a long time and for some reason or another, it hadn’t just worked out till now. Earlier this month, I realised I could squeeze out a five-day leave, booked my tickets (with credit card points of course!) and here I was. Continue reading What makes a place memorable is its people
Most people who go to Koh Phangan — an island in the Gulf of Thailand — for the (in)famous Full Moon Party.
I have no shame in admitting that the two times I have been there, I went for the party [Also read: Dos and don’ts at the Full Moon Party] — the first time solo, and the second time with an old friend.
But while at Koh Phangan, I have tried exploring the island beyond the Full Moon Party.
I had heard about Bottle beach on my first time on the island. Sandra, a friend I made there, had been to the beach which could only be accessed by water and had a lot of good things to say about it. Continue reading Koh Phangan beyond Full Moon Party: Bottle beach
In 2011 — the last time I had made the journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani — I had travelled by bus. The bus wasn’t uncomfortable, but this time — in 2017 — my friend and I chose to travel by train.
We made our reservations beforehand and got into our Second class AC (air-conditioned) coach on a wet June evening.
The problem with reserving seats on Thai trains is that their system is a little complicated and you can’t just go on their site and book a ticket. You need to email them beforehand and then on the day of your journey, collect the physical ticket from the station for a fee. And apparently, there have been instances when the railways have been really late in replying to emails. Continue reading My best overnight train ride was in Thailand
It’s not that I had never been to China. But, then you don’t really consider transit through somewhere as actually “going” there!
I have changed planes (and once, an airport) in China during two separate trips. But this time, I was actually intending to get into the country.
My quest for a Chinese tourist visa began at this website. Continue reading How to secure a China tourist visa
Travelling solo and on a budget, I found that the best way to reach the village of Pemuteran in west Bali from Ubud was to take a shuttle bus to Lovina in the north and take a local bus from there to Pemuteran. (If you are 3-4 people, taking a taxi makes the most sense.)
Easy enough I thought, as I sat on the 11.30 bus from Ubud. There were some earlier buses but I was sticking to this one company because I had traveled with them before and they gave discounts to returning customers. As a budget traveler, I’m always happy to save a little cash here and there.
The journey took three-and-a-half hours through hills and active volcanoes in the heart of Bali. It was the rainy season and the all the green around was hauntingly beautiful. Continue reading How I evaded touts and saved IDR100,000 in Bali
It’s possible to travel the world for as little as USD200 a month.
I’m not saying it. Alex says it and he has been doing it for more than a year now.
Lampros Alexis from Greece is on a mission to travel around the world on his solar-powered bicycle, which can also be pedalled when it isn’t powered enough.
TravelAndy caught up with the adventurer when he was passing through Kolkata recently. Excerpts. Continue reading ‘You can travel indefinitely for USD200 a month’
Since Donald Trump took charge as US President, I found a lot of people around me speculating whether getting a US visa was going to become more difficult. I had been wanting to visit the United States for some time now and last month, I decided to go there in 2017. So, I went ahead and got myself a ten-year B1/B2 visa, which is for visits related to tourism and business in the United States.
The process was long and I would say a little complicated. But I took on one thing at a time and things worked out pretty smoothly in the end.
Read on to find out how to score a ten-year US tourist visa with an Indian passport. Continue reading How to score a ten-year US tourist visa
There were two local guides in the water helping visitors cross a narrow and waist-deep part of the river. It had been raining and the current was very strong — practically impossible for anyone to cross the stretch without help, especially when you have bags with you. The four of us stood there and wished we had hired a guide at the entrance.
“I went there this morning with people from my hostel and it was great fun. Because of the rain over the past few days. parts of it were deep waist-deep and we had to swim through. It was so exciting,” she had said. Continue reading Hidden Canyon: Quite an adventure near Ubud, Bali
I’ve written about it earlier, but the Indian passport is more powerful than you think. You will realise this fact again while planning a trip to the incredibly beautiful Indonesia.
Yes, Indians do not need to a visa to enter Indonesia.
It took three hours for my AirAsia flight to get to Bali from Kuala Lumpur. Continue reading Indonesia (Bali) visa for Indians
Poland isn’t the first place on most people’s minds when they think of going to Europe. In this guest post, Rudradeb Mitra explains why it should be right at the top of your go-to list in Europe.
Poland is among the most underrated travel destinations in Europe. I believe it should be one of the top travel destination for travellers who seek to experience local culture, adventure and fun at a reasonable price.
The evening rain splattering on the tarpaulin above and through the leafy canopy on the tables set outside had its own music.
By the side of the piano, purple lights reflecting on the dried grass mound reminded me of the film Avatar. As the minutes passed, scores of the bugs we call Ui Poka in Bengali — a flying insect of the termite family — flew to the lights under the tarpaulin and outside. In ten minutes, there were hundreds of them at both the places. Continue reading If you’re in Ubud, Bali, go to 9 Angels
The two of us had hired a scooter and were headed to Michi Retreat Village situated a few kilometres from Ubud, by far my favourite among the places I have been to in Bali.
Esther, a Dutch solo traveller I’d met on the road, was riding pillion and checking directions on the phone and telling me which way to go. Between her not-too-confident English and my non-existent Dutch skills, communication was often a problem, but we managed somehow. Finally, after one or two wrong turns, we found a sign saying “Michi” with an arrow pointing to an alley to the left of the road. Continue reading Michi resort near Ubud in Bali is a weird place