Month: October 2016

Experiencing A Different Side Of Auli

After a failed attempt to complete Satopanth Lake trek, all on my own, I was literally not ready for another follow-an-unknown-trail challenge. It was time to find a place which offered me a comfortable camping site, and some rest. A good flat space and easy food options – was all I was thinking. And then the wind said “Auli”. I loved Auli. Not because it offered sights that were unimaginably beautiful. Neither was I excited about a riveting ski experience. Some people suggest that Auli has India’s best and possibly the world’s one-among-best ski resorts. And the convenience and excitement of long cable rides makes it even more popular. But there was another side of Auli, much beautiful and less known to its praisers. I happened to explore it as I reached the town in the month of May.  The sun was shining, and snow was far gone. Each gaze beheld a sight of nothing more than dead and glorious mountains – a few patches of grass, however gave the entire mountain a greenish tinge. …

A Photojourney To Sangla Valley And Chitkul

During my solo bike trip to Spiti Valley, I ended up in a town called Chitkul. It was more than 40 kilometres off the route. One side. But I could not stop myself from bifurcating. After all, it was “The Must See Camping Place, in Himalayas” as many people, whom I’d met on the journey, recommended. “Don’t forget to go to Chitkul man, Sangla Valley is so beautiful you won’t believe your eyes,” said a guy from Bangalore, as he threw another mug of water on his over-pampered Bullet 350. “Classic”, as he always pointed out, with a pause. Situated around 40 km from Karcham, Chitkul comes under Sangla Valley, which is spread over a tiny land of 20 kms. And when it comes to Himalayas, 20 kms seem even tinier. But if you speak about its beauty, each sight is a magnificent sight to behold. Snow clad mountains surround you and welcome you with a spectacular view of The Kinner Kailash. On the left lies the Sangla Valley, and on the right, the Baspa Valley. …

Journey To Panchachuli Base Camp

I’ve done quite a few treks in Uttarakhand. But this time, I was off to Panchachuli Base Camp, located in Darma Valley, at the end of eastern Kumaon region, in Uttarakhand. Darma Valley turned out to be my personal favorite in the entire Uttarakhand. I liked its setting. Small towns were periodically placed, every few kilometres. The valley was continuously green, and occasionally colourful. The many waterfalls that came my way, were also no less appealing. Here’s a 3 minute ode to my journey into Darma Valley and towards Panchachuli Base Camp. Also See: Concluding Video Of My 9-Day Solo Road Trip To Spiti Valley Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos.

Thailand Visa On Arrival: Not A Great Thing Anymore

Earlier this year I travelled Thailand on Visa on Arrival. It appeared like a good deal – cheaper and quicker. You can land in the country whenever you wish to, escaping the long embassy applications. Just pay 1000 Baht (INR 200), at the airport, as the Visa fee and be done with it. You’re free to rule the country for 15 happy days. Well, it’s not as good as it seems! And I realised that as soon as I landed in Bangkok. After having a terrible 3 hours layover in Chennai, India, starting 1 in the night, I reached Suvarnabhumi Airport around 7 in the morning. I was already pretty much cracked up, due to lack of sleep, and I realised the application process, at Suvarnabhumi, might take another few good hours, before I can take any rest. Long Queues Before I travelled Thailand, the internet said Visa on Arrival (VOA) counters can have long queues, but odd morning/evening can be different. My experience – odd morning/evening hours are not very different. I waited for almost 90 minutes before I …

Solo Female Travel Tips – Getting Started

This is a guest post by Neetole Mitra of Living Unplanned, who quit her job 4 months ago and has been travelling ever since, alone. Encouraging more females to follow the league, this is what she has to say… It’s surprising that so many of us love to travel yet so few actually do it. It almost makes one wonder, if travel is ultimately as coveted as everyone would have you believe. I mean, if people really want to travel, why don’t they? Travel has become a benchmark of sorts for ‘freedom’. It’s what we say/think every day. I wish I could be free. Just get the hell out of here. Go where I want to. Etc. But we are free. As long as there’s no literal chain holding us back, we are all free. Yet, most of us create alibis for ourselves. I can’t travel because there’s no money. I can’t travel because I have to take care of the family. Because it’s not safe. All of them completely sound barriers that hold us back …

Cambodia Tourist Visa: Why I Say Visa On Arrival?

If you think there’s a list of countries that fall under the category of Countires-With-Supereasy-Visa-Policies, consider Cambodia having a place in it. I landed in Cambodia at 2 in the afternoon (after realising that I’d have rather taken a bus to the country), and by 2:15 I was through. This was when I’d to apply for Visa on Arrival. Thailand Visa on Arrival for its long queue had me discouraged, but God help Cambodia who made it up to me. In 15 minuntes, after my AirAsia flight dropped me, right on top of the runway, in Siem Reap, I was on the other side of the world. The world that lies behind the walls of Airport. The free world. Getting a visa stamp for Cambodia is super easy, and quick. I remember I did not wait more than 3 minutes at VOA department, and I get my beautifully-stamped passport back. I totally loved how the airport officials swiftly dealt with my application, in addition to some 30 other applications that landed together with me. Though that’s a different question that they’re, …

How I Deal With Language Barrier While Travelling

I remember when I was leaving for my first solo trip I was more doubtful than ever. I couldn’t decide a thing. I thought I was unprepared. I was scared and I feared I won’t be able to survive for long. And such fears are only natural. Travelling alone for the first time can be doubtful. It forces us to overthink. Would it be safe? Would the journey be interesting? What would people think? People have all kind of doubts. Last week, a reader asked me on Facebook if his language can make his solo travelling in North of India, tough. He belonged from the South. In his words “Is language a barrier for travelling? I was planning to travel the north of India next year but I don’t know Hindi. Can it be a problem? PS: I am travelling solo!” “PS I am travelling solo” — his message ended with the most important consideration! A solo traveller is always scared of a new language, not until he has experienced a few solo journeys before. I …

4 Women Who Conquered Common Beliefs To Travel The World

A few months ago, while backpacking through Southern India, I met a group of college students who were out, holidaying. They found it interesting that I’m a full time traveler, and that I’d quit my job to do it. During our short conversation, one among the 3 girls in the group, asked, if I ever found solo travelling risky. A few assuring points, from my side, and she whispered, sounding unconvinced, “Yeah, but women traverse a different world than men do”. I think I couldn’t understand her at that time. I think can’t understand her now. When it comes to solo travelling and women, things becomes a little complicated. Women have to deal with a complete different set of anxieties. Some fear for safety, some for public opinion. “You get a lot of unwanted attention,” someone once wrote me in comments. And I couldn’t agree more. Travelling as a woman can be tough. No one can deny this fact. But I’ve met an uncountable numbers of women, in different parts of the world, and in my country, …

50 Travel Quotes For Travel Inspiration

GET MOTIVATED WITH THESE TRAVEL QUOTES! I am not a quote collector. But when it comes to travelling, having a few good ones, memorized, always help. They allow us to see the world clearly. Great travel quotes remind us that the emotions we often feel, during our journeys, have been felt by many others, including the great travellers of all times.  1. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin 2. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux 3. “If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey most of us would never start out at all.” – Dan Rather 4. The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson READ MORE : WHY I TRAVEL SOLO 5. “Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop 6. “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.” – Mohammed 7. …

Five Must See Places in Kerala

Kerala has a lot of charisma with its stunning beaches on the Malabar Coast, green patches of coffee and tea plantations, and its intertwining backwater canals. As you embark on your journey across Kerala’s landscapes, you experience its unique culture, cuisine and people. Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and tropical charm, Kerala will give you that relaxed, laid-back vacation that you are looking forward to. Here are some of our five hand-picked must see destinations in Kerala: Anamudi: In Kerala’s Idukki district lies the Anamudi Hills which stands at 2,695 metres and is the highest peak in South India. The hillside is filled with several flowers, shrubs and wildlife that are unique to the region. The view at the top is breath-taking with large amounts of tropical forests that deck the landscape. Tigers, leopards, macaques and the langur are found in this region. Trivandrum: The State’s capital, largest port and city centre is home to a number of heritage sites, architectural marvels and several art galleries. An hour’s drive from Trivandrum will take you …