Author: Dev

Jewel Changi Airport: A Fine Example Of Singapore’s Creative Indoors

And here’s an astonishing truth: In March 2019 Singapore’s Changi airport won the best airport in the world title (as per WorldAirportAwards) for the seventh year in a row. That was before Changi had its architectural marvel ‘The Jewel’. Now, after its opening, I wonder how any other airport in the world is going to get that title, at least, in the foreseeable future. Every country is good with something, they all have their unique strong point. Some are good in arts, some with technology, while others, in preserving a rich cultural or traditional heritage. For example, when I think of Japan, the first thing that comes to my mind is how they have maintained a perfect harmony between the old and the new-age culture. When I think of Germany, I think of fast cars and perfection. Similarly, Paris is fashion. Switzerland is nature and luxury-living. Peru is beautiful landscapes. India is an amalgamation of cultures and traditions. And Singapore, yes… the country of the topic is creating ‘inspiring indoors’. Every time I visit Singapore …

Why I Loved Luang Prabang

The French colonial buildings, ancient wats, and the fishing boats in the Mekong make Luang Prabang an unforgettably beautiful and a seemingly offbeat destination in Southeast Asia. Beyond the frequented, my 2019 has taken me to two offbeat Southeast Asian destinations (speaking as per Indian standards!) so far: one, the island of Borneo that I happened to visit during a media-trip to Sabah, in Malaysia last month; and second, the landlocked, the unfrequented, the unheard-of (again, by most Indians!) country of Laos. To be honest, I had never considered visiting Laos myself and I think the biggest reason for it was the lack of information available online about where and how to go to Laos. I mean before my visit to Luang Prabang, I had no idea that Laos, in fact, has four international airports across the country. Though it is true that those airports still have no direct flights from most of the countries in the world, the fact that you can actually fly to pretty much any corner in Laos is quite a …

Luang Prabang’s Morning Alms Giving Ceremony: Tak Bat, In Pictures

A group of nearly 2 dozen monks hurried towards me as I caught hold of this unfamiliar religious act in Luang Prabang called Tak Bat for the first time. They were all barefoot, looking and walking straight in one line. The first few in the queue, as I guessed, were in their late teens, followed by some as young as 7 or 8 years old. This is how every morning in Luang Prabang is rewarded – with the colorful sight of hundreds of saffron-robed Buddhist monks and novices walking in a peaceful procession through the sleepy streets of the city, accepting alms from locals. This daily ritual of Tak Bat in which kneeling locals give rice and fruits and snacks (or what can otherwise be offered and called as alms) to the monks, is a timeless tradition that dates back its existence to the 14th century. Every day, hundreds of monks (from 30+ monasteries across the town) would walk barefoot, and in meditative silence, through the streets of Luang Prabang to collect food offerings from …

My First Real Experience Flying Business Class

I won’t describe myself as a budget or a luxury traveler. I think, at this moment, I am somewhere in the middle – focusing more on the value of experiences than their price tag. So, when folks at Singapore Airlines offered me an upgrade to business class, I was like “umm… okay!” I mean I don’t really care if I am flying in a business class or economy. As long as the person sitting next to me doesn’t literally possess the sharing arm-rest and burp right on my face because they think it’s okay to do so, I am good with the economy class too. Air travel, in fact, is the least of the things I look forward to enjoying. It is nothing but a mere mode of transportation for me. So yea, when folks at Singapore Airlines offered me an upgrade to business class, I didn’t really care. But as I grabbed my boarding pass and moved towards immigration, I realized that we’re talking about Singapore Airline here, that is, in fact, one of …

4-Days In Luang Prabang: Travel Itinerary

Visiting Luang Prabang and not sure what all see and do there? This 4 days Luang Prabang travel Itinerary will help you explore Luang Prabang from inside out and make the most of your time. Before I visited Luang Prabang, and from what little I knew about Laos, I thought Luang Prabang will be quite rural in its appearance – with the majority of local people living around and relying on Mekong river for livelihood. I thought, other than the capital town of Vientiane, other places in Laos (including Luang Prabang) will look pretty shabby, with no gravel but only dirt roads to be found. But I was wrong! As I landed in Luang Prabang, I was left flabbergasted with what all it had to offer. Of course, the place looked quiet and simple, but it didn’t look underprivileged in any way. The roads were clean, people seemed affable, and the cars… well, they were quite a few in number, and just enough to not honk at each other. Everything about Luang Prabang was pleasant …

A One Week Road Trip Itinerary For Uttarakhand: Delhi To Munsiyari

This one-week road trip itinerary from Delhi to Munsiyari will take you across many highlights in Uttarakhand! Since I have bought a motorbike in April this year, I have been planning road-trips across the Himalayas. Where these road-trips surely fall under the category of a ‘road-trip’ the fact that I travel very slow (for example, taking a month for the usual one-week Delhi-Ladakh trip) is what differentiates them other similar road-trips or the road trip itineraries you find online. These itineraries (that I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks/months) will take you across a place in a much detailed and orderly manner. So, following the same ‘slow-travel’ approach, last month, in June of 2019, I did a 20-day road trip from New Delhi to Munsiyari – yes, the same route that can otherwise be done over a weekend. During those 20 days, I stayed at 11 different locations and drove nearly 2000km. I rented guest houses, stayed in backpacker hostels and even camped on the way. Sometimes, I stayed on the main …

Best Things To Do In Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh has evolved as one of the wealthiest and busiest cities of the Middle East in the past few decades. Though the city has always been conventional and known for unique architecture, today it offers many fun things to do for people in varying age-groups. For many years, most people who visited Riyadh have been business travelers as it offered little or no entertainment options. Most people thought about Riyadh as a boring city with hardly anything for entertainment. However, now the government here is focusing on tourism as a result of which you will never get bored here. Riyadh offers parks and malls to museums and trekking. Let’s have a look. Shop at Riyadh Gallery Malls in Riyadh are not just shopping places, but are also ideal for dining and socializing. In the city, there are many malls, but one that you must visit is the Riyadh Gallery. The shopping center is a three-story building that houses retail stores from a lot of international brands, including high-street stores and luxury goods. …

Travel Tips For Backpacking in New York

While it’s known as a helluva town, for whatever reason New York has never been the most popular destination for backpackers. Perhaps it’s down to the hefty costs involved, or maybe another thing putting people off is the sheer magnitude of the city and the idea of being alone in such a vast urban landscape, which can be daunting for some. Which is a shame, because when it comes to things to see & do in New York the Big Apple packs one mighty punch. True, it’s nice spending some of those days on the road chilling on a tranquil beach in some far-flung destination. But it can be equally – if not more – exciting getting your move on in a sprawling metropolis like NYC, and if only some backpackers knew how to make their trip just a little bit easier then perhaps more would experience the magic New York has to offer. Which is why we put together this list of tips for backpacking in New York. Here, we provide money-saving hints, advice …

Camping, Hiking & River-Rafting In Kiulu, Sabah: The Offbeat Malaysia

Visiting Sabah, in Malaysia? How about doing the offbeat and trying some camping, hiking and white river-rafting in Kiulu River. “Who goes camping in a new country anyway? Don’t you think jungles look the same everywhere?” I remember how my friends initially reacted as I told them about my upcoming trip to Malaysia. And I understand their disapproval. For most people (and this particularly applies to Indians) visiting a new country, streets and cities remain the biggest fascination. I mean if you are visiting, let’s say, Japan for an instance, would you rather go for hiking, or carefully spend your time planning pretty selfies at the famous Shibuya Station intersection in Tokyo or watching sumo wrestlers choking each other with their majestic butt. Similarly, for Malaysia, exploring Malaysian food, Malaysian streets, or something else that’s more Malaysian in appearance should be high in your bucket list, over hiking a ubiquitous jungle. So yea, when I shared my 5-day travel itinerary with my friends, over a few drinks in New Delhi, I didn’t get a very …

My First Impression of Sabah, Malaysia

Visiting Sabah, in Malaysia? Read how I liked Sabah, the Malaysian Borneo, during my first visit! As I gestured to politely ask for her permission to click a picture, she hesitated. But I knew, the hesitance wasn’t out of reluctance but pure shyness. There was nothing unwelcoming about it. I moved a few inches closer, and before I even realized it, my camera was peeking right into her face. She blushed harder. The laugh lines around her eyes dug deeper into her face. Suddenly, the camera felt like an uninvited friend, an obstruction that was no longer needed. The warmth, the friendliness in her eyes was something to be taken home in heart and not just in the mere click of a camera shutter. Later, as I thanked her, I knew, I was in love again, with her, her people, and the place she was a native of! I remember when the email to visit Sabah on a blog trip with 50 other travel bloggers from India first landed in my inbox, I wasn’t very …