Singapore a great holiday destination

Singapore trip was the most hassle free trip, did no planning, booked no hotels still saw it like an insider, all thanks to our dear friends Sakshi and Deepak who are Singaporean residents. We spent three days but still managed to see a lot of it and enjoyed thoroughly. As our trip was clubbed with Bali ahead we couldn’t spend more days but would suggest to spend at least 4 to 5 days to see Singapore fully.

Best way to move around is the metro, even buses and taxis are quite convenient. Local transport in Singapore is amazing but yes metro is the fastest and cheapest.

Our itinerary for Singapore:

Sentosa Island

We took a monorail from vivo city mall to reach Sentosa Island, the island is beautifully built. I would suggest you to spend some time and visit all the stations. Its huge and can’t be covered in one day.

S.E.A Aquarium is a must visit on your trip to Sentosa, a vast variety of marine life you would get to witness here will make you fall in love with this place. You can see sharks, jelly fishes, crabs and think of any form of life and you will find it here.

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Fine Dining: you have so many cuisines with a variety of restaurants across this island, the first day we just saw how incredibly different and gorgeous this place was.

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Luge and Cable car: Try the luge it is one unique experience, enjoy the view of entire Sentosa in a cable car. At the last station you can have drinks and food viewing the gorgeous sunset in front of the beach.

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Massaging chair at the last station: After roaming and exploring the island we wished that we could have a massage and then we saw this massaging chair.You just need to put a dollar in the place near the chair and the enjoy the amazing massage for 8 minutes. You can have it for a longer time by putting more dollars 🙂

One of the best attractions of Sentosa is Universal Studios which actually requires a full day, so we went back to the island the other day to visit it.

Universal Studios: Its an amusement park with tons of theme rides and is a mix of fun and innovation to give you full value for money. My personal favourite is the transformers ride, it was one hell of an experience. You can experience the most scariest roller coasters to crazy 4D shows. Countless photo spots just putting few pictures ahead to share my experience.

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After the rides we saw the B-Boying show at 5 pm it was so much fun, never saw such crazy stuff, the guys were super flexible and talented. They filled the crowd with superb energy and the place was flocked by tourists.

Clarke Quay

This place is one of the biggest nightlife attractions of Singapore, the location is fabulous as it takes advantage of its riverside view. There is an array of restaurants, bars, clubs with enormous themes and concepts, you can pick your choice and enjoy your evening. They also have a photo wall at the entrance, you can click yourself and post it directly to your facebook wall.

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1 Altitude Bar


It is situated at 63rd floor and is a roof top bar from where you can see the entire Singapore. At night a dazzling view of the city is breathtaking; just go there feel the breeze enjoy the music with a drink in your hand.

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China town

This is again one more very well known tourist attraction, known for its food and shopping options. You can see and feel the authentic Chinese architecture at this place. It’s crowded and a lively place to explore.

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Marina bay

The most renowned tourist location of Singapore and definitely worth a visit, located at the river side surrounded by shining sky scrapers. This is a great place to sit and spend time with your friends. Very popular photo spot and you can enjoy watching the sunset. Singapore flyer is also near by which is also worth a visit if you are fan of sitting in the giant wheel. We also witnessed the water and laser show at the marina bay in night which is again a fun activity.

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Gardens by the bay

When I reached here I thought I was on some movie set, said to myself is this real? The only word which came to my mind was ‘wow’. I am not a huge fan of gardens but this one is way beyond and you certainly cannot miss it. We reached gardens by the bay after sunset and they have a musical light show.Our friends took us to a good spot and told us now we will lie down in the garden and watch the show, I was skeptic whats going to happen but when it started it was simply amazing. I recorded a short video which you can check out on the link below.

It might look like a lot but there is still lot more to do in Singapore, best part is, the city is extremely clean, well maintained easy to explore with great food and is a must visit.

Kerala God’s own country a must visit

Kerala also known as God’s own country has its historic importance as when lord Vishnu threw his axe and created a place for his devotees to live peacefully. For me it is God’s own country because of its undefinable beauty and serenity. Kerala has nearly 600 kms of shore line with incredible beaches, backwaters, forests, wildlife, enchanting palm trees and greenery.

Apart from beauty there are others things like tea, coffee and spice plantations, rich culture, traditional massages, medicinal herbs and great food it simply lacks nothing.

Things to do in Kerala

Munnar a beautiful hill station amidst tea gardens

Best way to start is take a flight to Cochin and hire a cab which picks you from airport and head for Munnar. The way to Munnar is extremely beautiful, you can enjoy the view with music.

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Will advice you to take a stay in a resort which is located near tea gardens to feel the perfect tranquility of this place. A two day stay at Munnar is good to completely explore the place for details about what you can do in Munnar, you can check the post Munnar the silent beauty.

Alleppey backwaters in a houseboat

After seeing Munnar you can drive down to Alleppey, which is known for its backwaters and popular attraction the houseboat stays. One day house boat stay is enough as its just staying in the boat and enjoying the sea.

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Lunch would be on the boat and they provide only Kerela meals during the day time, if you are fussy about food make sure you mention your food preferences before hand.

They park the boat at the parking around 5 pm, you can walk around and enjoy the view and sunset.

Boat crew can make arrangements for a candle light dinner on the boat but the menu is quite fixed while booking please check the food options you want.

Few tips about the houseboat stay:

  • Book the boat from a  good company, checking all the facilities they provide to have a good service
  • Usually you can use air conditioner only in night, so choose a good season to visit
  • Do not leave the door of your room open as near the parking you might face issues of mosquitoes otherwise
  • Use water carefully as they have a limited supply for it
  • You will get the instructions when you reach at the place would advise to check in advance while booking
  • Keep some light snacks just in case food is not of your choice

Thekkady a place to enjoy wildlife and Kerala Massages

Drive down to Thekkady from Alleppey, you can enjoy Elephant Safari or book a night safari to have the enriching the wildlife experience. Thekkady is also a great center for traditional Kerela massages book your appointment in morning to enjoy the relaxation at your convenience.

Poovar and Kovalam beach Kerala

Poovar and Kovalam are the two best beaches of Kerala and the trip is incomplete without visiting those. You should atleast spend two days there to do explore the place nicely. Where to stay and what do to here you can find it in my post about Kerala’s most attractive beaches Poovar and Kovalam.

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We started with a hill station, followed by the houseboat stay at backwaters, followed by the forest experience and ended with chilling on the beach. Kerala was a perfect destination to have a taste of everything and we had a wonderful time.

 

 

Kerala’s most attractive beaches Poovar and Kovalam

Poovar or Kovalam both are beautiful, where to stay? This is a very common question which arises, when you are planning a trip to Kerala. Well, the answer is very simple, if you are looking for a relaxing stay, away from the crowd close to nature Poovar is your choice and if you wish to enjoy the liveliness of the beach surrounded by tourists, shopping, markets, restaurants Kovalam is the right option. What did I do? I took the stay at Poovar and did a one day trip to Kovalam and enjoyed both.

Poovar Beach Kerala

This was the best experience in my entire Kerala trip, Poovar beach is also known as the island of coconuts as it is surrounded by these lush green trees adding to the tranquility of this place. You can have a short tour by clicking on the video link below to see the gorgeous place.

Choosing a good  place to stay at Poovar is the most important thing to have an enriching experience. We chose Isola de Cocco resort for our stay at Poovar and it came out to be a great decision.

Isola de Cocco resort

The resort is spread out in 30 acres of land and is incredibly gorgeous. Starting from the entrance to the backyard its surrounded by nature. Looks like they own a mini forest and a river bank of there own. The backwaters adds a star to scenic location of this resort. You can choose your preferred option to stay from a suite room to a tree house or a pool villa they have it all. Food and service are equally great. Let’s have a quick sneak peek in the resort.

The splendid entrance…

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Needless to say Isola de Cocco is great a choice but what you can do here apart from relaxing. There are few good activities you can do at this place.

Activities

Mangrove forest tour

Sightseeing the mangrove forest was really an amazing experience. Click on the video below to have a slight feel of how it was.

We also saw some birds during our tour, I wish I had those high resolution cameras at that point to capture the pictures even better.

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How long you want the tour depends on how much you wish to pay to the boat guy, ask and negotiate the time and money on the first day when you arrive at the resort so you can check out the place at your convenience.

Watching sunset at the beach

Nothing can be compared to watch a sunset on a beach where there is so much tranquility.

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Arabian sea is quite rough, the waves are massive and the sound is gigantic. Water is milky white and the sand is soft. I can’t dare to swim was happy watching.

Kathakali show arranged by Isola de Cocco

The resort guys organised a Kathakali show for us in the evening, reach early to occupy the front seats. The show was performed under a tree surrounded by a stone stage adding to the feel of it.

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Kathakali is a dance form all about expressions and performers dressed up in colourful costumes. It was a magnificent show and kudos to all the performers. Its a must watch if you love art and culture.

Kovalam Beach Kerela

Kovalam is situated around 17 kms from Poovar beach, its very lively and beautiful as well. It took us close to 45 mins by car to reach there, we tried different kinds of food and enjoyed the view.

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The beach is quite crowded as its not visible in pictures but it is, the location is touristy surrounded by live fish counters and shopping streets.

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There is a lighthouse as well near the beach which is open for tourists to visit, the place is scenic and has a tinge of Kerala’s culture.

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We spent less time at Kovalam compared to Poovar but its definitely worth a visit. If you are a foodie and wish to try the south Indian cuisine this place is a paradise for you. There are lot of open cafes where you can sit and enjoy the sunset.

I loved both the beaches and time spent here is worth cherishing. Kerela trip is incomplete without these two places.

Munnar the silent beauty!

Beauty all around with all shades of green, freshness in the air touching your soul. Peaceful yet musical is this hill station in Kerela called Munnar, which means three rivers. It is called so because of the confluence of three rivers Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala.

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Things to do in Munnar for two days

Blossom Park

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Blossom Park as the name suggests has beautiful flowers and is huge in area. This is a very well maintained park where people come and relax, enjoy the nature.

Rose Garden and floriculture center

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Rose Garden has beautiful flowers and variety of flora, it is an amazing place for people who like flowers.

Echo point

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Like all hill stations Munnar also has a echo point, you shout and the voice comes back. It is also a famous photo spot.

Mattupetti dam

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This dam is a famous tourist attraction due to its splendid location and Shola forest nearby where you can visit to explore the wildlife.

Try the south Indian Cuisine

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Kerela has variety of delicious foods to offer do try the Kerela food and other South Indian dishes on your visit.

Tea Gardens

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Carpeted by this green blanket of tea gardens Munnar looks so mesmerizing. Tea gardens are an integral part of Munnar you can find them across this place adding to the tranquility of this place.

Tea Museum

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This place is a must go if you are really a tea lover, the museum shows you how the tea is processed after it comes from the gardens. The process of making tea is quite interesting to know, before you start your tour of visiting the machines and the steps the guide will tell you interesting facts about drinking tea. This place was fun, they give you free tea to try as well.

Munnar is popular for its picturesque location, tea gardens and rich wildlife. Weather is cool and nice never crosses 30 degree Celsius generally. A perfect place to chill, away from the busy city life. It is a very renowned spot for honeymooners as they can spend quality time with each other.

 

Zarvani Waterfall a cool monsoon picnic spot

Away from the hustle bustle of the regular life Zarvani waterfall is situated in the Shoolpaneshwar wildlife sanctuary.  It is located at 97 kms from Baroda in the Narmada district. It is an amazing one day picnic spot.

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It takes close to 2.5 hours to reach this spot from Baroda, hire a taxi as there is nothing available to commute from this place. Also take an expert driver with you because before reaching the parking there will be a stretch of 15 kms without proper roads.

If you enjoy the drive in forest you are definitely going to love this place. Fresh air with lush green trees surrounding this waterfall makes this place a beautiful spot to enjoy.

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You can click pretty pictures to cherish your memories of this wonderful time. Swim and relax at this calm and gorgeous location and return by afternoon or early evening.

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On the way back you can also stop by at Sardar Sarovar dam, which is again a  spectacular site.

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Travel tips to Zarvani waterfall

  • To visit the falls you have to take permission from the forest department
  • Carry your own food and water
  • Take an extra pair of clothes and towel
  • The water fall is far from the parking you need to do a short trek to reach there
  • Mobile network is not great so you would be cut off for the time you are here
  • Carry simple first aid with you
  • Water shoes are advisable the rocks are quite slippery and some part of trek you have to pass through water
  • Its very clean please don’t litter around

 

Bangkok shop shop until you drop!!

Bangkok the city of sky scrapers, massage centers, shopping destinations, night markets and much more. This city never sleeps, streets are always full of people, food and colourful tuk tuks moving around. Bangkok has a glorious palace and beautiful temples to visit. On my three day trip got massages, did shopping for 2.5 days and a half day sightseeing tour of Bangkok.

Places to shop in Bangkok

This is the most difficult part to decide as the options are too many and time is so little. Pack compact and less as when you will return your bags will be full, may be you may end up buying new bags as well.

Day 1 of shopping

Palladium night market

This was the best night market in Bangkok, tons of shopping options. Great clothing, good quality, superb prices, full value for money. I got t shirts, party tops, pants, shoes, shorts everything from this place. There was a time I couldn’t carry the bags in my hands. Its a must go place if you love street shopping. An important tip always carry a small bag and water bottle, wear flat sole footwear when you are visiting a night market.

Opening hours: 6 pm to 11 pm

Day 2 of shopping

Indira Square

This place is a three storey complex with variety of goods. On ground floor you will find shoes, luggage bags, accessories, clothing for men. I got an incredible bag pack from here which you can carry in three different ways, good quality, very stylish and super comfortable in handling.

First floor also has luggage but more of it is women clothing, shoes and souvenirs section. People do bargain here at some shops, you can try your skills. For buying shoes and flip flops this place has the best variety.Second floor is a food court where you get all the cuisines

Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm usually lot of shops close after 5 pm

MBK Mall

Its a multi storey, air conditioned mall which is huge in terms of area.There are close to 2000 stores in this one mall you can imagine the number of things you can get here.

MBK is an excellent choice for buying handbags, shoulder bags, clothing, accessories, souvenirs. Fourth floor is only for electronics and mobiles you can get every possible electronic item from selfie stick to under water cameras.

I got amazing bags, shoes and souvenirs from this place I really wish to go back again. It’s a paradise for shopping. Top floor is best for bags. Food courts are at fifth and sixth floor.

You can get here by BTS Skytrain or Tuk tuk or taxi everyone in Bangkok knows where MBK mall is, as it is one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Opening hours: 10 am to 9 pm

Day 3 shopping

Pratunam Market

This is a wholesale market it is mostly for clothes and accessories. There are lot of shops at this place, it is true that it appears like a maze. We found a store which had superhero stuff, amazing good quality t-shirts, there price was higher compared to other shops but the stuff was really good.

There are dozens of shops here, you can get cheapest rates here, more you buy in bulk lesser the prices are, great value for money.

I got t-shirt of wolverine and batman, super stylish belts, beach dress, t-shirts for my dad, leggings, pants and lot more.

Opening hours: 24 hours open best time to visit is 11 am to 8 pm as lot of retail shops close after that

Patpong night market

This is a pretty cool night market, located in the red light district of Bangkok. You get lot of first copy goods here and nice printed t-shirts. Another attractive thing is photo frames with quotes and characters which is quite a collection, I must say. Beautiful lamp shades and home decor stuff.

There are go go bars at the other end of this busy shopping street music makes this place more lively, bargain hard to buy stuff the quality is good they don’t come down easily.

You have many eateries and spas nearby shop, eat and relax, that’s what Bangkok is all about.

Opening hours: 6 pm to 1 am

Half day sight seeing in Bangkok

There are lot of attractions in Bangkok worth visiting but due to my crazy shopping schedule just got half day’s time to see few places.

Chalong boat tour

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Chalong boat tour is an experience in itself but it is equally expensive but the best part is, it is less time consuming if you wish to go to Wat Arun temple for a visit. You will get a personal boat for yourself to go to Wat Arun which will take you back after an hour from the parking to the stop for Bangkok Palace.

Make sure you return in an hour, the parking guys are very strict they will make you wait for a long time till your boat finishes the next turn. If you don’t wish to be time bound then a taxi is a better option.

Wat Arun temple

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Wat Arun is a temple located at the bank of Chao Phraya river, it is spread across a vast area and has spectacular sites. It is also known as temple of dawn.

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There are beautiful portraits of Buddha and paintings on the ceiling adding to the beguiling views of this temple.

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The artistic touch at every corner of the temple is mesmerizing.

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Dress conservatively or you need to rent clothes in order to see the temple.

Opening hours: 8 am to 5.30 pm

Bangkok Palace

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Bangkok Place is magnificent and is a renowned tourist spot, its very crowded as tourists from all over the world come to see the glorious architecture. One important thing you must remember you cannot wear sleeveless and shorts when you go to visit it. Your entry will be forbidden.

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The palace is huge and beautiful corridors add to the beauty of it.

Opening hours: 8 am to 3.30 pm

Top tips before visiting Bangkok:

  • Look for the best commuting options BTS Sky train is great
  • Bargain with Tuk Tuk as sometimes they quote double the price
  • If you plan to shop a lot try and stay near the shopping area, will help you save money of commuting
  • Take care of your wallets at crowded places
  • Carry water bottle every where
  • Always ask what your are eating or drinking
  • Go Go bars are never free
  • Always book a spa in advance
  • Check the place and distance before you go anywhere
  • Dress conservatively for temples and palace as they don’t allow entry in shorts even for men
  • There is an entry fee to all famous tourist shops makes sure you carry enough cash

Phuket an ultimate place to chill out

Phuket is an assortment of tons of great activities, if you check on net things to do in Phuket, you will find hundreds of pages and activities. It’s not only about what the place offers but also what you are looking for from the holiday. I am putting down my list as for me Phuket was about chilling, eating, seeing around and shopping.

Things to do in Phuket

Patong beach

IMG_1102.JPGPatong beach is a beautiful place to relax and watch sunset. This beach was walking distance from our resort and extremely clean. There are several beach side cafes where you can sit, relax and enjoy the view.IMG_1088

Bangla road to see the nightlife

Its the most happening street in Phuket with lot of pubs and go go bars, you will find it very crowded. People displaying various activities on this street, guys and girls inviting you too their clubs.

You can see tourists from all over the world at this street. There are many choices you can enjoy watching girls dancing or you can choose to go in club where you can dance yourself. If you just want to sit and sip a drink and watch the crowd few places offer an outside arrangement as well.

This street is full of options you can choose to go, from Starbucks to Russian strip clubs to pole dancing cafes or normal pubs. It’s a must go place if you like to enjoy night life.

Thai Boxing match

This is another unique attraction if you enjoy boxing matches, you should book to watch a boxing match. It’s a good experience.

A day trip to Phi Phi islands

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Phi Phi islands is a good day trip option from Phuket. I have one full blog about what you can do at Phi Phi islands. You can also club Bamboo island or Raya island with your trip to Phi Phi, both are good for relaxing on the beach.

Bamboo Island

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Raya Island

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Don’t forget to take your towels and sheets other wise have to rent it.

A day trip to Phang na Bay and James Bond island

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This island is different than others as it offers canoeing, great beaches and spectacular views. This was my favourite day trip and you can read in details about Phang na Bay in my previous post.

Phuket weekend market called Naka Market

There are tons of shopping options in Thailand. Bangkok is the most famous but there are options everywhere. We hired a scooter and drove to see the old town in Phuket, did not find it much interesting but Naka Market was amazing.

Incredible food, juices and shopping options. I did loads of shopping from this place, you will not realize number of hours you spend here. The stuff is good quality, people do bargain and a great place to be.

Restaurants in Phuket

Thailand is a hub for all types of cuisines, all of it was brilliant. The best vegetarian restaurants which I loved were Tantra and Baluchi. These restaurants did not make me miss home as the food was delicious.

Spa and massage in Phuket

Phuket trip is incomplete if you don’t try the massages here. You will feel there are more massage centers than tourists. They are really cheap and do good massages. One quick check you can do is just keep a tab on time when it starts because some local shops will say one hour but they will finish in 45 mins. Never go for pedicure here because they just shape your nails and put nail paint which was worst pedicure I ever had.

There are amazing spas in Phuket, one of which I really like was Let’s relax spa in Patong. The massage was heavenly and very relaxing. I will recommend a Thai massage, Deep Tissue and Foot massage. These three are the must have if you go to Thailand.

 

 

 

Phang na Bay and James Bond island

The best day trip of Thailand tour! After Phi Phi islands for another day we booked this tour and it was an experience worth cherishing. There are many islands near Phuket you will find it extremely difficult to choose the tour. All are beautiful to relax, snorkel, see great marine life but this one is completely different.

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Phang na Bay has several islands but the major difference is the spectacular canoeing experience you will get in the caves . Let me take you through a virtual tour of our itinerary.

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We selected a big boat to go to Phang na Bay as that is the most convenient and relaxing option. The way you enjoy watching the sea in big boat is not comparable to speed boat.

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 Limestone cliffs and bat caves at Phang na Bay

Phang na Bay has these big limestone cliffs and caves which you can witness through canoeing. A kayak guide will take you from your big boat to the caves in the kayak.

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The experience is quite adventurous in itself the caves are dark and you have to lie down in the kayak and view these amazing caves. There will be places where you will see the cave so close that you might feel your nose is going to touch it.

Another great thing which we saw were bat caves and so many bats in it. Viewing an original bat cave looked so unreal but I am glad I witnessed it.

This place was by far the best, while coming out we got a chance to see a live Jelly fish in the sea. I think I was lucky to witness so much. Check out this video to see the Jelly fish.

Hong Islands canoeing

The second spot for canoeing was Hong Islands beautiful view coming out from the caves. There are lagoons on this island which can be seen only in low tide, unfortunately we were not able to see it because of unfavourable tide conditions.

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Breakfast and lunch were served in the boat as our tour had lot to show us. Check out the video of canoeing at Hong Islands.

James Bond Island

This island got its name from the famous James Bond movie “The Man with the golden gun” which was shot here. The island has a nice beach and a great view.

My sister and her husband at the James bond island…

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It an amazing photo spot, you can see so many people taking pictures at various places. Here are some of my favourite pictures from the trip.

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Signature pose at this place…

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Caves at the James Bond Island…

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Don’t go inside the caves a lot for pictures, as there are snakes at this place. We saw a green snake and there was lot of public commotion because of that.

An unknown island

This trip was full of surprises and enriching experience, the last spot on the tour was Lawa island to swim and relax. Our boat guys told us the tide conditions are not favourable so they are taking us to another island.

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This island was completely untouched, looked liked no humans came here before. Our boat was the only boat with around 25 people on the entire beach, the weather was becoming cloudy giving a serene feeling.

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I felt the joy of visiting a private beach, swimming relaxing it was great fun.

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While going back also witnessed the rain and eagles flying in the group to hunt. It was a cherry on the top to see after such a nice tour.

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Tips:

  • An extra pair of clothes
  • A water proof pouch for your phone
  • Sun glasses and sun tan lotion with high spf
  • Snacks to eat if your are fussy about the food

Phang na Bay is highly recommended on your visit to Thailand. If you love nature and have a sense of adventure this place is great for both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get sun kissed at Phi Phi island

Where the water is as blue as sky, sand as soft as petals of rose and sun shines likes the only star in the galaxy that is the place called Phi Phi islands. Surrounded by beautiful trees and gorgeous marine life this island is a must watch attraction on your visit to Thailand.

How to book a tour to Phi Phi islands?

We did not book it online, because there were too many options and it was confusing, we decided to go random. After reaching Phuket we realized that we did the right thing. There are so many tour booking companies to choose from and prices were lesser than online. You can discuss your requirements in person and customize a little bit.

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We booked a day tour for Phi Phi island via speedboat. I was very excited to go by speed boat. Usually the tour van picks you up at 8 in the morning and take you to the boat parking place where you can have your breakfast and coffee. There are lot of speed boats going to Phi Phi everyday.

You will arrive Phi Phi islands in around 40 mins, the first location was Maya Bay, its very popular because of the movie “The Beach” was shot here.

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You cannot wear your shoes on the beach that’s the reason beach is absolutely clean, the sand is as soft as powder. There is just one draw back of famous photo spots they are very crowded.

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I still enjoyed the crystal clear water, swam a bit, soaked in sun and clicked tons of pictures of this gorgeous location. Though finding a spot without people was a huge task, we managed few good shots.

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After Maya Bay we saw the viking cave and the lagoons, you cannot visit the viking cave inside as it is closed for bird conservation.

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The journey was spectacular with great views, finally after sightseeing we got a chance to snorkel at Phi Phi Don. The clear blue sky, corals and beautiful fishes inside, the day was as amazing as it could be.

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After the beautiful snorkeling experience we were tired and wanted to eat. I was really worried about the food as we ticked in the vegetarian section. To my surprise they made special vegetarian food for us in Thai style which was delicious.

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The boat stopped at a beach facing open restaurant, where our boat was the only boat. Loved the serenity of the place. The view was mesmerizing.

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Our trip to Phi Phi islands was full of breathtaking views and wonderful memories.

Few tips if you are planning a visit:

  • Take a high SPF cream as you are going to be super tan
  • Wear your best swimming costume because you will swim at most of the spots
  • Carry a waterproof pouch for your phone otherwise you might need to buy one paying extra money
  • We bought fins but never used them for snorkeling, so choose if you find it convenient with or without it and don’t worry there are no sea urchins
  • Carry your own towels as you are not going to get any
  • Keep some light snacks if you like to eat at regular intervals
  • You can carry one extra pair if you have space
  • If you want to see less crowd you can book a sunrise tour
  • Choose the tour company wisely to have the best experience

 

A day in Matheran: The no honking hill station

Matheran is the smallest hill station in India located in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Lush green trees surround it from all sides making it so exotic that every few kilometers, there is valley view point marked for tourists. Matheran is an Eco-sensitive zone and there are no vehicles allowed here. People travel on their feet and horses here. There is absolute serenity and you feel so close to nature.

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Matheran is a place for people who enjoy scenic landscapes and wish to relax in peace. If you are looking for party destinations Matheran is simply not the place for you.

We reached Mumbai, then took a local train to Neral, closest station to Matheran, usually a toy train runs from Neral to Matheran. The toy train is a must try attraction as you can enjoy the spectacular views on the way.

Unfortunately when we reached there, toy train was not running, we took a taxi to reach this place. We reached around 6.30 am in morning, so there were no horses available to take us to the main area where our hotel was located. The main market was a 4 km walk, please pack light because you have to be ready to walk at this place.

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The morning walk was very enjoyable, weather was amazing, finally we finished our walk and reached our hotel. The air was so fresh, I was already feeling rejuvenated.

You can enjoy the local delicacies in small restaurants located across the street, they serve amazing food even though they don’t have great ambience.

At 4 pm we hired a guide to show around the place, we used a horse to commute because the roads were muddy and rugged and morning walk was already tiring. I got a beautiful white horse to ride, it was fun and we saw some really picturesque photo points.

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All the points are located in a small stretch it’s just a different angle. No matter what name they call the point, all the spots were very scenic.

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The chill breeze was worth enjoying, had a great time. After the sightseeing we returned to the market again, there are many small shops you can visit. We tried the Kokam sharbat which was delicious. Market has lot of small carts which serve maggi and some snacks which are best to eat.

The resort was equally beautiful we had a nice dinner, the environment was so serene. Matheran is a perfect place to relax away from city noise and traffic.

It was a beautiful day among simple people, if you are looking for spending a day in lap of countryside Matheran is your destination.