Gangtok a perfect destination to find solace

Gangtok the capital city of Sikkim is known for its naturally beautiful treasures. Its like opening the box and enjoying every treasure you explore. Ever since I studied in my geography class that highest mountain peak in India is Kanchenjunga, I always wondered how magnificent it will look. It was one of the biggest reasons to plan a trip to Sikkim. Tranquility blended with exotic views makes Gangtok an immensely suitable destination for an amazing holiday.

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We hired a car from NJP (New Jalpaiguri) station which took us to Gangtok, the route was spectacular and Teesta river flowing through this state makes it even more appealing.

Compelling reasons to visit Gangtok

  • Beautiful waterfalls

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  • Awesome Mountains

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  • Pollution free environment

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  • Unmatched cleanliness

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  • Mesmerizing flowers

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  • Historic places

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  • Amazing people

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I think I have given enough reasons why it’s a place to find perfect solace, let’s see what we can do here.

Things to do in Gangtok

River rafting in Teesta

Teesta river has a sacred importance for people of Sikkim and it is also a famous spot for river rafting activity. The water is very cold and you can do rafting for a stretch of 11 km from Makha to Sirwani. Rapids are huge fun the rafting experience here is different, while rafting  you can also view fusion of two rivers. The location is picturesque and the rafters will offer a photographer, who will do the clicking for you while your enjoy rafting activity.

It will cost you close to 1000 INR per person for rafting, the cost differs from the place you book.

Flower exhibition

Gangtok has a flower exhibition at white hall, where there is a huge variety of different types of colourful flowers and flora.

Gangtok view from rope way cable ride

Rope way cable ride is a famous tourist attraction as you can see the entire city and a close look to the Kanchenjunga peak. Its a 1 km long cable starting from Deorali to Tashling lasting for about 7 minutes. The aerial view of city is amazing and looks like Kanchenjunga is calling you.

The ticket costs about 110 INR per person.

Historic Monasteries

Monasteries are pilgrims for Buddhists, Gangtok has splendid monasteries which are thousands of years old. The architecture is incredible, several lamas are been trained here. Monks and lamas are pretty shy people and they did not talk much but they were nice enough to allow us click some pictures. The atmosphere is serene giving these monasteries a divine touch. Most popular ones to visit are:

  • Rumtek Monastery
  • Tsuk La Khang Monastery
  • Lingdum Monastery
  • Pemayangtse Monastery

MG Marg

MG Marg which is named after Mahatma Gandhi is the busiest street in Gangtok, you have several options to shop and eat. You can get amazing shoes here, I got two pairs which everyone asked me about. It is clean and colourful because of the beautiful flowers planted near the benches. There are some really good souvenir shops, the entire market is worth a visit. Even if you are not fond of shopping you can visit this place to enjoy the Sikkimese delicacies.

A day tour to Nathula pass and Tsongmo lake

This tour is my personal favourite, Tsongmo lake or Changu lake is located at 12300 ft. It takes 1.5 to 2 hrs to reach this place from Gangtok. This was the first spot of the tour, I was spellbound by the surrounding and view of this beautiful lake. You’ll find a lot of people do Yak safari and even if you want to click a picture with them you’ll have to pay.

Next spot was Nathula Pass which is located at 14000 ft and serves as a India-China border, you can see soldiers from both the armies. This was my first time to see a border where at one step is one country and on the next step is another. It was fascinating to see how man has created boundaries so strong to build nations. I applaud all soldiers serving their country at such harsh conditions.

Last spot was Baba Mandir, this place is known as a wish fulfilling  temple, people specially come to here to pray and stay for a long time with a list of wishes.

You require permit to visit all these places, so make sure you get them before your visit.

Tashi view point

This point is known for its exotic views , usually tourists arrive at this place in evening to enjoy the mesmerizing sunset. Along with sunset you can also see how the sky changes its colours enhancing the beauty of the glorious mountains. If you are an early riser you can also enjoy sunrise at the same spot.

My trip to Gangtok was great fun and an experience of lifetime. You can also visit Gurudongmar Lake near Lachen and Yumthang valley near Lachung to enrich your experience of visit to Sikkim.

 

 

 

Yumthang valley of flowers covered in snow

Yumthang valley is popularly known as valley of flowers and is one of the most picturesque location in North Sikkim. This place is a renowned tourist location because of its scenic beauty apart from the flowers which are like cherry on the top. Yumthang valley was on my bucket list of my North Sikkim tour and was totally worth it.

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Yumthang valley is located at a height of  11800 ft. and a 6 hour drive from Gangtok. We already took our way to see Gurudongmar lake and in return stayed at Lachung which is 2 hours from Lachen. We took a night halt in Lachung. Yamthung valley is 1.5 hour drive from Lachung.

We started early morning and I was thinking maybe, I could see some flowers as we didn’t go in the best season for flowers.Our driver told us it snowed last night.

I was really excited to see the snow covered valley and believe me I was delighted to reach there.

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I was worried though how we were going in the snow without proper outfits and boots. As we reached near the parking there were many small shops to rent these things at a very nominal price. It was such a relief. During my entire Sikkim trip I admired the honesty and hospitality of the locals.

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The valley was fully covered in snow and the place looked beautiful. Some of my favourite pictures…

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Playing in the snow was absolute fun, valley was gorgeous but what next, I was hungry. We returned to the parking and had breakfast at the same place where we rented the boots, gloves and jacket.

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Best part is you get to eat with locals not in the fancy restaurants. Everything is very affordable and special thanks to Maggie, it is like the staple food here.

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Seeing so much beauty and satisfaction around makes me think life can exist in the most beautiful forms even at extremes.

We skipped the Zero point tour as we already saw the snow in the valley, but if you go and see the flowers and wish to see snow as well then you can definitely go to zero point.

Best season to go if you wish to see flowers is February to June and to see the snow covered valley is September to December.

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Gurudongmar Lake a glimpse of paradise

Beauty upholds itself hiding in the serenity dwelling between the laps of mountains, kissed by the blowing wind, shinning like a mirror gazing at you is the Gurudongmar Lake. This lake is situated at an altitude of 17100 ft. in North Sikkim second highest in India and in top 17 highest lakes of the world.

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It is popularly known for its immaculate religious importance and a belief in lot of people, that the water has healing powers. Near the lake you will see a place called “Sarva Dharma Sthal” it means a place for worshipers of all religion. I loved the name, as I truly believe religion should always bring us closer to God and not divide us through boundaries.

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Before you start the journey there are important pre requisites for a hassle free journey:

  • Permit needed to visit this lake as it is close to Indo Tibetan border
  • Bring your identity proof
  • Carry glasses with Polaroid and UV protection lenses to withstand heavy sun rays
  • Take some light food and water as journey is quite long
  • Sunscreen with high SPF
  • Medicines for nausea or any other frequent illness you have

Now that you have everything ready, let’s get started.

Most important of all cover as much as you can yourself, its really cold out there.

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How to reach Gurudongmar Lake?

At this height humans can’t possibly survive for long, so the residence nearest to this place is Thangu village which is located at 14000 ft. but this is again a very small village to take a stay.

It takes close to 9 hours to reach this place from Gangtok, which would make the journey tiresome, the best staying option is Lachen a town located at 10000 feet, you can reach the lake in 4 hours from here.

We took a night halt in Lachen and started early around 4.30 in the morning for Gurudongmar Lake. You can sleep in the car for some time but don’t sleep for long otherwise you will miss the most spectacular views of this adventurous journey.

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We stopped at Thangu for breakfast, please use the washroom otherwise you won’t get any till you reach and come back. You get Maggi and coffee in breakfast and have to pay for using washrooms. I was amazed to see people put locks to their washrooms as they are located outside of their house.

Locals are really welcoming and nice people, haven’t seen such hospitality anywhere. I was astounded by seeing so much of contentment with so less. In a one room house the entire family stays happily.

The day we visited there was slight snow on the roads that morning resulting in a jam. Our car got stuck, drivers were helping each other, our driver also tried a lot of times but the tyre was stuck in snow. That moment, I was wondering will I be able to make it, I didn’t want to go back empty handed.

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Kudos to our driver he managed to get the car out and we made it but lot of others were still stuck, we reached our final passing, which was the highest military base camp. Salute to all soldiers who are protecting the country and staying at such extreme locations.

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As we passed the gate, I was flabbergasted by the view, saw landmines for the first time in my life and finally reached to this dazzling Gurudongmar Lake which was partially frozen at that time and sparkling like a mirror.

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It is not recommended to stay here for more than an hour as oxygen is scarce and you might feel dizzy after sometime.

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Wind blows so high and loud shows you the power of the nature, you feel so tiny standing in front of these huge snow covered mountains. I was spellbound by the charismatic lake and enjoyed the silence, the view is still in my eyes and one of the best experience ever.

I returned with this awesome memory which I will cherish for life. The adventure was not over yet, the roads are really tough to drive and for miles you will not see humans. Always check with your driver that he has a spare tyre you might need one in the journey as we did.

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Just look at the poor tyre but thanks to God our driver was our lifeline, he fixed it quickly and we came back enjoying the beautiful way.

Several waterfalls and greenery adds to the beauty of the journey.

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Best season to go

As you read there could be odds like snow or storm it better to go in a favourable season well, November to June is the best time to go.

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Paragliding in Kamshet wonderful experience

Kamshet paragliding trip

My paragliding experience at Kamshet was an adventure assorted with fun, hope you savour the same by reading this experience.

Kamshet is located at 45 kms from Pune, the roads become rusty as you reach towards your destination. This location is huge and excellent for paragliding. Open space beyond your eyes can see. You must have your own vehicle for commuting, as this place is in outskirts and you won’t find any other option than a private vehicle.

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Do I know how to do paragliding alone? I wish, I could have done it alone but as I wasn’t trained, I had to go for Tandem Paragliding. Well it’s nothing technical, you can have the awesome experience without even knowing it. You will have a trained tandem pilot who would take you on the joy ride.

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What are you supposed to do then? Nothing enjoy the breeze with open arms at hundreds of meters of altitude. Is it scary, of course it is, otherwise what’s the fun in it? My pilot also did some flips in the air it was thrilling and an incredible moment.

Where to book?

Don’t make the mistake of going directly without booking as you might be disappointed. There will be several paragliding companies you can find which will offer you the experience, we booked it through “Nirvana adventures” which was indeed the best thing to do.

We chose to have our journey with “Nirvana Adventures” to book this breath-taking experience as they have the best trained gliders and facilities at their base camp.

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The camp is beautiful, surrounded by lush green trees. This place has absolute serenity which makes you feel like sleeping in lap of nature.

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We also had fun with friends exploring this place along with wonderful memories. The only thing which I regret was, we had to leave the place in one day due to work commitments.

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“Nirvana adventures” also offers other facilities like accommodation, food and airport pick up. So if you are bag packer nirvana does the work for you.

You can also learn to fly alone they offer different packages from a two day to week long courses. Isn’t it amazing? Next time I will make sure I fetch out one week’s time to visit this place and fly alone this time for much more thrilling experience.

Official site: www.flynirvana.com

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What are things you should definitely carry when you go for a one day trip?

You get nothing here at the spot where paragliding happens so do carry the essentials:

  • Bottle of water
  • Shoes
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun tan lotion
  • Snacks
  • Camera

Important tip

Paragliding is a complete weather and wind dependent sport, there could be last minute changes. I advice you to reach early. Usually a normal tandem trip costs around 2500 for 15 mins, it varies with the company you book with.

If you are visiting Pune, do take out some time to visit Kamshet to have this awesome experience.

Incredible things to do in Bali in 6 days

Things to do in Bali for your first trip

A perfect sunrise, best beaches, mountains, heritage, temples, adventure, beautiful sunsets, shopping destinations, culture, pubs, cafes, resorts, hotels, spas. One place but so much to do, anything you think of, Bali has it.

Who are you?

A silent admirer of scenic beauty, a party animal, crazy explorer, dreamer, beach addict or enthusiast. Whether it’s the beauty or serenity, silence or music, Bali is the perfect destination.

You might be thinking if it is so beautiful, it will way out of my budget. The answer is “No”, anyone can plan a Bali trip fitting to their pocket.

My bucket list

First timers, I would suggest, spend at least a week in Bali. We had a 6 day trip, one of the most memorable trip ever.

I am going to share my bucket list with you, if you like it, pick up spots of your interest.

Gone are those days, when people use to buy those packages, where a bus will come on right time, take you on a tour, drop you for 30 mins and ask you to return even if you wished to stay.

What everyone is looking for is a custom made package, suiting their needs and preferences of time and places.

How to plan a perfect Bali trip?

There is no definition to perfection, all you need to do is, right things on right time. Bali is diverse, as it was our first trip we wanted the taste of everything, so we picked up three places to go.

  1. Ubud: Culturally rich and known for its tradition
  2. Seminyak: Party place with great clubs
  3. Nusa Dua: Perfect place to relax and pamper your self

Our aim was to enjoy the culture and heritage first, followed by adventure, party and finally relax before coming back.

Ubud

Enjoy the city walk, stunning cafes with wonderful food and drinks. Watch cultural dance show at the Ubud palace. Explore the city, check out the dazzling rice terraces. Out of all the three destinations this is the most apt place for shopping souvenirs and jewellery, as it offers the best price.

I would suggest not to spend a lot of money for your stay in Ubud, as you have so much to stay outside the hotel.

Things to do in Ubud

Read 9 amazing attractions in Ubud to know where you can spend your two days in Ubud.

If you are an adventure and trek lover you should check Mt. Batur Sunrise trek experience as well.

Seminyak

Seminyak is quite modern and a great place to enjoy various beach side clubs, pubs, shopping areas and tattoo shops. The best way to move around is to hire a scooter. One of the best staying option is TS Suites in Seminyak, we got an incredible deal as we booked in advance.

Things to do in Seminyak

Chill at TS Suites

TS Suites is the best place to stay in Seminyak if you are looking for a complete package. Let’s find out what you can do here:

Great food and they make customized breakfast for vegetarians…

It’s a big pain if you are a vegetarian and you stay at the wrong place. We usually check before booking any hotel whether they provide vegetarian food or not. TS Suites also provided us with custom made vegetarian breakfast.

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Enjoy the 24 hour terrace infinity pool of TS Suites

Yes you read it correctly, they have a 24 hour terrace swimming pool with a spectacular view. IMG_7377

You can swim, sun bath and have drinks enjoy a perfect start of the morning. They have a bar and a juice counter which is open 24X7. The service is amazing, I spent my mornings and late nights at this place after party.

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Free entry to their happening club Jenga…

Jenga offers free entry to TS suites residents, which was another perk of staying at this hotel. The club’s interior is exceptionally modern and it has a two storey arrangement. As you enter you will find an attractive bar with sophisticated seating arrangement of couches.

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The party is all downstairs, there is a disc and a bigger bar where you can get drunk while you dance. If you like quiet stay upstairs and enjoy your time.

Enjoy the coffee adjacent to TS Suites at my Kopi-O!

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If you are a coffee lover, this cafe offers different varieties of coffee with delicious snacks.

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Yes we did go out of the hotel and saw some other places too, TS suites was though the best experience.

Official website: http://www.tssuites.com

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3D Trick art gallery

Are you a photo lover? Like to click yourself wherever you can.
Then this is the right place for you. It has a collection of creative 3D pictures you can become a part of, full value for money.
I got myself clicked at all pictures, they were so irresistible. Have a look at few of my favourites…

Romantic picture…

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Funny picture…

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Crazy picture…

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Scary picture…

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There are dozens of it, wear your best attire and get clicked as much as you want. I have a collection for about 100 different poses. This was definitely one of the best places which I enjoyed thoroughly. This place is at walking distance from TS suites.

Potato head beach club

It’s a beach facing club with infectious music, we reached right in time to see the most gorgeous sunset.

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As we reached almost at the time of sunset, we missed the beach facing seats. We still managed to get a cozy seat inside. This place is crowded all the time with usually a waiting of half an hour minimum, it’s still worth the wait.

If you manage to reach at the start of evening, you could grab the best seats and if not, while you are waiting you can enjoy the view on the beach.

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They serve delicious food, it was a splendid evening, topped by cozy dinner and wow environment.

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We took a scooter and followed the GPS to reach here, the location is a bit tricky with sharp turns, if you feel the way is not correct, it means you are on the right way.

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A Day trip from Seminyak to Kuta

Seminyak is in the centre, you can also visit Kuta if you are fond of driving. We did a day trip to Kuta and visited the Discovery mall.

It’s a beach facing shopping mall, with tons of shopping options. I got a pair of Wakai shoes from here they are super comfortable and stylish. You can buy souvenirs, eatables, chocolates, clothes, they have a wide range of fine looking bikinis in this mall. You can shop till you drop!
Once you are done you can sit at any beach facing restaurant to enjoy the view and food. If you are a shopaholic you can return to shopping or wait for the awesome sunset.

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Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is a perfect place to relax and pamper yourself. Mesmerizing blue water beaches, remarkable spas, great restaurants and superb atmosphere. As this was our last stop we took our best stay here.

Where to stay as Nusa Dua? It is full of beach facing resorts, Grand Mirage offers one of the best stays.

Things to do in Nusa dua

Water Sports

The water is blue and clear making it a suitable destination for water sports. Options available for the sports are:

  • Sea walking
  • Scuba diving- It’s a two day course
  • Jet ski
  • Speed boat
  • Parasailing
  • Flying Fish

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Turtle Island tour

This is a lovely island where they conserve turtles, you can also see other animals like snakes, bats, birds, big lizards. It’s a fun place to go for a tour.

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Treat yourself with spa

After the exhausting water sports a good spa is nothing but the best thing to happen. You can enjoy spa at your resort or explore the spas of the adjacent resorts. There are several open spa shops on the street which offer incredible foot massages and fish massages to relax you with cheaper price.

Balinese is one of the most relaxing spa treatments, make sure you take a Balinese massage during your stay in Bali.

Queens of India restaurant

Yes it’s an Indian restaurant as I can’t survive without Indian food for long. Queens of India was one of restaurants with delicious food, the service was nice. They also provided us with a complimentary cab to our resort which was very sweet of them.

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The Grand Mirage candle light dinner

I do have a one full blog about The Grand Mirage, still this arrangement needs to be mentioned, as its special and an unforgettable experience.

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Well what do you think it is? May be your guesses are correct, it’s a space for the private table arrangement at the beach for having a candle light dinner. You can enjoy your solitude and companion fully with a bling of romance in the air.

You just need to do the advance booking for the evening.

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Uluwattu temple tour

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Last but not the least, the best location in Bali. Uluwattu Temple is located on a cliff over the ocean giving it a magnificent view. The temple is of utmost religious importance and is one of the most popular attractions of Bali due to its spectacular location. When you enter the temple just be careful of the monkeys on the way, if you are carrying any food items.

I just feel like staying here forever, no words to describe the beauty and serenity of this place. The pose which everyone gets clicked here is…

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I have never seen the sky look so colourful, the view was beguiling and is one of my finest memories

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The best way to reach here is hire a cab because as it’s in outskirts you might not get options to go back if you book a one way cab.

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Best place to stay in Nusa Dua Bali The Grand Mirage – Review

IMG_7859The Grand Mirage is the most exotic holiday destination in Bali. It’s a beach facing resort with all modern amenities and world-class service.
I will give you a review as well as virtual tour of this resort. So let’s get started.

 

Amazing service

” The Grand Mirage” as the name suggests has a grand decorated entrance.IMG_7770

The entrance decoration is changed periodically which gives a beautiful feeling when you enter this resort.
They have a 24 hour front desk office, which would assist you with your bookings.
The staff is very courteous. Your luggage will be escorted without any hassle.
We booked the Ocean View room, which entitled us for a special welcome with a fresh flower garland and coconut water. It was a sweet surprise for us.

Facilities on offer with the booking

  • Free WiFi
  • Breakfast included
  • Free Parking
  • Private beach area
  • Swimming pool
  • Fitness center

 Incredible Rooms

The room was extremely clean and well-arranged. We were staying in the ocean facing room on the top floor which is one of the best rooms of the resort.

Have a look yourself…

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Perfect Jacuzzi to relax…

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Spacious passages…

In fact the corridors were nice, clicked some hilarious pictures and wonderful memories to carry.

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Spectacular view from the balcony, you will not feel like leaving the room…

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Superb dining area

The dining area was huge with lot of spots to sit and enjoy food.
You can choose the pool view or sit inside, where you can see the beautiful statues in the center of the resort.

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Great swimming pool

Swimming pool is a significant criteria, when I look for booking a resort.
The Grand Mirage not only has a good swimming pool but it also has a separate children pool.

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They also have a seating arrangement near the pool, where you can enjoy your breakfast, with the pool view.

Private Beach area

The beach is extremely clean and calm. You will only find resort guests around, making it less crowded and a great place to relax.

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Sea is so compelling, swim, take a sun bath enjoy the great view.

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Delicious food

Nusa Dua was the last leg of our Bali trip and I was craving for Indian food, The Grand Mirage was a blessing in disguise for me.
They have a dedicated Indian restaurant called Bumbu Delhi with incredible food and live music arrangement. I was in love with this resort.

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The resort has multiple restaurants theme buffets, beach facing cafes, central dining area.

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Offers a huge variety of multi cuisine eating options, select your pick and enjoy it to fullest.

Water Sports destination

Perfect destination for water sports, get your booking done at their counter.
They’ll even make CDs for your sea walking experiences.

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Water sports can only be done in morning due to tide conditions. We suggest you to book in advance and be on time to enjoy the sport you pick.

Exotic views

The Grand Mirage is spread out in a huge area, you can take a walk on the beach, click pictures and play around.
It looks gorgeous at any point of time whether it is day or night.

Morning view

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Afternoon view

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Evening view

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Night view

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Extras

They have a free shuttle service for the Nusa Dua shopping center Galleria mall, child care facilities, amazing spa facilities, one of the best in Nusa Dua.

What more can you get?
There is more, they have small shops inside the resort, selling cultural articles.
They also organize dance shows along with buffet dinners.

They also have a personal photography desk, couples often complain they have no one to click pictures on their holiday, all they have is just selfies.
Grand Mirage offers the solution, you can get your private album done from their personal photography desk.

It’s a full entertainment, relaxing and fun place to be on a holiday. Its a personal and honest review for this incredible place.

Where is “The Grand Mirage”?

Right here…

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You can also read

9 amazing attractions in Ubud you should not miss

Mt. Batur Bali, the sunrise trek

Official Site: http://www.grandmirage.com

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9 Amazing Attractions in Ubud you should not miss

Ubud is known for its culture and tradition, there are dozens of activities to do in Ubud you can spend 2 days, a week or a month, and you will still have new things to explore in Ubud.

If you have reached Ubud by afternoon, we suggest you to hire the two-wheeler next day, provided you are fond of walking. Ubud’s architecture is mesmerizing! Take a walk down the lane which goes towards palace and you’ll find many fascinating roadside cafes offering great food and drinks.

See the place like a local, walk and visit the market, enjoy the food and shopping areas.

But if you have to pick the must to do’s then we will suggest you the 9 amazing attractions of Ubud which you should not miss.

1.Kafe Ubud

One of the best cafes in Ubud, also provides vegetarian, vegan as well as gluten-free options to eat, the staff is extremely courteous. Wooden interior adds an appeal to it. This place is never empty, still very peaceful.

The best part is the food served here is so fresh and delicious, that you would always want to visit again to try more.

They have an exquisite drink menu with so many healthy options, if you are not in healthy drinks don’t be sad, they also serve beer. Not to forget the coffee as Bali is known for it. This is your one stop cafe for the freshest food and drinks. It’s a must try.

Opening hours: 7.30 am to 11.00 pm

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2.Ubud Palace

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Ubud Palace is one of finest attractions right in the center of Ubud, if you are a culture and tradition lover, you gotta visit this. You can reach the palace by 6 pm and take a walk around the palace, people start taking the front seats to see the 7 pm show which is a good mix of cultural dance with incredible live music played, depicting stories.

The dancers are so expressive, its real fun to see them all perform in such beautiful costumes, there are 4 to 5 acts and it’s a one hour show.

The locals sell chill beer to the audience. As you can see in the picture, if you are late you will miss the best seat.

Opening hours: 7.30 am to 11.00 pm

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3.Clear Cafe

Clear Cafe is a lovely place to eat and spend some quality time; the place has variety of seating options. If you go in night they have a candle at every table, which adds to the beauty of this serene place.

Their Chocolate shake is the best drink and a must try, though it’s vegan but it tastes amazing. I tried it on my friend’s recommendation and it was worth every sip of it.

Clear cafe is a 7 min walk from Ubud palace approx 500 meters, it’s a quiet lane. It’s extremely clean, quiet, peaceful and has a wonderful interior along with great food!

Opening hours: 8 am to 11.00 pm

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4.Tegallalang Rice Terraces

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What a view? Isn’t it beautiful, we took a refreshing morning ride to this place for about 30 mins from Ubud palace road. It was quite enjoyable. Tegallalang paddy fields are one of best things to see in Ubud.

You can walk around in the fields, click numerous pictures, sit and do yoga, meditate, feel the breeze. It will make you feel so close to the nature.

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If you are hungry after a walk down the rice terraces there is a great lineup of cafes right at the periphery offering spectacular view, where you can enjoy your food and drinks.

Opening hours: Opens at 7.00 am to 5 pm

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5.City ride on scooter to discover the interior of Ubud

The best way to roam around in Ubud is to hire a scooter which is not pricey at all. You can discover the interiors of the city by visiting the Tegallalang rice terraces on the scooter. It’s a fun ride and you will see some amazing art and furniture shops.

Ubud art market is the highest recommended place for shopping, but if you wish to shop souvenirs for really cheap price then you should stop by the shops coming on the way to Tegallalang rice terraces.

In the entire Bali trip if you wish to shop Ubud is your destination. As you will move towards the modern Bali, same things will be more expensive. There is a variety of beautiful scarves, jewelry and lot more. Ubud is the hub of art and culture with so much of serenity that you will fall in love with this place.

6.Taman Ayun Temple

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Taman Ayun Temple is a great example of magnificent architecture and scenic location, the temple is huge and glorious. It is located at 17 km from the Ubud palace road and it takes close to 45 mins to reach there by the taxi.

You can visit this temple on your way to your Tanah Lot sunset tour, it also has lotus and fish ponds. The temple is so big  and surrounded by lush green landscape that you can get lost in it.

The atmosphere is so positive and rejuvenating that you won’t feel like leaving this place.You need to start early if you wish to spend more time here otherwise you will get late for your sunset tour.

Opening hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

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7.Tanah Lot Sunset Tour

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Tanah Lot temple is one of the splendid sights of Bali, it is around 34 kms from Ubud palace road and around 1 hour 30 minutes of drive. It is among the finest sunset points. Entry in the temple is forbidden for tourists, you can see it from outside and if you pay a little they will let you climb four stairs so you can click pictures.

It’s a great photo spot and is usually very crowded because of its touristy location and beautiful view.

You can enjoy the sunset from lot of open cafes in front of the temple situated at the perfect height, choose your best seat to click the sunset in your camera and enjoy it with every sip of your drink.

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There is a small market area before you reach the temple, amazing shopping options for Bali coffee, scarves, jewelry, beautiful magnets shaped in form of Tanah Lot. It’s worth a visit while you are here for the sunset.

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8.Batur Sunrise Trek

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Magnificent Sunrise with an amazing adventure of trekking. If you are a nature lover and love to explore than Mt. Batur Trek should be on your list.

I would recommend this trek only if you are fit and can walk for about 3 hours, as the trek is quite steep and difficult but absolute fun.

You can read more on Mt. Batur Bali, the best sunrise ever for knowing how the experience would be like.

9.Luwak Coffee FarmIMG_6877

Once you finish your Batur trek , on the way you can see the coffee plantation along with the process of making coffee.

These farms give you a good informative walk around its coffee plantations, where the famous Kopi Luwak is produced. Civet Cats are reared and fed with ripe coffee berries which in turn produce this extremely strong and expensive form of coffee via their poop!

The gut fermentation of the coffee berry in the civet cat keeps the beans intact and it goes through a rigorous cleaning process, roasted and ground to have the world’s most expensive coffee.

If you are tired after the morning trek and the coffee plantations, then you just need to sit back and relax because they will serve you all variety of teas and coffees that you just saw for free. You can get refreshed by sipping the variety with a brilliant view.

If you wish to try Luwak coffee you need to pay for it. They also have a wide variety of other organic products like oils, chocolates along with tea and coffee for you to buy.

Mt. Batur Bali: The sunrise trek

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Yes it’s a sunrise trek! Mt. Batur is one of the three active volcanoes on the island and it is indeed a thrilling experience to walk up to the mouth of Batur and watch the sun rise right across the horizon. But, it also meant we needed to start at midnight!

When Umesh told me that he was booking us on a sunrise trek for our Bali trip, I didn’t take him seriously, after all my husband isn’t a morning person at all. In fact, I doubted he had ever seen the sunrise in the last decade!

Basically we two are very lazy and sleep loving people. So my reaction, “hey! don’t forget we are on a vacation! Getting up so early is like a punishment.”
We went to the tour office to check the list of things to do in Ubud, that’s where I saw some pictures of Batur sunrise trek that was the moment I told Umesh, “we must go for it”.

Important things to carry before you go for Batur sunrise trek:
1. Carry the best shoes as the route is real tough
2. Don’t stuff your bag too much
3. Camera is a must to capture the beauty
4. Carry your cap and sun glasses it will be sunny when you get down
5. Carry a jacket because its cold

We had our van pick up at 2 am from the hotel, I was really “excited” because it was my first trek and that too a Sunrise Trek. I was thrilled!!

While we were yet to reach the base, Umesh told me “I think, I made a mistake booking this trek, it would be too tiring and since you haven’t done any it would be very exhausting for you”. I said “never mind, will give it a shot”

As we arrived the parking we met our guide who was this very lean young boy, he told us he does the trek every day. I told myself ” if this little chap can do it every day then I can of course do it once!”. We got few bananas for breakfast and started on with our trek with a torch in our hand.

Initially it was quite okay and we saw many people walking with torches and their tour guides, after sometime the trek started becoming steeper and steeper.
It was difficult to walk for long, it was really cold even in August, we had to rest after every 20 mins to catch our breath to move forward.

On that particular day I guess we were the only Indians on the Trek, I could see girls wearing shorts and spaghetti while trekking. I was freaked out “aren’t they feeling cold?”
Funny part was our guide and I were coping up quite well but poor Umesh was having the time of his life. He literally wanted us to stop at every five minutes so that he could sit and catch his breath.

There was a time I thought he will give up, the guide was very encouraging “sir u can do it” every 30 seconds Umesh asked how much more time? The guide kept saying “10 more minutes” eventually after half n hour Umesh said are your 10 mins ever going to end.

We reached a flat surface somewhere around 4 am of course because we were super slow. I saw that smile on Umesh’s face
He was like finally “I did it” there was a very fishy smile on our guide’s face I knew something is there, “sir its just the mid way” .

All the smiles vanished Umesh is like “you gotta be kidding me” we started off again with more energy, as he said “if you walk too slow, you will miss the sunrise”.

Umesh got a little pumped up when he saw kids walking faster than him, we reached our first spot right in time, there was this second spot as well which was ever higher, the weather was too foggy, so we decided to stay at the first point.
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He was so relieved that we reached, we grabbed a seat on the bench, last thing we asked our guide was what time will be the sunrise? You won’t believe what he answered “let’s see if it rises as its too foggy today”. I still remember the shock on Umesh’s face on hearing that reply.

We waited patiently on the bench, sipping on the coffee, shivering in cold, waiting for the sun to come out. There was this kid sitting beside me around 12 years old, holding his tripod and camera. I asked him was it tiring for him to trek. He smiled “yes, a bit but this Sunrise is worth it. I am going to record all of it and take back these memories and cherish this for life.”

I was still wondering is it going to be so wonderful, as the colours changed and clouds moved everything around was so beautiful.


I stopped feeling cold, did not feel people around me, the view was spectacularly amazing. Honestly, no words to describe the same.

The experience was so Godly, I felt like in heaven and closer to clouds wanted to run and catch them, what I saw is still in my memories and it was all worth it.

The story is not over yet, after the sunrise we went back and we thought again about the entire trek, we were so not ready for it. Getting down was less of effort but more of caution, it was slippery and dangerous but our guide was our life line.
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When we reached the flat surface which he called was midway, we started walking towards a grass land which was plain nice road, no stones so convenient to walk.
Umesh is like gosch “why didn’t you get us up from this route?”, guess what the guide said “what’s the fun it that? It was supposed to be a trek”.


We saw a lot of vegetation on our return, onions, tomatoes, cabbage it was memorable and informative.

You might be wondering where is that perfect sunrise? you gotta see it yourself.
Loved the experience and is worth a lifetime, so if you ever go to Bali you must trek to Mt. Batur.