On the auspicious occasion of our blog’s first birthday, I scanned through the hundreds of pics that I have taken during the last few years, and picked out my favourite 15.
So, here they are, (in no particular order)
1. The Walden Hotel, Hong Kong:
The Walden Hotel, in Hong Kong is located in the vibrant Causeway Bay area. It took me about an hour and a half to find this hotel even though it was located right on the side of the road. I guess I was taken in by the glitz and glamour of Hong Kong. It continues to be the best hotel, I have stayed in. Wonderful location, great staff, comfortable rooms. Two thumbs up. Also, it was here that I found out that I was messy all over the world, and not just in India.
2. The Angkor Wat:
This picture was taken the day I visited the Angkor Wat for the first time. Angkor Wat turned out to be one of the few places which, to me, lived up to the hype. While entering the Wat, I met a Cambodian student, who works part time as a guide. He was the one who took this picture and told me about the history of the Wat. In this picture, I look anxious because, part of me was telling that he might just run away with the camera.
3. Chiang Mai Night Market:
On my last night in Chiang Mai, I visited the famous night market. I found a small bar, where apart from having drinks, you can watch the ladyboys perform to songs like “It’s raining men!”. It is awkward, yet strangely entertaining. I guess, they had something in the lines of “The Tiffany’s show” or “Alcazar” in mind. But it turned out to be way more interesting.
Oh… and the performers are also the bartenders. In the pic, you see me and a “star” of the show.
A fun night in Chiang Mai.
4. My old backpack:
The old faithful. I wish the Big Bazaar people made stronger bags. This bag made it through Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, but could not survive Hyderabad….
Best Rs. 950 I have ever spent.
5. The holy food of Beomeosa Temple, Busan
This is the holy lunch that I had in the Beomeosa Temple just outside of Busan. This meal was memorable not just because it was free, but also because I was the only foreigner at the crowded lunch room. Since I did not get a seat, I ate this bowl of rice, vegetable and soup standing in a corner with two old Korean ladies, who taught me how to eat it correctly.
First, you pour the soup in the rice bowl. Mix it well. And then eat. Not delicious but definitely holy.
6. Phra Nang Beach, Rai Leh, Thailand
I saw Raileh for the first time on Samantha Brown’s Asia and loved it so much that within three months, I was there.
Phra Nang beach is by far the best beach I have been to, and I have been to “Maya Bay”, so that’s saying something. The beach was so beautiful that I decided to stay in Rai Leh for an extra day to just laze in the soft sand and splash around in the beautiful clear blue water. It was a fun day at the beach, but it came at a price. I was sun burnt and was in serious pain for the next two days. So much pain that I could not even carry my backpack. I dragged it all the way to Phuket.
But it was all worth it. Can’t wait to go back to Rai Leh.
7. Pattaya Beach:
I am not a big fan of Pattaya, but I enjoyed spending hours sitting on the beach chairs, listening to some soothing music and tasting the delicious sea food. “Hakuna Matata”
8. Not everyday is bright and sunny:
This picture was taken from the backseat of a Malaysian taxi. I was exploring the city and had reached the KL Tower, when it started raining like crazy. I waited and waited and waited in the steps of the Tower for the rain to subside. But it did not. So, I had to take a cab back to my hostel near China Town and abandon the Kuala Lumpur exploration for the day.
9. Taking a moto cab in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tamh is the first Vietnamese I ever met. When I reached the Ben Tanh Market Bus Stop from the Airport, he offered to drop me off at my hostel for free, IF I went booked a Pagoda hopping tour with him. I resisted at first, but then when he told me that he was okay with whatever amount I paid him, I agreed. Big mistake, because at the end of the tour, he asked for 600000 Dongs. I paid him much much less.
This picture was taken just moments before I realised that I had forgotten my wallet in my hotel room, and asked him to turn around.
10. Cambodian Cuisine:
Our bus stopped at a small village in Cambodia, few hundred kilometers from Siem Reap where this picture was taken. The lady that was selling these birds, also had tarantulas, and various insects. These Cambodian birds are still officially the worst food I have ever tasted in my life. (And I recently had pig intestines)
11. Kayaking near the James Bond Island, Thailand
This was my first experience with a kayak and even though, I can hardly swim, within minutes my fear vanished and I was mesmerized by the beauty of the green cliffs, clear water and the limestone caves.
12. KL Bird Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
After an hour of debating with myself on whether it is safe to take this picture, I finally decided to man up and face the big beaked Hornbill, the dangerous hawk, and the spooky owls. Surprisingly, all of them were really cool, and it was the colourful macau that tried to poke my eye out.
13. Night out in Pattaya
It was 2.00 am. Riding around Pattaya, half drunk, on a motocab after watching a Muay Thai event at the Fairtex stadium, was one of the best things I did in Pattaya. I felt free as a bird!!
14. Waiting for the Changdeok-gung to open
On my first day in Seoul, I got up really early and reached the gates of Changdeok-gung only to find that it was going not going to open for another 40 minutes. I waited on the steps of the palace, watching city wake up slowly and welcome the newest traveler to their awesome city.
This was the first place I visited in Korea, and within minutes of entering the palace grounds I knew, I would be coming back to Korea again and again.
15. The Kintamani volcano, Bali, Indonesia
I booked a tour to the Kintamani volcano and luckily, the tour operators did not find any other tourist for the tour. So basically I had the car and the guide, Bapl, all to myself. I felt a bit awkward at first, because he was being too nice, but soon we became friends. And it was all uphill from there. Kintamani volcano was extremely beautiful.
Minutes after taking this picture, I made a promise to Bapl that the next day, we would climb the Kintamani volcano. Sadly, this was a promise I could not keep.
Now that we are entering the second year of the blog, I hope there will be many more awesome new experiences and that this is just the beginning.
So, Keep Reading. Keep Loving. and Keep Travelling.