Hey everyone!!! First of all, welcome to my travel blog. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Let me first introduce myself. I am Arpan Mandal from New Delhi, India. I love everything about traveling. From luxury hotels to cheap dirty hostels. From fine dining to unhygienic street food. From comfortable flights to cheap bus rides. Mountains, beaches, deserts, big cities, villages. I love them all. Travel is all I think, dream, read, talk, and write about. Yes, I am obsessed.
How it all began?
Well, I believe the love for travel is in my genes. I come from a family which looks for excuses to travel. One time our family traveled all the way to Punjab just to buy sweaters. I was quite young back then, but I remember myself thinking “This is just crazy!”. But we had a great time, and ended up buying a lot of sweaters which were just as crappy as the ones that we wanted to avoid buying here in Delhi.
During my teens, we used to have these short family trips around the country several times a year which made me fall in love with traveling. During these years, I learned that there were people out there who ate differently, talked differently and lived differently. We traveled extensively through the length and breadth of our amazingly diverse country. I would not brag and say that I saw it all, but thanks to my family, I did see quite a lot.
It was during these formative years that I got the travel bug, and each time I traveled, the bug got bigger, stronger and more demanding.
When I started earning, I expanded my horizons and decided to cross a few borders. My first international trip to
Europe South East Asia in 2011 made me realise that it would not be my last trip. Since then I have visited South East and East Asia many times, and each time left me craving out for more.
What Is The Purpose Of This Blog?
Well, if you are looking for a destination guide, visit Lonely Planet. This is not it.
Yes, I would love to give you recommendations and tips (Look under the “Destinations” tab). I would love to answer your questions and queries as well.
But the main purpose of this blog is to share stories and experiences. I intend to make you see the world through my eyes. Not only the touristy things, but also the small, mundane things that most people usually overlook.
I am also equally interested in hearing and reading about your stories and experiences. So, feel free to send me an email or a link to your stories, and I’ll check them out.
Why Have I Been To Thailand So Many Times?
Yes, I am in love with Thailand. I have been to Thailand 4 times in the last 2 years, and people keep asking me why I go there so often. It’s not because of the massages, “boom booms” or tuk tuks.
Thailand for me is all about pristine beaches, awesome nightlife, great food, laid back lifestyle and wonderful people. Also, being a cheap destination, comparatively, helps.
I remember one night during my first trip to the country in 2011, while having a delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup and bamboo salad, sitting on a dirty plastic chair beside a roadside food vendor as the busy traffic of Siam whizzed passed, I promised myself I would come to Thailand every year, atleast once. I had found my Narnia !
For the past 3 years I have been keeping that promise.
However, my priorities have changed since then. Now, I prefer to visit quiet beaches, like Rai Leh over party beaches of Phuket and Pattaya, that I originally fell in love with.
Weirdest Thing I have Ever Tasted
Well, that will have to be these small baby birds (don’t know the name) that I tasted during my time in Cambodia. It tasted like what I think rotten chicken will taste like. I struggled to keep it down while the locals gobbled it down like it was fried chicken. I guess it is an acquired taste.
Number Of Times I Have Been Scammed
It was in a Go-Go Bar in Bangla Road Phuket. Need I say more?
I was charged 800 Bahts for a small bottle of Heineken. This happens when you place an order without looking at the menu and the prices. Damn!!!
The Song That Makes Me Want To Pack My Bags And Leave
Currently it is “Years Around The Sun” by Miles Away.
Places I Want To Go
I want to go everywhere ! Simple as that…
However, the places that are on top of my list are
1. Jordan – Petra, Dead Sea and so much more…
2. Egypt – The Pyramids and The Nile .. (April 2014)
3. Japan – Everything seems so wonderfully weird in Japan
4. Poland – Inspired by the movie, Schindler’s list and the Holocaust
5. Turkey- Two continents in one country? Sign me up..
My Bucket List (Top 10)
Backpacking alone in Africa (April 2014)
Seeing The Great Wall of China (June 2015)
3. Getting a tattoo in a foreign country
Visiting Ha Long Bay (October 2013)
5. Spending at least a week in a small island in Thailand
Visiting the Pyramids (April 2014)
7. Trekking in Nepal
8. Backpacking across India and visiting places like Daman and Diu, Leh, Ladakh, Pondicherry and Lakswadeep
9. Watch a live WWE Event. It’s my childhood dream to see The Undertaker in action.
10. Learn to cook a super delicious noodle based dish from the street food vendors of Thailand.
Guest Posting here
E-Mail me with your ideas. I will love to host your story.
Tweet. Facebook. Send a Pigeon Post. Show up at my doorstep. I don’t care..
Don’t call me, however.. I hate cellphones
I prefer the email. (email@example.com)
Where to Start?
Here are links to two of my favourite posts here in GOB. Check them out
—- Arpan Mandal (21/11/2015)