Crossing The Border – From Thailand To Laos

My Laos sojourn began with a border crossing. The journey wasn’t smooth, but it was enjoyable – I loved it! After landing at Bangkok Airport, I spent one night at a small hotel, close to the airport. The next morning, I hired a taxi and used metro to reach Mo Chit Bus terminal. I immediately booked a ticket for Nong Khai – the Thai border town.
After leaving Bangkok city, a heavy downpour welcomed me. After all, it was the rainy season in Thailand (August). After reaching Udon Thani, the bus conductor told us to change to another bus for Nong Khai. It was close to 10:30pm and I was completely exhausted. Again I quickly booked a hotel close to Udon Thani bus station. Around 9am, I left for Nong Khai via a minivan; it took only an hour before arriving at the border. I rushed to the immigration department. The process was very quick; all you have to do is hand over your passport at immigration offices before proceeding into Laos without any hassle whatsoever!
After coming out of the office, the first thing I did was book a bus ticket because you can’t walk across the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge. After a few minutes, we reached Laos border and handed over my passport along with my e-visa (one can also opt for visa on arrival facility). With-in 5 minutes, I left the place with my passport. After walking a few meters, I found a bus heading to Vientiane. The price of the ticket was incredibly cheap! I had already bought some Kyat (Laos currency) at the border. And the journey continued…

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PS: I would like to thank experienced traveler Mr. Pritam Pandit for providing useful tips.

Show Respect & Preserve Goa’s Heritage

Recently, I was reading an article on how photographers and Instagrammers are ruining Panjim’s famous Fontainhas, ignoring locals’ requests not to disturb them. This reminded me of my own trip to Panjim, where I saw hundreds of photographers armed with their mobiles and DSLRs creating a nuisance for local residents in the beautiful Fontainhas area. In our fun moment, we conveniently ignore that our actions might go against the culture and way of life of the locals. What kind of pleasure do people get by ignoring local people’s requests? Even a “no photography” request sign fails to deter the tourists. I myself
have witnessed it. We should always respect the local people and their culture while on our trips.

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Exploring Malaysia’s Famous Batu Caves

I am back with another article on Malaysia. This time famous Batu Caves. It is a limestone hill consist of three major caves and a number of smaller ones.

Dedicated to Lord Murugan, this vibrant temple has a series of caves and cave temples. It is believed that the caves are said to be around 400 million years old.

The largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves is Cathedral Cave, which has a number of Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. One can spot two other cave temples at the foot of Batu Hill – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave . These two temples have a number of Hindu statues and paintings.

One has to climb up the 272 steps to reach the top of the caves. The famous Murugan Statue is located at the foot of the Cave. The 42.7 meter statue is the tallest statue in Malaysia.

Batu Caves is located about 73.0km away from Kuala Lumpur airport. Have you explored this vibrant place ?

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Once Upon A Time in Brasov

Brasov is cute, compact and colorful. A short getaway to this vibrant Romanian city made one of my life’s best trips. Cobblestone streets, amazing cafes and bars made it a perfect destination. Although I have shared a lot of stories and images of Brasov in the past on my blog, I could not resist myself from posting more images about this amazing city. When I arrived at Henri Coanda International Airport, Bucharest, my friend came straight from Brasov to receive me. And from there I started my Romanian sojourn. Have you been to Romania ? If yes, please do share with me your experience. I would like to listen your stories.

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Exploring Kanchanaburi’s Spectacular Guan Im Sutham Temple

While exploring Kanchanaburi’s famous death bridge on a hot and humid day, my eyes caught a huge and colorful temple, offering scenic beauty with peace. The Guan Im Sutham Temple, which sits on the banks of the Kwai River, is simply spectacular and breathtaking. When I reached there I noticed that I was the only tourist present in the temple premises.
This Chinese style Buddhist temple, which includes a number of Chinese and Buddhist themes, provides a glimpse of traditional Chinese culture such as the Chinese Zodiac.

The massive compound is replete with animal sculptures, dragons, gold coins and a large Chinese Goddess of Mercy statue. Besides, one can easily notice beautifully decorated pagodas and a gigantic totem pole.
A golden Buddha statue is the main attraction of the temple.
I recommend you to visit this temple along with the historical bridge.

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My Beloved Souvenirs

We all love to collect souvenirs. Right ? Be it a key chain or fridge magnet, we all collect something. Over the period of 10 years, I too have collected many items, including restaurant bills. There is no specific reason why I collect them. Be it Kyrgyzstan or Romania, my travel history is filled with lots of unique souvenirs. What is your most memorable souvenir you have collected so far ?

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Dataran Lang (Eagle Square) – A Photo Essay

A trip to Langkawi is incomplete without a visit to hugely popular Dataran Lang (also known as Eagle Square), a man-made structure.

Situated at the southeast corner of Pulau Langkawi, the 12 meter-tall statue is bound to take your breath away. The massive eagle sculpture greets everyone who comes to Kuah by ferry. The eagle is the emblem of Langkawi Island. Try to visit the place in the morning or evening as the afternoon sun could make you feel highly uncomfortable. As I was staying in a remote place of Langkawai, I hired a taxi to reach the place.

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Device used – Mi A 3

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Langkawi’s Lesser Known Beach – Pasir Tengkorak

Who does not need sun, sand and water during vacation? Well, during a short trip to Langkawi, I was heavily recommended to visit Pasir Tengkorak Beach by cab drivers as well hostel staff. And I was glad that I listened to their advice.

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When I reached the place, there were only three people on the beach. Just imagine. Crystal clear water and white sand beach welcomed me. I embraced the nature with a broad smile. It was pure and pristine.

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Surrounded by a forested area, this beach is definitely suitable for swimming. To reach this place you have to use your own vehicle.

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I used Grab app (Quite popular in South-East Asia) to reach the place. While leaving the beach I faced much problem while booking a cab as this beach . However, after few minutes of struggle, one cab driver came to pick me up. Also, keep in mind this place has no facilities.

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How did you find the place ?

Device used – Mi A3

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Streets Of Mandalay – A Photo Essay

During my Mandalay sojourn I came across many interesting objects. Be it hotel or clock tower, they impressed me with their simplicity. Have you been to Mandalay ? I really liked the city, thank to its stunning pagodas, temples, monastery and local food.

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A simple yet pretty hotel in downtown Mandalay

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Mandalay’s famous clock tower

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The more you walk, the more you see. The more you see, the more you capture …

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Mandalay Palace – Simply Magnificent

Mandalay Palace – one of Mandalay’s major tourist spots that you cannot stop yourself from visiting. Barring some exceptions like huge crowds, the palace stands tall before the expectations of the people visiting for the first time. I was completely blown away by the sheer beauty of this place.

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Built between 1857 and 1859, this massive compound used to be the main royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw – the last two kings of Myanmar.

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These historical palace grounds are quite big in size. Surrounded by a moat, the palace is at the center of the citadel and faces east.

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The 413-hectare royal palace compound has many buildings and other marvelous structures, including the MayNanPyathat building and the HmanNan Building.

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Apart from the Royal Mint and the Watch Tower, a major part of the palace was damaged during the World War II. The whole complex is surrounded by four big walls which are 60 meters in width, two kilometers in length, eight meters in height, and three meters in thickness.

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The palace has a total of 12 gates which represent 12 zodiacal signs.

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Few things to remember before exploring the place. The ticket, which you buy at the entrance of the place, should be kept safely as it can allow you to visit other nearby historical places. So don’t lose it. It was easy for me to explore this place on foot as I was staying in a nearby hostel. I was completely exhausted after exploring every part of this palace. If I remember correctly, I spent around two hours there. I will write more about my Mandalay sojourn soon.

Camera – Canon 750D

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