U Bein Bridge – Unique & Charming

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There are numerous things to see in Mandalay and its adjacent areas. During a short trip to Mandalay I decided to explore famous U Bein Bridge. Built around 1850, this 1.2 kilometer bridge is said to be the world’s oldest teakwood bridge. As this place becomes over-crowded during morning and evening, I decided a different time slot i.e 3-4pm. To my surprise, I still saw a lot of people on the bridge.

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Surrounded by beautiful Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura, the foot bridge is named after the mayor who had built it.

Visiting this place during sunset and sunrise could be a serene experience, but I deliberately skipped it as I didn’t want to encounter with sea of people. One of my hostel mate told me how he could not even put his steps on the bridge in the evening due to massive crowd. Eventually, he left the place without fully exploring it.

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This place has peaceful atmosphere which I really liked. Make sure to include it in your itinerary when you visit Mandalay. Apart from the bridge, one can also explore nearby villages and temples. If you wish you can also take a boat ride in the lake.

How did I reach the place? : There are many ways to reach the bridge. You can either hire a taxi or motorbike taxi to reach this place. It is not faraway from the downtown Mandalay.

I used a pick up truck from 84th / 29th street intersection. It dropped me somewhere on the mainroad of Amarapura. I paid only Kyat1000. From there the bridge is approximately 4km. At one point, I thought of hitchhiking but later dropped the plan and decided to take a walk.

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A Photo Essay On Pangong Tso

Like many travelers, I too made a trip to Pangong Tso, one of the most beautiful and enchanting lakes in India. I always wanted to photograph this place after seeing numerous snaps on Internet. After a lot of negotiation with a couple of travel agencies in Leh, I finally found two couples, who agreed to travel with me. We hired a Xylo and luckily we got a good driver. After several hours of journey, we reached our destination. I took a deep breath and started clicking pictures of this breathtaking lake, which is surrounded by barren yet dramatic mountains. I stayed at a small homestay, while my friends preferred tents. The owner of the homestay shared many interesting stories about lake, business, daily life and visitors over a cup of tea. Now I will let you to enjoy the snaps.

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Encounter With Wild Animals At Chitwan National Park

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I wanted to do something wild on my birthday, so I arranged a meeting with deers and rhinos at the Nepal’s famous Chitwan National Park. I crossed the beautiful Rapti river to reach the main entrance of the Park, which is a World Heritage Site.
There I joined a group of eight tourists and a guide, on a jeep safari. The bumpy ride began in the hot and humid climate and we saw huge trees and an array of vegetation.
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But no one looked excited for not being able to spot any wild animal. After almost one hour, our patience paid – we saw a couple of rhinos and deers. We also came across some very beautiful and colorful birds and langurs, much to the delight of my co-travelers.

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There was a Crocodile Breeding Center too inside the park, but I chose to skip that as our jeep safari had already taken around five hours.

At the end I bid everyone goodbye and returned to my hotel at Sauraha Village, few meters away from the park. The whole area is replete with hotels, resorts, cafes and bars. So advance booking is not required even in peak season. I stayed at a small hotel and its owner had arranged everything for me, including the safari trip to the park.

Besides, many tour operators provide other activities such as bird watching, hiking and cycling. Two days are enough to explore the whole place. In the evening, the place becomes more lively and soothing. I reached Chitwan from Kathmandu via a deluxe bus. It took approximately five hours to reach there. If you are an avid wildlife photographer do carry a zoom lens. Also, do not forget to carry water bottle, sunscreen lotion and a hat.

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From Bangkok To Ko Samet

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Koh Samet is one of the thousands of beautiful islands that one should explore in Thailand. Especially when you are in Bangkok and have little time on your hand.

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A four-hour journey from the capital city will take you to this tiny paradise, which is considered to be a protected zone.

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Pristine turquoise waters and powdery white sand beaches woo thousands of foreign and local tourists alike every day. It is easy to navigate in this area as it is very compact in size. I used a motorbike to explore the whole place.

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Ko Samet is largely a part of Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park. One can indulge in watersports activities too, although I opted to enjoy my precious time on beaches.
One place which is highly recommended for a splendid evening is Naga Bar. Cheap prices make this place a favorite among tourists.

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So, how to reach Koh Samet? As I was staying at Sukhumvit, I took a bus from Ekkamai Bus Terminal to Ban Phe. While buying bus tickets, I also booked a ferry ticket from Ban Phe to Ko Samet. It took approximately four hours from Bangkok to reach Ban Phe and from there, I took a ferry to Ko Samet. The short journey lasted 30 minutes.

The place is replete with numerous hotels, guest houses and bars. So don’t worry about accommodation. To explore this protected area, you need to buy a 200 bhat ticket which is valid for five days. Make sure you don’t lose the ticket, otherwise, you will have to buy another one.

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