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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How I Stayed In Sri Lanka

From villa to hostel, I experimented all kinds of accommodation during my recent Sri Lankan sojourn. Staying at a hostel has its own charm. You get to meet a whole bunch of new people from different countries. Unfortunately, it did not happen this time as I traveled in the off season. Most of the hostels were half empty due to the country’s extreme hot weather. In Colombo, I stayed at ClockInn Delhiwala and I must say it is one of the best hostels I have ever stayed. Be it food or cleanliness, this hostel deserves a big thumbs up.

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In Weligama, an auto driver took me to a hotel where I was the only guest. Although, the host was nice, I was bit paranoid as there was no other guests in the hostel.

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And in Bentota, I had a brief conversation with a boy, who took me to a villa, which is running by an old couple. Like Weligama, I was the only guest at their villa. I stayed there just for a night. I had a very long and interesting conversation with the owner over a cigarette break.

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In Galle, I had stayed in a sea-side hostel – Coco Palm Beach Hostel – with fewer guests. All of them opted for private rooms, while I stayed in a shared room. Apart from me, the hostel welcomed two girls from France and a couple from Britain.

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If you visit Galle, I strongly recommend to stay in this hostel.

Now let’s talk about famous hill station Kandy. I really liked this spacious and colorful hostel, the Backpackers VIBE, which is approximately 4km away from Kandy’s railway station. Though the staff is nice, the amenities are not worth mentioning. The shared rooms are just OK. They also have a bar, where you can chill in the evening with few drinks.

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So this is how I spent my days in Sri Lanka. Do let me know whether you liked these places 🙂 

All the above images had been taken by a Xiaomi Mi4.

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Aachen: Cathedral City Of Europe

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Aachen is a city that lives and breathes Europe. It is practically Europe in miniature. Aachen, on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands, has encapsulated the spirit, values and ideals of Europe since the days of Charlemagne. Indeed the Charlemagne Prize for services to European unity has been awarded at Aachen’s town hall since 1950.

Aachen Cathedral is both a local landmark and a monument to Europe’s illustrious past. After starting out life as the imperial palace’s chapel in 800 AD (the year of Charlemagne’s coronation), the completed building became the first cathedral in northern Europe and for many centuries served as the church of coronation for nearly every German king.

You can read more about the article here.

Image and story source: German Tourism

Orchha – A Spiritual Journey

After a little bit of research, I made up my mind to take a short trip to Orchha, a small town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. I chose Orchha as it is within easy reach from Delhi, but the main factor was – my deep affection for ancient temples. Three days are enough to see the main attractions of this beautiful town, which lies on the Betwa River.

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Some of the must-visit places are – The Fort of Orchha, The Chaturbhuj Temple and Raja Ram Temple. While the fort was built by the Bundela Rajput chief, Rudra Pratap Singh, the temple was built by the Queen of Orchha Ganeshi Bai during the reign of Emperor Akbar. I was so fascinated by the fantabulous architecture of these structures that I spent many hours just gandering at them.

The Orchha Fort complex: The complex has many ancient monuments, including palaces and temple. The fort and other structures were built by the Bundela Rajputs.

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The Ram Raja Temple: Commonly known as the Orchha Temple, this place welcomes thousands of devotees everyday. img_2242

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Chaturbhuj Temple: It is yet another masterpiece of Orccha. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this stunning temple has a multi-storied complex.

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Cenotaphs: Situated on the bank of the Betwa river, Cenotaphs or Chhatris were constructed in the honor of its rulers. A total of 14 ‘Chhatris’ can be found here. Basically, these structures are empty tombs of past Orchha kings.

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Things to remember: Orchha is a spiritual place, so it is advisable to wear modest clothes. Alcohol and meat eating is prohibited around the Raja Ram Mandir. Accommodation ranging from budget to luxury hotels are available. So one can easily book a room on spot. Considering that it is a small town, don’t expect any fancy nightlife.

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You can read more about Orchha here.