Being a thalassophile, I make sure my every international trip includes the ocean, rivers and lakes. My love for water bodies took me to Koh Samet near Bangkok. Its tranquility, turquoise water and sandy beaches make it a perfect holiday destination. If you are in Bangkok and want to explore a nearby beach destination, then do not forget to visit Koh Samet, a three-hour journey from Bangkok. Sharing some images of my short getaway to this beautiful island.
It was my birthday and I wanted to explore a lesser-known beach of Goa. A tea-stall owner, who served me copious amount of tea in the morning, suggested me to visit Butterfly beach, which I instantly accepted. Some fisherman in Agonda offered to take me around that beach for a sum of Rs2,000, which I politely declined. My good Samaritan, the tea-stall owner, guided me to reach that place. It was May – a typical hot and humid Goan weather.
I rented a scooter and set off my journey towards the beach. After driving 1-2 kilometres on a deserted stretch with no one in sight except vast forests as company, I began to have fear of losing my way and exactly that happened. I lost my path. With no sign boards and people to assist in finding direction, this was bound to happen.
The roads were terrible. While randomly driving, I saw a jeep full of people. I told them about my destination and sought their help in finding my way. They happily asked me to follow them, as they too were heading towards the same beach.
After driving few kilometres I finally reached the beach. The turquoise water quickly erased my pain caused due to my tortuous drive to the beach. Other than me there were couple of travelers, who soon left the area. I was left all alone, lounging on the beach and soaking up the sun, which was nothing less than pure bliss. After spending around 1-1/2 hours, I left the place. While returning I took a wrong turn and again lost the path. However, somehow I managed to reach my hotel.
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.
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.
Surrounded by a forested area, this beach is definitely suitable for swimming. To reach this place you have to use your own vehicle.
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.
South Goa is replete with stunning beaches. Notwithstanding scorching summer (April last week), I decided to explore it in order to avoid huge rush during tourist season. And the decision was worth taking. Let’s start with Agonda beach, which I made my base. From here, I traveled to nearby places.
Agonda beach is pure and pristine. Wake up in the morning, take a stroll and soak up the vibe. This beach has everything to impress you. Moreover, one can also enjoy water sports like surfing.
I used to wake up early morning to enjoy the sunrise. There were just a handful of people around me. So the whole beach was just for me. Listening to ocean waves early morning is an incredible experience that cannot be described in words. I used to sit in a secluded place and gaze endlessly at the sky and ocean.
From Agonda, I traveled towards Paloem beach, probably the most famous beach of South Goa. It is bit touristy and you will find a lot of people even during the off season. Still the beach left me breathless with impressive white sand dunes. I did not stay there for long as I had to explore another beach – Patnem.
Certainly, I found tranquility here. Walk along the beaches, take some photographs, grab a beer and enjoy the views.
All the above mentioned places are lined up with numerous bars, shacks and restaurants.
How did I reach Agonda ?
Airport →Margao →Kadamba →Agonda
From the airport, I took a bus for Margao. From Margao, I boarded a bus for Kadamba. And from Kadamba, I reached Agonda via bus. I used public transport extensively. I had a memorable experience as I spent quality time on the beaches without facing any major problem.
Goa’s Agonda beach has been favorite among locals as well as tourists since long. In fact it has been adjudged as one of the best beaches in Asia. But if you ask me, I would say Cola is more beautiful. That being said, I believe experiences are purely subjective.
Cola is not far away from Agonda and there are many ways to reach this magnificent beach. And the most simple way is – follow the signboards:)
I visited Cola during the off season, and no wonder I could see only a handful of people on the beach. It was hot and sunny, but that’s OK for me, I could still have a wonderful time. With nobody around me, I just lay down on the beach and let myself soak up the serene environment and gaze the endless bluish sky.
The magnificent beach can be divided into two parts – North Cola and South Cola. North mainly draws tourists because of its beautiful lagoon. Trees and hills make this beach more beautiful. I did not find any high-end hotel there, only few beach shacks. Small hotels and tented accommodation are also available for the tourists. Overall, I had a great time being there and aim to re-visit the place in future. And lastly, if I have to describe the beauty of Cola in two words, I would say – Pristine and Perfect!
After spending few hours in Palolem and Patnem, I moved towards Raj Baga beach, following advise from a bar owner. After a short drive from Patnem, I reached Raj Baga late afternoon. The day was hot and humid. Probably this was the main reason why I came across an almost deserted beach. After an hour, everyone had left and I was the only person present on the beach to marvel at its beauty. The beach is lined with numerous coconut and palm trees. Once you are there you can enjoy the beauty of river kissing the sea as the confluence of the Arabian sea and Talpona River is clearly visible on the far end of the beach. After taking permission from a lifeguard, I ventured into the sea. Few beach shacks were serving juices and coconut waters at attractive prices. Due to the off-season, they were offering good discounts which also make business sense. I spent nearly two hours at the beach and did not notice how quickly the time had passed. I had thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment of my stay there. If you are in South Goa, please do not forget to include a visit to this place in your itinerary. Highly and heavily recommended !!! I had to seek help from local people to reach the destination as my mobile GPS was not working.
Seeing gigantic blue whales is always exciting!
I too wanted to feel that excitement at least once in my life. And that moment finally arrived when I saw couple of them in the middle of the Indian Ocean. During my recent trip to Sri Lanka, I booked a whale watching trip with a tour operator called ‘Raja & the Whales’ .
Together with a group of 15 people, my journey set off from the harbor of Mirissa.
We were desperately waiting to catch a glimpse of the world’s most fascinating creature. After traveling few kilometers into the middle of the Indian Ocean, we did not see anything. The only thing that we saw was just incredible bluish water and few cargo ships.
Sticking with the famous saying “Patience is key to success”, we decided to sit patiently for few more hours with a hope of catching a glimpse of a whale. And suddenly our guide called us. It was hard to believe that finally I saw them. To be honest, they were huge in size, equivalent to the length of a Boeing.
We saw two blue whales – one mother and her baby. My joy did not end here. While returning, we also saw a pod of Bottlenose dolphins, jumping and swimming in the water. It was an absolutely exhilarating experience which I will cherish forever in my life.
Tips about whale watching: Though whales are found in many parts of Sri Lanka, tourists prefer to start their journeys from Mirissa harbor. A pair of binoculars and a zooms lens is a must if you look forward to a more exciting whale watching experience. There is a strong possibility that you may become a victim of sea sickness. Better take a pill before jumping into the boat. Mirissa is well connected to major Sri Lankan towns and cities. Buses are frequently available to reach this destination.