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.
I am sharing a few beautiful images of Salzburg, where I stayed for three nights. Words are not enough to describe this picturesque Austrian city, the birthplace of the world-renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The weather was just perfect for photography. Fantastic architecture, lovely cafes, and exquisite bars make this city a wonderful tourist attraction. There are many popular spots that I could not visit due to lack of time. However, I got to spend some quality time in Mirabell Palace, Hohensalzburg Fortress, and Hellbrunn Palace, which I will cover in my next blog posts. I am sure you will fall in love with this place.
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.
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.
During a short getaway to Langalawi, I stayed at a beautiful hostel Tubotel, which was highly recommended by various travel forums. Located on Sungai Chenang (Chenang River), Tubotel provides breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset.
Their barrel-like rooms, made of huge drainage pipes, are vibrant and colorful. As it was off season, I was lucky to get an entire room for myself. Staff there are very courteous and helpful. Tubotel has a full-fledged bar and there is also provision for private rooms. I must say till now, one of the best hostels I have ever stayed.
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.