This Is How Cola Beach Stole My Heart

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.

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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:)

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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!

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Camera – Canon 750D

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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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South Goa’s Marvelous Raj Baga Beach

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.

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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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