Ho Chi Minh Budget Trip: Mark My Adventure

Vietnam is a very economical destination for the tourists. If you are from a western world then you won’t need to sweat at all. The prices are very reasonable & at one point of time you might feel like a millionaire. Based on my experience here is a guide to the Ho Chi Minh budget trip.

Vietnam Visa For Indians

Flight:

Flights from India through Air Asia has been dirt cheap. I booked an Air Asia flight from Hyderabad to Ho Chi Minh to & fro for roughly 15,000 INR only (Approx 200 USD). Thus, if you are aware of the offers, the chances of cracking a deal is very high. Usually, the best way to find cheap flights is searching from a  country rather than from a city. In this way, the search engine will show the cheapest flight from a different destination. A great way to find cheap flights. I usually use Skyscanner or google flights to search for flights & for booking the flights, I either choose a carrier website or some online portal which are offering cash backs or discounts.

Accommodation:

Accommodation is pretty cheap in Ho Chi Minh. I stayed at The Hideout Hostel, which is one of the best hostels to stay. The location is superb & amenities provided by the hostel is good too miss. There are plenty of other options to choose from. One can use platforms like Agoda or Booking.com to make a booking. A typical hostel dorm bed starts from approx. Rs 400 (USD 5). However, the rates are dependant on the season. Thus, the rates may elevate depending on the time one wishes to travel. I would recommend booking at the earliest.

Hideout hostel Mark My Adventure Review

Activities:

Ho Chi Minh is a great place for 2 or 3 days. There are plenty of things to do some of these are Cu Chi Tunnels, War Ramnant etc. All the paid activities are worth visiting. The prices start from 15,000 VND (Vietnamese Dong) (Approx 50 INR or 1.5 USD). If you are short on time, you can shortlist few activities & only do them. However, Cu Chi Tunnels is a must visit activity.

Food & Beverages:

Food is a special attraction in Vietnam. There are dedicated cooking courses for tourists. Eating on the streets is super cheap & super delicious. A plate of noodles or rice will cost you around 20,000 to 25,000 VND (Rs 60 or 2 USD). Further, the price of beer starts from 12,000 VND for a can. The prices are standard across the supermarkets & the number of these supermarkets are ample.

If you are spending wisely & appropriately. The budget of INR 1000- 1500 (20 USD to 25 USD ) is enough for the day. This budget is assuming one is staying at hostels & without shopping for luxury items.

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Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the biggest cities in Vietnam & managing activities is often necessary to fully utilize the time. As people usually visit one place for one time (until & unless is worth going again & again), thus shortlisting the activities is important. To cater to this need, here is the guide to THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH.

The following activities are based on my experience & my knowledge; if someone differs it’s totally cool.

Cu Chi Tunnels:

The foremost activity in Ho Chi Minh is surely the Cu Chi Tunnels. If you wanna taste the conditions during the war & what all it takes to fight a war. Then, this place is perfect. The tunnels are engineering marvel & should be on the list of every traveler visiting Ho Chi Minh. A half day tour to this place is worth visiting & if you have enough braveness in you; do try crawling in the tunnels I bet it will surprise you beyond your expectations. Click here to know more about Cu Chi Tunnels.

Entrance fee of 90,000 VND is applicable.

Cu Chi Tunnels Mark My Adventure

War Ramnant Museum:

Vietnam has to suffer a lot due to invasions from the western countries. At one point during the time they were struggling to stay afloat. However, with the focused mission, the people of Vietnam were able to overcome one of the mightiest powers of the world. But, every war has its side effects & it is the people who feel them. War Remnant is one such museum which will present the war. I personally was emotional while walking through the sections. I would recommend visiting this place to get the feel of the war.

Entrance fee of 15,000 VND is applicable for the adults.

 

Independence Palace:

South Vietnam was ruled by Republican party while North Vietnam was ruled by a communist party. The war was raged due to the difference in the ideologies of the two groups. Reunification Palace or Independence palace was the place for the president of South Vietnam. While proving the dominance over the population North Vietnamese crashed the gates of this Palace to put the final nail on the coffin. The tank is still placed in the garden & is a major tourist attraction.

Entrance fee of 30,000 VND is applicable for the adults

Central Post office & Notre Dame Cathedral:

One of the architectural attractions of the city is the Cathedral Notre dam which is a copy of the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. However, the version is a bit minuscule in front of the real Notre Dam. Just adjacent to this place is National Post Office of Ho Chi Minh. One of the oldest post offices, which is still functional. If you want to fancy to send a post to any part of the world. This is your place. A great place for a half day tour.

Post Office Ho Chi Minh

Ben Thanh Market:

Ben Thanh Market is probably the most visited market in the Ho Chi Minh city. A place which holds hundreds of shops is a place to go for a local shopping. There are shops for literary everything. The market is open even in the night & night shopping is one of the activities promoted by the local people. Along the market, there is a small street to comfort your tasting buds. A street food market. The variety of foods & tastes are explicit. A haven for the foodies a must place to visit.

Pham Ngu Lao Street:

A vibrant place for the young souls. This place is a must visit for parties. Based on the theme of Khao San Road in Bangkok. On either side of the road, there are numbers of restaurants, bars, pubs & what not. A place which starts to party at 11 pm at night. Get your dancing shoes on & visit this evergreen street.

Coffees:

Ho Chi Minh is in love affair with coffees. Coffees are sold at every corner or literary at every shop. There are tons of shops with varieties in the taste. Once in Ho Chi Minh tasting a coffee is often essential. Do try some of the best coffee shops & sip your worries away ;).

Coffee Shop In Ho Chi Minh

Rooftop Bars:

These are a bit luxurious outing for the most. Climbing to the top of the building & enjoying few drinks during the evening is one of the most done activities by the travelers. If you have enough cash in hand. This activity should be on your list.

These are some of the things to do in Ho Chi Minh from Mark My Adventure to help you plan your trip in a better way.  Apart from the above-mentioned activities, one can also try Mekong Delta which is at some distance from Ho Chi Minh (roughly 5 hours journey).

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All the pics have been clicked by me through my iphone. You can buy one from here

Cu Chi Tunnels Guide: Mark My Adventure

Cu Chi Tunnels is one of the major attraction in Ho Chi Minh city. It is a half day tour & is must visit place. These tiny tunnels were used by Vietnamese forces to tame down American forces.  A complex network of tunnels running across 250 Km underground is an engineering marvel of those times. Currently, only 100 Mt long route is open for the tourists, which are made taller & wider deliberately to accommodate tourists. Here is the guide to this fascinating place “Cu Chi Tunnels”. It is astonishing to even imagine that at one point of time whole community used to reside below the earth. There were rooms for kitchen, bedroom etc & all these below the earth surface. Therefore, it became much more important to visit this place.

Cu Chi Tunnels Mark My Adventure

How To Reach:

Cu Chi Tunnels is located some 40 odd km from Ho Chi Minh city. The best way to reach this place is through a tour agency or via self-driving motorbike. I chose to take the option of tour agency as they arranged everything from pick up to drop & a guide. The amount I paid for the services was 1,50,000 VND which was excluding entrance fees which was approx 90,000 VND.  

After Entering:

Your guide will take care of everything for you. He will start the tour from the famous entry or lookout point. An opening big enough only to accommodate one person & that too in a particular way. I tried to enter this opening & was successful. However, it is very compact inside & one can’t move freely inside the chamber. This is just one small opening perfectly camouflaged with the leaves & dust. After showing this guide will cover various other points & showing things like booby traps, ventilation techniques (which by the way is brilliant). There is one tank stationed at the site for the tourists. It is said that this tank was left behind by the Amercian forces.

Cu Chi Tunnels Mark My Adventure

There are also some automated models to show various aspects of people life during the war times. Walking past all these points often take you to the past or more precisely to the war days. It is tough to imagine how Vietnamese force survived in such harsh conditions.

Shooting Range:

Anyone who is interested in some shooting will be overwhelmed by the fact that there is one shooting range which has guns like AK 47, M-16 & Machine Gun. One just needs to pay for the bullets which is a bit pricey to the liking. However, if you are adventurous enough, you should try it once.

Booby Traps Mark My Adventure

Tunnel:

To give the taste of the place, there is one tunnel opened for the tourists. A 100 Mt tunnel constructed little wider & taller to accommodate tourists is open for testing skills. I tried my hand on the same. For the start the path seems to be easy, I could walk with a little bend &  after a few meters, the place got narrower & the height reduced. Now I had to sit & walk (one of the toughest part of the route). After 50 meters the going gets tough, I rested quite a few times before I could see the end of the tunnel & after completing this difficult route I could take a sigh of relief.

Entrance To Tunnels Mark My Adventure

The Experience:

The moment I saw that pit, I was sure that people of Vietnamese had a very tough time during the war days. It is heartbreaking to see the impact the people have on their lives during such horrendous time. I was stunned to see the model where people used to sleep, a bunker with beds one above the other & all inside the earth. One can only imagine how tough it was during wars.

Tunnels Mark My Adventure

These tunnels run approx 250 Km & connect to Saigon river on one part. The engineering by the Vietnamese people was surely ahead of its time. Right from using rubber shoes, to ventilating tunnels, provisions for high & low tide & also booby traps. They thought possibly everything which could have impacted their glory. A must place to visit.

Following links are for your benefits:

Book Cu Chi Tunnels Tour

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide

Vietnam Visa For Indians

 

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Things To Do In Manali

Manali is a popular destination of north India, especially during summer time. When most of India is scorching in a heat stroke, this town in a middle of mountains provides great relief to the souls. The place is super crowded by the tourists & a wonderful destination for few days. I went to Manali on a few days trip & based on my experience. Here is my list of things to do in Manali.

Vashist:

A small village near Manali can be reached either on a foot or via bike. This small village is famous for hot springs which is the main attraction of the place. The place is worth going once. Also, anyone who is looking to stay away from the crowded place in Manali can choose this place. Here is the link to some of the options to stay. 

Manali Town:

Manali has decent numbers of points which can be covered in a day or two. These are the Hidimba Temple, mall road, Manu temple etc. These are located in the town. All these points can be covered in a day.

Rohtang Pass:

Rohtang is one reason for which people visit this place. This pass is in the list of every traveler who is traveling to Manali. The picturesque beauty of this place is unmatched & unparalleled. One disadvantage is that only a few vehicles are allowed to travel on tourist permit & there are long queues. But, all the pain is worth taking as the scenes will be just too pleasant. Also, the pass is only open for a visit for few months that too in summer. Hence, if planning this should be kept in the mind.

Solang Valley:

Solang valley has its charm & the place is super crowded with the people. Usually, a cab driver will charge some amount to take you to Solang & some en route attractions. Solang is a way too crowded with the tourist & has lost is charm according to the locales. However, it is famous for adventurous activities & it is recommended to try these if you like adventures.

Gulab:

Gulab is a site to enjoy some peaceful scenic view. From this place, one can find ice but for that, you will need to walk. The place is calm & in the midst of mountains. If you want to enjoy just the mountains, this place will surely suit you. Spend few hours at this place & just remember what all have you done in the life.

This list is about the places you can cover during your trip to Manali. The place is super beautiful & sipping a cup of tea in the midst of the mountains shall be one activity which should be on everyone’s things to do in Manali list. For more information on Manali click here

If nothing attracts you, then there is one thing which you must do & that is sipping a cup of tea or a coffee in the midst of beautiful mountains. If this can’t doesn’t excite you to pack your bags; nothing will (cliché :P)

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Is Manali Worth A Trip?

Manali is a town in Himachal Pradesh. An overnight journey from Delhi, it is a great place to enjoy some peaceful time away from the bustling city. The hill station is a famous getaway for newly wed couples & young blood who are looking for some breathtaking experiences. This was my first trip to Manali & based on my experience I would like to conclude if Manali trip is worth?

The Town:

Manali town is divided into two parts old & new. Old Manali is perfect small hill station town. The narrow roads, cedar trees, fewer vehicles & peaceful environment. On the other hand, New Manali is far more commercialized, lot more vehicles & way more traffic. The main commercial hub of the place is Mall Road & most of the people visit this road for shopping & eating purposes.

There is not much to shop around & also not lots of options, but whatever options are there those are good. For city aspects, there is not much to see apart from temples. However, the real fun starts when one travel to nearby places. There are lots of places which are worth a visit. The diversity in the places is freshening & enjoyable.

Manali

Safety:

Safety is one of the major concerns before visiting a place. No body wants to have some bad memory about the place. Specially if one is traveling. Manali I felt is safe to travel. I boarded an auto during the late hours & he dropped me without any hassel or argument. Ofcourse nobody charges you by meter but that is expected from the touristic places. On a broader aspect. I feel the place is safe.

The place is decent for few days. It’s a typical small town not much advanced. However, offers alot. During summer if one is looking to check out some cool place. This could be a great getaway. I would recommend visiting the place once. City has its fun points & giveaways.

Manali

Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.

 

 

Prashar Lake: So Deep, It Touches Your Soul

Prashar lake is one of the most unexplored lakes near Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Prashar lake trek starts from the Baggi village which is around 20 km from Mandi. I’ve been wanting to visit this lake for a year and suddenly in the first week of March, I decided to trek solo.

It was solo travel, but in reality, I wasn’t traveling or trekking solo. There were lots of people I met which never made me feel alone. I thought it was up to me to go down which path, whether to make friends during my journey or choose my own path and enjoy my own moments.

Delhi to Mandi(Prashar Lake)

I took a bus from Kashmiri gate at 6:30 PM on 9 March 2018 which left me at Mandi around 6 AM the next day. The first bus from Mandi to Baggi village leaves at around 8 AM. I took a bus to Shegli immediately which is 4 km from Baggi village. I met a group which was also going to the trek. I walked and hitchhiked to Baggi village.

There were a few cafes at Baggi village where I did my breakfast. Prices were nominal, not so costly. I had a few parathas there and filled up my water bottles.

Prashar Lake Mark My Adventure

Prashar Lake trek from Baggi village:

I started my trek at 10 AM from Baggi village with the group I met on the bus. The trek started from crossing a naala and then walking straight for around a km on the rocky path. Thereafter, I entered the thick dense pine forests. It was so beautiful in between those pine trees and I didn’t meet any other person on the trek except the group which I met on the bus. I found only one source of water in the whole trek. So, it was good that I carried enough water with me. Before one km from the lake, I reached this open area and found some mud houses. It was an amazing feeling to not find a single soul in the range of a km.

After trekking for around 4 hours, I reached this beautiful peaceful lake and it was all worth it. Prashar temple also lies just near the lake and its architecture was awe-inspiring.

Prashar Lake

The lake is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of some large mountains. There is a 360-degree view of mountain ranges from the top area of the lake. Peaks of Triund, Indrahar Pass, Chamba, Hanuman Tibba, Spiti, Kinnaur and some other mountain ranges are visible from the top. There is no other two-day trek which gives such pleasant views within such a short distance.

Camp Site

I had my own sleeping bag with me and I knew that there were dorm rooms available in the temple. I went to the temple and talked to the Pandit Ji about the room and he told me to talk to the caretaker. Caretaker bhaiya showed me the room and gave me a mattress. And man, I swear that was one of the best nights of my life. I could see the lake from my window and it was amazing. After putting my backpack in my room, I went outside and ate some Maggi. I spent my entire evening watching the beautiful sunset and then ate Rajma Chawal and slept.

A local guy told me that there is a beautiful site 2 km from the Parashar lake. I followed the road, took a wrong turn and reached this place and enjoyed this stunning sunset alone.

Random place

Prashar lake to Mandi:

I wanted to go down by bus as I trekked while coming up here. So, I enquired about the bus from the people and took it to reach Mandi at 4:30 PM. Drive from Prashar Lake to Mandi was a treat. The bus went through some muddy path in between the lush green valley which was breathtaking for me. I ate some food at Mandi Bus Stand and took the bus to Delhi which reached at 5 AM.

Some amazing stories about this place

  • Till now, various attempts have been made to find the depth of this lake but no one was successful. Isn’t it astonishing in the 21st century?
  • It is believed that Prashar temple is built in the era of Mahabharata and the lake was created by Bhim’s elbow push.
  • No one is allowed to enter the fencing around the lake except the local people who use this lake as a source of water.
  • It is said that the small island which is in the middle of the lake changes its location with respect to the time of the year.
  • The water of this lake is used for drinking by the local people and it tastes amazing.

Useful Information:

  • Tents are available itself near the Prashar lake at the cost of Rs. 300-500
  • Bus from Mandi to Baggi village leaves at around 8 AM and costs around 50/-
  • There are a few cafes in Baggi village where you can eat and pack your lunch for the trek as there are no shops during the trek.
  • Direct buses also run from Mandi to Prashar lake which is the same bus that goes via Baggi village and reaches Prashar lake at 11 AM. The same bus leaves for Mandi at 1:15 PM and reaches Mandi at 4:30 PM.
  • Temple may also be closed in the month of January and February.
  • Various buses run from Delhi to Mandi in the evening and take around 11-12 hours to reach. The prices of Roadways HRTC bus is 530/-, Himmani Deluxe non-AC is 730/- and Himsuta AC Bus is around 1100/-. Prefer HRTC buses over the private ones.
  • This trek can be done within the budget of 1400-2000 depending on which bus you take and where you stay. I did this trek in 1400/-
  • You can take your tent if you want and camp near the lake.
  • Cost of food is nominal near the lake. Maggi costs 30/- and Rajma Chawal cost 60/-
  • Only Jio and Airtel networks are available at the lake.

Best season to visit:

This trek can be done at any time of the year. In winters, the lake freezes, so for the people who love snow, this lake is a blessing.

In summers, the area around the lake is fully green. This trek should be avoided in the Monsoon season as the trail gets slippery.

Prashar Lake

Prashar Lake temperature:

Temperature goes below -4 degree Celsius in the months of January and February. While in the other seasons, it’s between 10-15 degree Celsius.

Whenever you visit this lake, use water of the lake for drinking over plastic bottles. If you purchase some bottles then please take them to Mandi with you because it’s very hard to transfer all the plastics. Let’s make this beautiful lake pollution free.

This post is written by Mayank Gupta & one can follow his work at www.travelfortranquility.com.

Lifetime Experiences

Life is full of experiences & there are many ups & downs. But, still few experiences leave a mark on life. Such experiences are very rare & very memorable. These are such experiences which one remember while sitting alone & thinking about the life. Everybody has their favorites. Some related to life, some with people, some with a job or any other reason. But, as this is a travel blog. I would like to share some of my lifetime experiences related to travel thus far. I have just started my travel life & I hope there are many more experiences I will have. The instances are in chronological order from the date of occurrence.

Pachmarhi:

This is probably the first trip I had with my friends. First time without any senior guidance there were nerves & fear of an unknown place. The trip went all good, but the fun we had during the trip was just epic. The place is nice & still not commercial. I have seen some of the best waterfalls in Pachmarhi.

Mount Hua:

Most of the people are not aware of this mountain. But, there is a very particular thing about this mountain & that is plank route. A wide plank where only one of your feet can be kept & below the plank is nothing seriously nothing. One has to cross the route which is approx 20 to 25 Mts only. But, rather than walking on that plank, one has to walk through his or her fear. The fear of not looking below & fear of being cold feet at such a great height. It sounds scary & it is scary. But, this is one of those experiences which is engraved on my life forever. Check the post here.


Partying in Khao San Road:

Imagine a street hardly 100 Mts long which is being occupied by only a few people till 9 o clock & you say to yourself, this place is so dead. Then you went back to your hostel & came back by 11:30 pm & the place is completely transformed. There is music playing on both the corners of the road. The crowd is hopping from one place to other. There are plenty of offers on food & drinks. The crowd slowly getting wild, everyone is on the streets & dancing like crazy. The environment is just electric. Khao San Road is one of the most popular names one can ever come across. Whomsoever is traveling to Bangkok surely must have visited the place.

Riding Bike In Bali:

Bali has supreme landscape & riding bike on those curvy roads are one of the fun things to do in Bali. The lush green & magnetic sceneries are just amazing. Riding between the hills, mountains & villages will give enough diversity during a tour. If tired of riding bike stop on the side of roads & take few minutes to enjoy the wonderful beauty handed on a platter by nature. Too good to be missed.

Bungee Jumping In Spain:

Bungee jumping is one of the sport which raises the adrenaline. I was in Barcelona where I saw a tag of Jump from the highest point in Spain & once this is stuck in the mind, then it can’t be kept silent till the time it has been done. I booked the activity through Adrenaline Hunters & went to the place. There I saw a truss standing over the ground which eventually was a bungee jumping site & without wasting much time I boarded the lift & started ascending to the top. The trick to the jump is JUST JUMP. No thinking no nothing just the jump. I did the same, without looking down, I just jumped. The heart runs at a supersonic speed, everything passes in seconds. There is fear & there is thudding of heart. But, the moment you come down & think about what have you just done. It is an accomplishment. It doesn’t matter if the whole jump took 10 min at max. But, the memories of these forever engrave in the life.

Jump Bungee GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

These are some of the best moments of my life so far. I could have written more, but I will wait for some more time before posting. Every now & then people come across difficult roads. The choice of doing or not doing or traveling to a particular place or not traveling. There is always so much going on. But, during such time just fast forward your life to the end & think if doing this was worth while or not & then play accordingly.

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Best Places To Visit In Kerala

Marriages are made in heaven – Right. But honeymoon is always on the best place on Earth. Honeymoon is the period you get to unwind yourself in the company of your soulmate and also the very best moment to know one another. Honeymoon destinations must be romantic, serene, and awe-inspiring. The lovely state of Kerala, specially decorated by the nature, is a fantasy location of honeymooners. From misty mountains to mesmerizing shorelines, along with rich eco-friendly wilderness to palm fringed backwaters, you will find numerous spectacular & this post will take you to some of the best places to visit in Kerala.

Why Kerala?

The Kerala Honeymoon vacations offer the couples a chance to appreciate the combined practical experience of beaches, Ayurveda resorts, backwaters, wild life, hill stations, and much more in a very short span of time. Proximity of experiences that are different can make the traveling even more comfortable. I’ve mentioned few of the very best honeymoon destinations in Kerala that can accumulate romance to the love life of yours. You might choose mutually acceptable locations and also design the journey of yours ahead of time.

Mesmerizing Kerala Mark My Adventure

Munnar – Feel the Romance on the Dream Land

Popularly referred to as the ‘Kashmir on the South‘, Munnar is an ideal honeymoon location. This great environmental friendly paradise is situated with the confluence of 3 mountain streams and therefore received the name’ Munnar’, that actually means’ 3 rivers’. This spectacular location is dotted with countless stretches of tea plantations, valleys, mountains, waterfalls and lakes. A rare floral “Neela Kurinji” blossoms here once in 12 years creating the valley an azure paradise and you can witness this if you are here during 2018 as it is the blooming year. Apart from enjoying the unparalleled beauty of nature, the couples can indulge in a plethora of recreation activities such as trekking, cycling, fishing, paragliding, paddle boating and natural walk.

Sunset

Located at 1,600 m above sea level within the Idukki district of Kerala, Munnar is at 110 km from Ernakulam railway station and 130 km from Cochin overseas terminal. The secret spells encircle you immediately on reaching this place and also help you move to a fantasy world of romance. You are able to enjoy the crazy existence within the Eravikulam National Park, scream aloud in the Echo Point, savor the breath taking attractiveness of Mattuppetty dam, sip a great cup of tea from a little tea store down the tea gardens or even loosen up at the homely conveniences of the magnificent resorts. The nice climate, breath taking scenic views as well as the mesmerizing fragrance of tea and also spices dispersed through the great mountain breeze force Munnar as the pinnacle among the places in Kerala and impart an unforgettable experience for honeymooners and other travelers.


 

Thekkady – Nature Lover ‘s Ecstasy

Thekkady, centrally located within the Idukki district of Kerala, is among the famous honeymoon places of Kerala and a great spot for couples that like adventure, wildlife, and nature. It’s the home of the prominent Periyar National Park, in which you are able to have the unique experience of seeing wildlife from closer proximity while having an enthralling motorboat ride. Sight of tigers, lion-tailed monkeys, boars, deer, bison, as well as herds of elephants originating down to edge of the lake will provide you a thrilling experience.

Located at 114 km from Kottayam railway station and 145 km from Cochin overseas terminal, Thekkady awaits you with an assortment of activities. You can go trekking in Kurisumala and Kumily; a nature walk from the unending chains of cardamom, pepper, tea and coffee plantations; and also sense the thrill of a memorable elephant safari via the wilderness. There are many luxury hotels and resorts which offer stylish accommodation, privacy and food for the honeymooners. You can have a stroll to the nearest city Kumily to shop spice, clothes and handicrafts. The tranquil and spice scented plantations, soothing climate, calm atmosphere as well as the sensational spell of wilderness can make Thekkady one of the preferred Kerala places to see with the soul mate of yours.

Alleppey – the Hub of Kerala Backwaters

A honeymoon trip to Kerala is going to be incomplete if you don’t enjoy a wonderful cruise on Alleppey backwaters and an overnight stay in a magnificent houseboat. Alleppey (the present Alappuzha), encompassed by a great community of palm-fringed backwaters, canals and lagoons, and also blessed with the natural beauty, has acquired the name’ Venice of East’. During an enchanting houseboat cruise down the tranquil backwaters within the Vembanad Lake, you are able to appreciate the picturesque landscaping, uncommon perspective of paddy areas below the water levels. House boats are floating palaces with good amenities like air conditioning, privacy, food and television.

Backwaters in Kerala

Alappuzha is nicely connected from various regions of the nation by air and rail. Cochin international airport is just eighty five km from Alappuzha. Alappuzha is renowned for coir industry, marine products, prawn farming and banana crops. Should you be there for the duration of Onam festival, you are able to enjoy the famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race kept inside the Punnamada Lake, which is the main tourist attraction. With over thousand traditional Houseboats, the spectacular backwaters of Alleppey exhilarate a huge number of honeymooners and nature lovers from around the globe. With their distinctive backwater way of life and abundance of organic beauty, Alleppey is now among the very best Kerala places to go to for all the newlyweds and travel freaks.

Kochi – History, and Culture Romance

Kochi, the business hub of Kerala, in which past has left the footprints of the British, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese as well as Arabs, is among the famous honeymoon destinations in India. Compared to other well-known Chinese sport fishing hubs, this particular place – “Queen on the Arabian Sea” will enchant you with the striking beauty of its, thrilling backwaters, peaceful islands, interesting shorelines, swaying palm forests, soothing climate and picturesque sceneries. You will find several ‘never to miss’ tourist attractions like the popular Marine Drive, Jewish Synagogue, Cherai Beach, Kochi Fort, Santa Cruz Cathedral, Bolgatty Island, along with many more.

Beach In Kerala

Only a couple of kilometers off the Marine Drive will be the lovely Bolgatty Island, that is famous for the renowned Bolgatty Palace developed by the Dutch traders, Bolgatty Island Resorts, Kochi International Marina and also the Bolgatty Event Centre. The beautiful and luxurious Bolgatty Island Resort, having its peaceful ambiance created with the rejuvenating greenery of the island flanked by the peaceful Vembanad Lake, is popularly recognized as’ Honeymooner’s paradise’. You are able to have a fantastic shopping experience at Jew Street, Broadway, and Marine Drive and purchase enticing antique products, bamboo canes, carving things and numerous decorative handicrafts. The architectural and cultural wonders, romantic scent and freshness of the environment make Kochi top the list of the best suited Kerala places to go to for and gives an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

Kovalam – Add Liveliness to the Love Life

Kovalam, with 3 adjacent spectacular beaches, located at approximately sixteen km from Trivandrum, is a renown seaside destination, and one of the most sought after Kerala places to visit for honeymoons and tourists. Among the 3 crescent-shaped superficial beaches, a Light home beach is probably the most common. Couples can indulge in various activities at Kovalam. You can wander on the gentle stretches of softy sand shores, enjoy a rejuvenating sunbath, swim within the short beach, watch a spectacular sun set and enjoy varieties of scrumptious ocean foods. You are able to indulge in several daring sports such as kayaking, surfing or waterskiing. Relaxing with the life partner under the great cover from the sun in palm forests, listening to the rhythm of waves will give some enthralling occasions of solitude.

Kovalam is located at 16 km from Thiruvananthapuram railway station and 10 km from Trivandrum international terminal. Comfortable hotels as well as resorts for couples are available in Kovalam, beginning from pocket-friendly to luxury. Facilities such as Ayurveda massage centers, swimming pools, Yoga resorts, shopping zones and meeting amenities are on hand within the seaside complex. You are able to do shopping and also buy products like handicrafts, teak wood and rosewood statues. With their romantic surrounding, exotic beauty and tranquility, Kovalam consistently beckons couples for an interesting honeymoon experience.

Waterfalls in Kerala

Poovar Island – the Floating Cottages Beckon You

In case you’re longing for a honeymoon with a distinctive stay inside a solitary haven, peaceful and undisturbed, Poovar might be the best choice. Located approximately 30 km from Trivandrum, Poovar is a breathtakingly beautiful island, pristine and unexplored. Poovar is an all natural wonder with an exceptional congregation of ocean, river, beach and lake with the farm land. Famous because of its original beauty together with the whispering waves of the great Arabian ocean, peaceful backwaters, limitless stretch of mesmerizing golden sand seaside, stunning sunsets and swaying coconut farms, Poovar is unquestionably among the best of Kerala places to go to for the romantic vacation.

Poovar is a fishing village and there aren’t many things to do in poovar island like any water sports or beach activities. You will find some magnificent resorts and many small lodges that fit your budget and tastes. Staying in floating cottages supplied by the resorts will provide you a distinctive experience. These eco-friendly cottages with thatched roofs, and also draperies made from organic plants provide refreshing moments and also make sure fascinating scenic views. You are able to enjoy an unforgettable backwater cruise in a small canoe or a huge deluxe houseboat, revitalize with an Ayurvedic massage or even walk through the nearby fishing villages. Trivandrum to Poovar Island is less than an hour journey by boat. Never ever miss it; it is going to give you sweet memories for the lifetime.

The incredible Kerala has many more places to see together with your soul mate. They’ve a mesmerizing spell which takes you to much more romantic moods. Romance is there in the air; come here and breathe it!

Is Rann Of Kutch Worth Visiting

Rann of Kutch is located at the remote location in Gujrat & if one will fancy his or her chances of running few hundred miles. He or she can touch the border of India & Pakistan :P. Jokes apart but is traveling thus far for the view is worth it?. This question needs to be asked before visiting a place.So, what about Kutch; Is it worth visiting?.

I will try my level best to answer this question & this is my personal experience, which may be different for other people.

Kutch Accommodation

Kutch Experience:

Kutch’s white desert is a site in itself. A salt bed spread across miles is a fabulous site to enjoy. An ending landscape & the clear sky is a perfect combo for the travelers. The color of sun before setting is an amazing view. But, if we compare the pain of reaching the place & the view that we experience after reaching the place is not mind-boggling. Yeah, it is for a fact that apart from few experiences there is nothing special about the place. The White desert is good for one time visit. But, taking the pain of reaching the place is far more than the output. It is often said that Journey is important not the destination, which I believe is true. But, it is also a fact that if the ending is good then whole journey seems to be good.  Places to stay in Kutch

Kutch Mark My Adventure

For me, the experience was an ok one. The reason I am saying this is because I did not feel the place. Yeah, it was super awesome for clicking pictures, a fabulous sunset & calmness in the environment. But, there was something missing at that place.


Conclusion:

I have traveled to many places & seen them with a different view. Sorry, all the Kutch fans but for me, it was an ok experience. I wish I could enjoy the place more than I actually had. But, each place has its charm & each place offer something new to experience. Here it was more of a natural phenomenon.

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Kutch Experience

Kutch is a barren land in the western corner of India. But, there is something special in this barren land. The specialty is White desert & this is the reason why people visit this barren land. The place only opens for a few months in a year i.e from Oct to March; which are best months to visit. We traveled to this place during our holiday in Jan. A long weekend in Jan was a perfect time to explore.

The Journey:

We total of 5 people started from Mumbai in an XUV of a friend. The time shown on google map was close to around 17 hours. The journey started smoothly but our smooth ride soon took a beating due to an accident near Mumbai. The whole road got blocked  & we had to stay put for 3 long hours already adding time to our long journey. Finally, we were able to move & soon gained our speed.

Roads

The time we entered Gujrat, we witnessed some of the best roads to drive on. There were hardly any potholes or irregularities on the road. The smooth ride was blessing for such a long journey. We followed the map & crossed Surat, Ahmedabad & reached Bhuj next morning.  Before we reached Bhuj we crossed barren landscapes, some windmills regions & few villages.

Bhuj Experience:

Bhuj is a small city & is not very touristic. Bhuj is famous because it is the major city near Kutch. The place has few attractions but we avoided those due to a shortage of time. If one is having difficulty in finding accommodation in Kutch then Bhuj can be the best alternative. There are many properties which provide world-class amenities. You can check out the list of hotels by clicking on the following link.

Accommodation in Bhuj

After resting for some time at our hotel which was a decent one. We left for our ultimate destination the GREAT RANN.

Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch is some 2 hours drive from Bhuj. We started our journey crossing barren lands. But, one such land pulled our attraction & we were too eager to miss this opportunity. We drove off road & after covering some 2 Km in a barren land, we reached in the midst of nowhere. There was a pin-drop silence, one can see miles without human intervention. The thrill of silence was an experience to have considering today’s world; where one can never shut down from the world for a microsecond. 


After spending few precious minutes & clicking some selfies :D. We restarted our journey to Rann of Kutch. After offroading, the drive was pretty straight. Soon, we entered the region, there were many camps near the roads & we knew we are in the vicinity of our destination. Rann Utsav has an option to stay in camps but if one wants to experience this luxurious stay, one needs to shed extra money. The entrance has many shops & outlets which are maintained by local people. I personally felt the collection was decent.

Barren Land Mark My Adventure

There is a checkpoint to enter the Rann. At the checkpoint, one needs to buy a permit for vehicle & also entry charges. The entry charge of person is Rs 100 while for Vehicle it is Rs 50.

We were excited to see the place. Once we enter the region there was white salt spreading miles. We walked on the surface it was soft at some places & hard at some. So, walk cautiously. There were few points were my leg just sunk. We reached in the evening which I believe is the perfect time to enjoy the place. As the temp cools down & the sun starts to show its color.

Rann of Kutch Mark My Adventure

Sunset:

Sunset is one natural phenomenon that is special to all. I truly believe that sunset of different places has its charm & Rann of Kutch sunset’s surely has its. The vibrant colors were one of the best sunsets I have ever witnessed. The hot bulb & clear sky is the perfect combo. Also, here I was actually able to see the sun crossing the horizon & getting vanished. So, if one is looking to enjoy sunsets this is the place to be in. The image of sun setting will forever grave on my mind. 

Sun Set

“Horizon is the end of the story for some, but for some, it’s just the beginning”

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