First Impression of Paris

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Paris capital of France is one of the most famous cities in the world. This city lone attracts 20 million tourists every year. Paris is known for its fashion, architect & museums. First timers are always in the aww with the place; especially with the aura of the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the sites which will forever be engraved in your senses.

“I am on a bus traveling to Paris. It’s already 9:30 pm & sun is about to set. It’s strange to experience the sunset as late as 10 pm. The bus stopped at the bus station & looking for the way to reach my hotel. It is getting late. I entered a metro station, a vintage feeling of the metro. After figuring out the way I took a  ticket. People are waiting for their turn to get on the train. The empty coaches are bliss especially after traveling in jam-packed trains in India. There are people kissing each other, romance is in the air. Everyone is minding their own business

I still need to cover few km before I reach my hotel room. I booked the cheapest hotel available on Booking.com. The name of the place was Hotel Paris. From metro, I am looking out of the window to get the glimpse of the city. From outside it is difficult to get the feel of the city.”





“I get down at my stop, it’s already dark; I doubt I could roam the city at this hour. But, I need to have something to eat.” Finding hotel was a difficult part as there was no sign & nobody knew exactly where is the place. I figured out the place with great difficulty & went straight ahead to my room. “In the whole day, this is the best part I talked to myself, I could see the whole city in front of my eyes. The distant view of Eiffel tower is pumping my energy level. I feel this will be exciting. I am roaming the streets in search for some food. Most of the shops are closed &  the shady environment is scary. The colored men are roaming & it is making me more scarier. There is one shop I chose to enter but it was on the verge of closing down. So, I need to move some other place. I had a sandwich at one vanilla shop. The taste was not that great however for empty stomach it was much-needed input.

The next morning I had a local guide booked from the Local Guddy. Most of the day went while exploring the museums, lock bridge & few gardens. There was one story of a priest who fell in love with the women which was considered as a sin during those times. However, they some how managed to make it work. The sculpture of them is still engraved in the doors of the city. There is a reason why Paris is considered as one of the most romantic cities in the world & story like these stamp authority on the same.

After spending most of the day traveling across the city & enjoying the architecture of the city. I sat near Eiffel tower.  “There is a huge steel structure in front of me, the mighty structure is nothing which is shown in the photos. The beauty of the structure is unmatched. I have never seen anything like this. A blue background & beautifully build structure is a calming experience. People are sitting in the park & enjoying this scenic view. The sun is about to set. I am waiting for lights to get on. I think most of the people are waiting for this only.”

After an hour

“The crowd is still building up, the sun is slowly getting vanished. The dark is capturing the moment & slowly far away lights are lighting up the tower. There are people who started clapping after tower starts to glow up. To add to the already mesmerizing evening a group of musicians started playing the music of Titanic. The view was one of its kind of experience. I am amazed how some structure can have so much to tell. I sat here for nearly 2 hours without getting tired. It was overwhelming to review my life story in front of this tower. I am still sitting there & still looking at this might figure wondering why I travel solo & then realize this is how it is ought to be. Travel to far places to enjoy the beauty of it. Leaving behind the stress of daily life & truly enjoying the moment.”

 “Follow The Path Your Heart Leads Too;

Chase The Dreams Your Eyes Look Up Too”

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You can know more about my journey by clicking on the following links

Paris Travel Guide

Things To Do In Paris

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Things to do in Paris

Paris is one of the cities which truly lives upto its reputation. The aura of the city is unparallel & it can be experienced only by visiting. There is so much to see in the city that one is often confused on what to visit & what to skip. I visited Paris only for a day due to a tight schedule.However, in that one day, I covered most of the parts of the Paris. This post is all about things to do in Paris. So, CHOOSE WISELY !!

Louvre Museum:

Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum. This  attraction is among the most visited places in the city. The places is continuously flooded with the tourists & days here can be long due to large crowd.  Louvre Palace & glass pyramid is a jaw dropping experience. This certainly is one of the must visit place in the Paris. An entry fee of 9 Euros is applicable. However, entry is free for children under 18 (on showing age proof). Entry is also free at some days & for some EU members. Information of the same can be found at Louvre.fr.

Also, one can buy city cards & explore the museums & attractions at a minimum cost. Buy city cards from here Get Your Guide.

Notre Dam:

The monument is the perfect glimpse of the FRENCH GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE & is among the oldest churches of the world. The gates of the chruch has its own stories to tell, the gargoyles shall be among the most prominent feature of the church. The places is packed with the tourists. Expect long queues here. Entrance is free here, but to enter the tower one need to spend approx. 9 Euros. 




 

The best way would be to get a guide & ask them about the history & facts. Every details has something new to offer. I booked a tour through Local Guddy, which helped me to learn about the place in a much deeper way.

Notre Dam Mark My Adventure

Arc The Triomphe:

This famous arc of 19th century is situated at the end of the famous street Champs Elysees. The arch is fabulous for clicking few pictures. The monument is beautiful & worth visiting. There is an option on climbing to the top of the Triomphe. To reach the top expect to pay around 8 Euros.

The Basilica of Sacred Heart Of Paris:

Basilica of sacred heart of Paris was a surprise package for me. The place is commonly known as Sacré-Cœur. The place is located at the highest point of Paris. The architecture is eye catching for sure. This white structure is beautifully carved. One more thing that every one can explore is the view of full city. The panaromic view of the city is hard to get from anyother location. Whole of the city’s charm can be witnessed through this point. Entry fee to dome & cyrpt is applicable. Expect to pay 8 Euros for entries.

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Eiffel Tower:

Probably the most attracting monument of the whole world. The mighty EIFFEL TOWER. A trip to Paris is incomplete without visiting Eiffel Tower. The 984 Feet monument is standing tall in the midst of the city. The steel structure is more beautiful during the evenings, when sun is setting, transition of colors is visible & slowly slowly the tower is litting up. The experience of tower during the evening is a MUST DO ACTIVITY while in the city.

The structure has total 3 floors. Entry to the garden is free. However, one need to pay approx 7 Euros to climb upto the 2nd floor. Charges of using elevator to 2nd floor is higher compared to climbing the stairs. Further, from 2nd floor to the top; expect to pay approx 8 Euros. But, one drawback of the place is the crowd. Reaching to the top of the tower is time consuming event, due to crowds (Consider 2 to 3 hours on average.)

Eiffel Tower Mark My Adventure

The best place to watch the tower is from Palais De Chaillot. There is a clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Sit around the corner & enjoy the magic of Eiffel tower.

Other than the things I have mentioned there are lot of other activities one can do. Like photo session at Lock Bridge or getting lost in the streets of the Cite or the walk in the ost luxurious lane of Champs Elysees . There are so many stories that one certainly greed for more. I would recommend a guided tour of the city to know about the history of the place.The reason I am saying this is because of the rich history of the city. If history attracts you then a guided tour is must.

It is ought to get excited for the place which is on the world since ages & has been epicenter for the development.

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My time permitted (Europe Trip) only a day at this majestic place. However, spend atleast 3 days here & explore every part of the city.

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I use iPhone & GoPro to click my photos. I took all these photos.

Learn more about my Europe trip by clicking on the following links

Amsterdam Travel Guide

Paris Travel Guide

Barcelona Travel Guide

Lyon: A Half Day Random Tour

I booked a bus from Paris to Barcelona. The reason of which, was to enjoy the pristine landscapes of the France. I chose to book my bus tickets through Flexi bus & started my journey during the mid night from the Paris. I didn’t realized that I had a layover of roughly 6 hours in a small city called “LYON. To be frank, I was not very animated by discovering this fact. I thought It would be a waste of time. However, no other option except to stay & kill time. I reached aroun 8 in the morning. A bus dropped me at the bus station, & there were hardly any shops open. I sat there for half an hour & thought the best way to kill the time would be to explore the city.



 
Lyon:
 
I am walking down the streets, there are hardly any people in the vicinity. The narrow roads are all I can see. I crossed the underpass & started walking on the pavements. Soon I saw a small market, I have my backpack & walking all the way from bus stand is tiring. However, to save the cost of transport I decided to walk all the way. After crossing few narrow streets I am at the start of the bridge & I could see a group of buildings built on the slope. The view is amazing, I want to cross the bridge & look on the other side. However, I am too tired to walk. Thus, I decided to take a long walk back to the bus station. A cycle stand draws my attention. One can rent of the bicycle for a day in 1.5 Euro, which is very affordable. But, there is one problem, I don’t know how to handle the machine. Luckily, a guy explains everything & in few minutes & I am good to go. It was super awesome to know that one can start cycle journey from cycle stand & drop the cycle to another cycle stand.
Lyon Mark My Adventure 
Riding my bike I cross the bridge & enjoying the breath taking view of the landscapes. I cycling the length & breath of the city. The  guy at the subway, told me about the park & I decided to give a visit to that park. I enter the park & it was amazing to see a number of outdoor activities one do in France. Small kids running, cycling & playing with their parents. Some guys were having barbeque & some were just relaxing. The way people enjoy life is an eye opener to me. Residing from a place where people are constantly running & working hard to make a living. However, in this part of the world, it is entirely different. 
Lyon City 
I decide to sit in the park, soak some sunshine & review my journey till now. There is one zoo in the park which has Girraffe & looking small kids watch these are some experience. 
 
Sometimes, untouchedroads takes you to unknown locations & it is best for you. People are often afraid to take path less traveled. However, if we take that extra step; we never know what amazing things are stored for us. For me Lyon was that unknown path. Usually, I read about the place before going. In this case, I was unaware of the place. I asked a guy working at subway to tell me few places to cover. It’s amazing what one can learn while on roads.
 A Park
A half day tour of Lyon was great. The beautiful small city which can be covered on foot or cycle.

Find cheapest hotels of Lyon here.

All the photos published here are clicked through iPhone 6. The photos are not photoshopped.

“Challenge the norms, break the stereotype;

One is never sure, where the destination lies”

 

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Amsterdam On Budget

Amsterdam is known for its vibrant culture & its unbarred grass consumption & traveling here comes with some “EXPENSE“. Budget is the foremost constraints which everyone thinks before the start of the journey. So, catering to those need; I will share tips & trades to cover Amsterdam on budget. I have already shared fun Things to do in Amsterdam & Amsterdam Travel Guide.

Visa cost involved is covered under the topic “Schengen Visa For Indians“.

Schengen Visa For Indians

 

Cheapest flights to Amsterdam can be searched on either by Skyscanner or Jetradar.

Other than, the main costs like visa & flights, rest of the cost involved are birfucated in following headings.

Accommodation:

Accommodation is an important factor which needs to be catered. There are many options available from luxurious hotels to decent dormitories. The best way would be to try for COUCHSURFING; if lucky enough one can find free accommodation. However, it is tough to find hosts. There is one other option which is hostels; hostels are the cheapest accommodation option available. However, the reason hostels are cheap is that one has to share a room with other people. The number of people depends upon dormitory one choose. The best website to search for hostels are booking.com & hostel.com. In my case, I had a friend who lives in Amsterdam, thus my accommodation cost was nil.

There is a trick in booking hostels. If you will book a hostel near the central part of Amsterdam (which is the most crowded place in Amsterdam), then one needs to pay a hefty sum. The average price of dorm rooms starts from 20 Euros near central Amsterdam.

Dorm room at some distance from central region will come at a cost of 15 Euros. However, the cost of dorms also depends on peak season, if there is a peak season expect to pay more than the normal rates. Find some of the cheapest hostels in Amsterdam from here.

Cheapest Hostels In Amsterdam

Average cost of Dorms: 18-20 Euros starting

Cheapest Hostels In Amsterdam

Commutation:

The best way to roam around the city is by buying CITY CARDS. Best vendor for providing city card is “Iamsterdam“. The card is available for 3, 4 & 5 days & if allows free unlimited public transport, these cards are very helpful if one is in for lots of site seeing. Best mode of commutation is bicycles, but the only thing which can hinder is right-hand drive; if one is not used to such driving than it will prove difficult to adjust to the driving. It is easy to find bicycles on rent, expect to pay 10 Euros per day for renting a bicycle for a day.

For a single journey one need to pay approx 3 Euros for an hour of journey. However, this is pretty expensive, that is why city cards are used instead of buying tickets.

Night commutation is available in the city, thus one can rely on public transport for traveling. However, there are only limited buses are available at the night times. Thus, check timings before plannig anything late night. Also, the charges are different during the night when compared to day. Hence, don’t get surprised if bus charges you more.

The cost of card starts from 54 Euros. 

I Amsterdam City Card

Food:

Dutch food is not something to look for. But, BAKERIES definitely are, try bakery products here. Other than bakery products, fries are other must thing to have, one can choose from different dips to enjoy fries. The best way to keep the price low on food is by buying food from supermarket & cook it your self. If too lazy to do so, expect to pay 2 or 3 Euros for a burger & THIS IS THE MINIMUM YOU NEED TO PAY. My advice would be to cook food your self.

Avoid Grass:

I know most of the people are here for grass thing & I feel it is more hyped. Avoid buying grass from coffee shops. The starting price is somewhere from 10 Euros. 

Alcohol:

Drinking alcohol at bars & pubs would escalate cost. Further, there is an entry charge in pubs & bars. The best way to keep this price low is by buying alcohol from market & drink minimum at the bars & pubs. Usually cost of beer glass starts from 3 Euros.

Site seeing:

There are lots of fun things to do in Amsterdam. But, every great place has some price attached to it. Covering each & every places will shoot up the cost. If planning for lots of site seeing, I will recommend buying City cards, museum cards etc from IAmsterdam. It will keep the cost low & also help you skip lines at some of the places.

Entry charges for museum starts from 7 Euros

 

Considering all the major expenses, the minimum budget I will sugest shall be around 50 Euros per day considering one spends wisely, stays at the dormitories & cook most of their food.

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Here is the extra information of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Mark My AdventureEurope Solo TripMark My AdventureThings To Do In Amsterdam

 

Schengen Visa For Indians

Europe is one of the coolest destinations of the world & visiting this place is dream of every person who is not from Europe. Indian citizen requires tourist visa to visit the much beautiful European countries . This post is for all those people who are willing to travel to Europe & want to know about Schengen visa. Here is the guide to Schengen Visa For Indians.

Like China, Europe also required a stamped visa before entering the place. For tourism purposed one is required to apply for tourist visa, the validity of tourist visa can be maximum of 90 days. To get stamped few steps must be followed.

List of Requirements:

Schengen visa needs to be applied for the place where one is going to spend most number of nights. In my case, it was Netherland as I planned to stay for 5 nights in Netherland.

Flight Tickets:

It is mandatory for a tourist to submit return flight tickets at the time of submission of documents. The best place to find the cheapest flight is through skyscanner.com. I have always used this website to find the cheapest flights. In my case, my inbound flight in Europe was to Amsterdam & outbound flight was from Barcelona & the cost of the flights was as good as a to & fro flight from same destination or may be marginally higher. I preferred to keep my inbound & outbound flight from different destination so that I can explore as much as I can.  Few other website for booking flights are Momondo & Jetradar.

 

Stay:

A confirmed booking in your name for each night till the time you are in EU is must. I know it is difficult to predict exact duration at a place. However, there are many sites which allow you to make a confirmed booking with minimum or no cancellation fees for the certain duration. This is best when the itinerary is not fixed.  The best way to make booking is through booking.com. I prefer booking.com than the other portals as I feel, this is the most transparent portal at the present moment. Their interface is simple & easy to eyes. I rely on booking.com for booking hostels. I mainly chose the hostels which are cheap.

Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is mandatory documents that need to be submitted during the submission of application. You can either buy travel insurance online or through some agents. Note that travel insurance shall be of 30,000 Euros which will cost around Rs 1,300 or Rs 1,400.

Bank Account:

Each country in EU has specific guidelines for the minimum amount required for a day in Europe. Usually, it varies from 20 Euros to 50 or 60 Euros per day depending on the country you are visiting. Following documents can be used for proving sufficient amount.

Bank account statement having a balance of at least 2 to 3 times the minimum amount required for the whole trip.

Credit card statement.

Letter from employer (Leave approval on a letter head duly signed by the administration).

Proof of prepaid booking of youth hostels or hotels.

Proof of prepaid transport if any, like any inter-city flights or train tickets or bus tickets. Euro rail is a good option to book trains between the cities, I used flexi bus for booking bus tickets. Flexi bus uses online payment hence it is advisable to book the flexi bus prior.

Cover Letter:

Submit a signed cover letter addressed to royal embassy of the place mentioning the reason of travel along with the dates of traveling.

Itinerary:

A tentative itinerary about travel plans. The best way to make an itinerary is by bifurcating it into three sections, morning, afternoon & evenings. Try to start with activities like breakfast some sight seeing & then again same thing with lunch & evening snacks. Please note that this is required by the consulate to figure out how are you going to spend your time in the cities. A detailed version of your itinerary can help the cause of getting visa. If there is something unrelatable it is very likely that the consultate will call you for an interview.

 

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Visa Application Form:

A duly filled visa application form. There is checklist which must be followed. Tick mark points which are valid & arrange documents in the order of mentioned in checklist.

Sample Visa Form Mark My Adventure

 

I took the copy of all the above mentioned things while submitting the documents, after submission of documents, there is a round of bio metric in which I submitted my finger prints & a photo. Once, all these steps are complete,the file is sent to respective consulate for final review & approval or disapproval of the application.

For Indians, VFS Global is single stop solution for applying Schengen Visa. Their offices are in major cities & all the documents needs to be submitted here only. I submitted my document in VFS Global Netherlands Mumbai office. All the visa related fees needs to be paid at the VFS Global office only that too in cash. Tourist visa fees is approx. Rs 6,000. Further, there are additional services like courier, sms tracking which can be availed for an extra cash.

It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to get visa. But, there is one more aspect which needs to be considered. The INTERVIEW CALL. For the first timer this is pretty usual, the person is called for an interview at the consulate to enquire about trip details. The interview is not difficult, they ask about the plan. I went to Delhi for the interview, the person asked me everything from hotel bookings to transport I will take & places I will visit. My advise would be just be calm & composed & answer everything in confidence. I felt it was just a formality to check is there any thing wrong or not with the person.

I was among the unlucky who was called for an interview. However, there are my friends who got the visa without any interview.

But, all the efforts is little compared to the happiness that we experience during the trip. The vastness of the place & mesmerizing views help to forget every effort taken to get the visa.

For more information on Schengen visa for global citizens here is the link

Schengen Visa

Here are the links to my experiences of the three places I visited during my trip.

Barcelona Travel Guide Mark My AdventureParis Mark My AdventureAmsterdam Mark My Adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sekumpul Watefalls: A Prestine Place To Visit In Bali

I am in Bali for a holiday & enjoyed every bit of it till now. Looking to do something new today. I enquired about waterfalls in Bali & which one not to be missed. A name suggested to me was “Sekumpul Waterfall“.  

Sekumpul Waterfall is THE MOST FAMOUS waterfall in Bali. Ever imagined a place where water is falling cutting through the jungle. Sekumpul is that location. I am on my motorbike riding through the roads of Bali. Bali roads are equipped with the surrounding landscapes. The greenery & the unending roads makes it perfect for a bike ride.

I put the destination to Sekumpul on google maps & started my ride bit nervous because of the distance & unknown paths. I crossed city area & entered the suburbs. Riding through lush green landscapes is beautiful in itself. Clouds started to aggregrate & it started raining & I don’t have any protection.

I am drenched in rain water, still cloudy & already 3.30pm. Time is flying fast. I am also low on petrol. But, it is raining like hell difficult to see more than 50 Mts. I waited for half an hour for rain to stop. Finally decided to drive the bike. I crossed a village & filled the petrol from on a local shop (Wonderful thing, that you can rely on local vendor for petrols) & asked the owner about the way. He points toward the direction.

There is a small cut which I took & suddenly it is only me driving on unknown roads. Fogs started to take over the roads, the ride is getting beautiful but scary. No one is on the roads & still some distance to go. The jungle on the either side making it difficult to drive but also making it beautiful. After riding for about 45 mints I finally reached the village. The guy who was taking entry fees was a fan of Bollywood. I said I am from India he said he love Shah Ruk Khan & I was amused with that fact. He offered me a coffee because of my Indian origin. I had black coffee a much needed refreshment after getting drenched in rain.

I reached parking place & from here it is I am walking towards the dense jungle. The distant sound of waterfall is making me excited. There is one shop where a small boy is playing some instrument, I asked him about the way. It is still raining & I need to cross a small stream of water.It is hard to predict if the surface beneath is hard or not. I trusted my guts & went ahead. After walking for 5 mints, I reach the famous waterfall I am in the awe with the scene. A water cutting through the trees is the view to dream for standing beneath the waterfall was the best I could do to enjoy the moment.

I stayed there for 15 min.  I waved at the small boy; He said there is one more waterfall on the other side. I asked how far is it. He said 10 min.

Looking at the time I decided to visit that part as well. I started walking & there is a fast stream of water that I need to cross. Water is upto knee length & it is hard to grip & maintain balance, but slowly slowly I crossed the stream. A trail is visible. Not knowing the path I chose to walk on this. I am walking in the jungle alone. After walking for 5 min I saw two guys & finally took a sigh of relief. Once I crossed the stream & step ahead I could see one mighty waterfall. Now walking on a brisk pace I reached near the waterfall.

The moment I stepped closer to the waterfall to my surprise there were three waterfalls. Three mighty ones. From far only one was visible but there were three. It was a fantastic view three parallel waterfall & lush green background. The view will last forever in my mind.

You travel for such moments only. Out of the nowhere you see some things which are beautiful & rare. I took a natural shower & after spending half an hour at that place I started my journey back to the hostel.

After reaching the shop I sat there to catch a breath. The boy was playing an intrusment & was playing perfectly. I shot him play through my go pro. His father offered my few bananas & wished me all the best for my journey way back.

 

It is already dark while driving back but the memories of waterfall keep back flashing up in my mind.

“Make Moments To Share, Not Things To Show”

Barcelona City Card

Europe is one of the costliest places in the world. Keeping expenses down is not an easy task to perform. I am traveling to three countries & already a bit confused about how to keep cost low. I was searching for tips & hacks & found an article on city cards. Most of the major cities in Europe offers city cards. These have various benefits like free transport & free entry to museums. I have bought Barcelona City Card for Barcelona trip through Barcelona.de.

The benefits of city card are immense. From getting free local transport to free entries to certain attraction. It is best for a budget traveler. The cost involved in the same is also minimum. For 5 days, city card one needs to pay somewhere around 60 euros. Further, there are also options for 2, 3 & 4 days. So depending upon the requirement you can buy a city card.

I chose Barcelona city card through Barcelona.de as they were offering best services. The number of museums covered in their card is good enough for 4 to 5 days. Also, free transport service is an added bonus while traveling outside. They are in business from 1997 thus shows how trusted they are in this market.

Benefits of having a Barcelona city card is as follows:

Free admissions to 25 unique sites

Discounts for over further 85 museums, cultural institutions, leisure activities, shops, pubs and restaurants.

Free use of public transport, i.e. metro and urban buses, trams, trains and Montjuïc Funicular and FGC in zone 1 (total urban area).

Free train ride and free use of bus 46 from the airport into the city center and back.

Booklet with a city map, metro plan and brief descriptions of the institutions where you get discounts.

The Barcelona Card is available for 3, 4 or 5 consecutive days (72, 96 and 120 hours from the first use). For 2 days (48 hours) you can book the Barcelona Card Express.

Further, the booking process is very simple one is just need to apply online & receive the mail of the confirmation. Also, the cancellation procedure is also there so in case there is some last minute changes in the plan, one can cancel the card with no extra charge. The validity of card is for full year. Thus, it can be returned at any point of time during that whole year.

There are two modes to get the card one is by picking it up from their offices & other is through shipping. However, there is shipping charges involved. So, until & unless you are no short period or any emergency it is better to pick up the card from the authorized centers.

Barcelon.de not only offers city cards but also offers small tours for those who are interested in guided tours. There are many offerings like walking tour, barcelona pastry tours, guided tour to picasso etc. This website is extremly valuable for the people traveling to Barcelona for the first time.

I booked my city card through this website only. The complete information about the place helped me to plan my tour in a better way.

Here is the link to the website

Barcelona

 

Things To Do In Bali

Bali is the most famous island in Indonesia. It is best for a reason. This pocket size islands beholds the most beautiful landscapes & adventures on the planet earth. Traveling solo, I went to Bali for 8 days. There is so much to do & so much to see in this paradise that 8 days seemed to be too short. However, I tried to cover whatever I can. Here is my guide to things to do in Bali.

Things to do in Bali:

Bali is culturally very rich & can be witnessed or experienced at every corner. Let’s explore Bali.

Ubud:

Ubud is the main touristic attraction in Bali. Blessed with supreme architecture & culture vibes. This place is a must visit. This place will take you one step closer to Bali’s vibrant culture. Balinese dance & yoga shall be an experience to look for. A place to spend a perfect afternoon by enjoying the local flavor is an ideal way here. If looking for some change visit Monkey Temple to enjoy the chirpy noises of monkey’s.

Monkey Temple Mark My Adventure

 

Waterfalls:

I am a nature lover (I get goosebumps if I see something amazing & breathtaking). I have seen few waterfalls till date, but Sekumpul waterfall was nothing I ever came across. Imagine a jungle & water falling from a decent height it is a view to die for. The peace experienced here is unmatched. I loved the place & recommend it to everyone. Other than Sekumpul there are few more waterfalls. It is difficult to cover each & every waterfall until & unless time & money is not a constraint. However, try covering what ever is feasible.

Water Fall In Bali

 

Sekumpul Things to do in Bali

 

 

Beach Hopping:

Bali has a perfect coastline. Move around the beaches & enjoy the horizon in a new dimension. South Kuta is very much crowded but other than that all other beaches are relatively quiet & peaceful. Each beach has something new to offer.

 

Random Beach Bali

Adventure Activities:

From the outset, Bali looks like a place for honeymoon couple. However, shattering this stereotype. The place is covered majorly by forests. Jungles, waterfalls, mountain. There are activities pertaining to these which can be carried out.

Mount Bromo trekking is a must. Experience breathtaking sunrise here. Sekumpul waterfall is by far the best waterfall in Bali.

Mount Bromo

 

Surfing is an activity common here. Most of the beaches support surfing & it is easy to find surfing board on rent. Hundreds of westerners visit this place only for surfing.

Scuba diving & snorkeling: Scuba diving & snorkeling sites are among the best. Padi provides scuba diving certification course here.  The certification is easy to get. US wreck ship is a perfect diving site. It is hard to distinguish which is more beautiful; landscapes or water world. There is a high chance of swimming with huge size turtles if you are lucky enough. A shot a video of snorkeling through my GoPro hero 4 black edition.

Temples:

Temples are among other attraction in Bali. The facade is beautiful as it will ever get. Tanah lot is worth a visit, it is a delight to watch. Located on the sea shore this temple is beautiful, a background of never ending sea is picturesque as you will ever find. A perfect blend of temple & water is good for a half day trip. There are lots of Hindu temples in the vicinity.

Nusa Trilogy:

The group of three islands is located in the west of Bali. If tired of vibrant vibes of Bali. This place is a nice alternative. Nusa Pendia is the biggest among the three & also the most beautiful one. The place has some untouched points which are worth visiting. Motorbike is a favorable mode of transportation. Some of the points worth visiting in NusaPenida are Pasih uug (Crystal Bay) & broken island. Both these points are awesome & beautiful. Spend a peaceful evening here. Snorkeling & scuba diving are the prime activities here.

Crsytal Bay Mark My Adventure

Gilli Islands:

Gilli islands are a group of three small islands. The most famous one is Gilli T, it is a backpackers place & hub for parties. The only motto of this place is party party & party. Backed with young & backpackers, this place is continuously on its dancing feets. This is perfect for few days.

 

Gilli Mark My Adventure

Another island worth visiting is Gilli Air. It is calmer one among the three, perfect for a honeymoon couple. Book a place in front of sea & enjoy the view of mighty mountains right in front of you. Gilli Air is not a place to party. However, the peaceful evenings are what people relish here. Scuba diving & snorkeling are the major activities performed on this island. It is easy to cover the whole island on foot. Crystal clear blue water & white sand is hard to be ignored.

Parties:

Bali is also home to best party clubs, places like Kuta, Seminyak which are home to parties animals. Don your party shoes & thrive on the music. Bali beach parties can surprise everyone with its flavor.

Rides:

Get a rented vehicle & start the journey. The roads are well connected & blessed with best landscapes.Ride forever here & enjoy some of the best moments.

Rice Fields:

Rice fields are nearly everywhere. Cross them & enjoy. There is nothing new, however, it is worth a visit, the rice fields has kept its glory intact. The picture perfect site is hard to miss.

Rice Fields Bali

These are the list of major activities. Bali has something or other to offer. Depending upon what sort of experience you are looking for, you can bifurcate your activities in similar ways. Any number of days are appropriate here considering so many options are there to explore.

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“Destination Only Tells You When To Stop”

 

 

Bali Solo Trip

Solo trip is always tricky. From boarding flight to experiencing a new adventure, everything needs to be managed alone. Traveling alone to a place the most basic question that pops up in the head is; Is Bali Safe for a Solo Trip? Here is the solo travel guide to Bali.

I am traveling solo outside India since 2015 & the first thing I search on the internet is the safety of the place. Touchwood, I have not experienced anything alarming till date while traveling solo.

Bali is among the best cities in the world. Saying so it is also one of most beautiful one. I went on a 8 days trip to Bali alone & thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Solo Traveler Guide To Bali

Bali is, in general, a very safe place to be in. However, being cautious is one aspect that should be kept in the mind while traveling to any new city. The best places in Bali are Ubud, Seminyak, South Kuta. Most of the activities happen at these places only.

Things to be kept in mind

 

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Commuting: I rented a bike & traveled by that. There is an option for booking a cab as well. But, it is recommended to check for prices. There have been some incidents where cab drivers asked for a higher amount than the billed amount. So, clarify rates before boarding the cab. Google maps work here so finding a route is simple.

 

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Driving License: In case, of renting a bike. It is mandatory to have an international driving license. Traffic police can stop & ask you for the papers. It is recommended to carry papers with you. I was among the lucky ones. During my stay of 8 days, I was never stopped at any point of time. But, it is better to be prepared for any contingencies.

Site Seeing: An entry fee is charged at the entry of every destination. Hence, no need to pay anything extra. There is an option to hire a guide as well.

Clubs & Pubs: Clubs & pubs are very famous in South Kuta. However, extra caution must be maintained while entering such places. There are several cases of people getting duped in drugs. There are certain people who mix your drinks with drugs & charge for that. The charges for such drinks are insanely high. This is very common at few places, it is advisable to check the pubs & clubs authenticity before entering.

 

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Other than this there is nothing alarming about the place. It is probably among the safest cities in the world.

Keep worries aside & visit this beautiful place. It will engrave some lifetime memories in your mind.

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“Fill your life with adventures & things, have stories to tell not stuff to show”

PS: For lonely planet guide: Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok

 

 

First Impression Of Bali

Bali is a small island in Indonesia. A pocket size island equipped with everything;  literary everything. From mountains to beaches, from jungles to waterfalls; this place is a heaven on the earth.Here is my first impression of Bali.

I am on a plane to Jakarta (capital of Indonesia). Feeling little nervous, this is my first trip of 12 days overseas, much longer than any of my previous trips. I am waiting in a queue to get my passport stamped. It is pretty boring to wait for long hours at Jakarta. Jakarta airport doesn’t have lots of shops so there are limited options to kill the time. Feeling bored I started talking to a fellow traveler about the Bali. Asked all about the place. Like where to go, how to go, what all to do etc etc, the conversation only escalated my excitement.

I boarded a flight to Bali & in another 2.5 Hours I was flying above the sea looking at an airport strip in the middle of the sea (which turns out to be Bali Airport). It is 8 pm & already dark outside. My phone is having some issue & I didn’t know where & how to reach my hostel.I enquired about the bus but the service which is not at all a good option. The only option left was booking a private cab which I did.  It took me nearly one hour to reach my destination.

Landscapes Bali

Human Interaction:

Bali has a decent Hindu population. People are very helpful, even though not many speaks English, but it is manageable with even a little bit of English. It is not a perfect example of Human interaction, but few instances which put a smile on my face. So, I was traveling back from Nusa Penida, I still had 3 more days to explore Bali. Left with a handful sum of amount, I was sure of going back to Bali & spend few quite days over there. However, once I landed at the dockyard. A guy came to me & asked

Do you want to go to Gilli islands?

I wanted to but hadn’t had any huge sum to back that up. I said nervously “Yeah”.

He said, ” I can give you the BEST DEAL EVER.

I said, ” How?”

He said,”I can give you discounts on speedboat ticket”

I said, “How much?”

He said,”For a to & fro ticket from Gilli Islands a price of IDR 450,000″

I said,”It’s too high I don’t have this amount with me, also I need to find a place to stay as I haven’t booked anything”

He said,”Oohh! common, you come here for the first time enjoy some nature.

I said,”Give me the best offer”

He said,”Where are you from?”

I said,”India”

He said,”Oh wow great, I know India. There is a god name Ganesha. My name is also forodo. I follow Ganesha.

I was surprised to see his knowledge about Indian culture & Bollywood stars like Shah Ruk Khan & Mr. Amitabh Bachan.

He continued,”Just because you are Indian, I will give you best offer please don’t reject this. A to & fro ticket at IDR 400,000″

I said,”Sure good enough.

On average the price costs IDR 600,000 per person. However, I managed to get it under IDR 400,000. So, talk to people you may get surprised 😉

Infrastructure:

Bali is a touristic destination so it is constantly crowded with travelers. Roads are fantastic to drive on. Very well constructed & maintained by local people. The only issue is the internet. The best way to use internet is through sim card; buy a sim card & access the internet without any hassle the prices are the minimum. The architect is unique & different. Most of the buildings have dark outer surface. It is easy on eyes & also looks aesthetically beautiful. A unique gate in entries is worth gate crashing ;).

 

Road Bali

 

 

The architect is unique & different. Most of the buildings have a dark facade. It is easy on eyes & is aesthetically beautiful. A unique gate in entries is worth gate crashing ;). The vintage look of buildings provides an ancient experience. A place to enjoy your holidays.

Culture:

Bali has a decent Hindu population. So, from temples to rituals there are some similarities with Hindus. Balinese people are very helpful & tourist friendly. I didn’t encounter any issue while roaming solo in the city, even in the suburbs it was pretty safe. Ubud is one of the main places to enjoy Balinese culture. The place is very charming & beautiful. There are numbers of temples, dance shows, numerous heritage site to explore. Temples are among the major attractions in Bali. So, just explore ;).

Activities:

Bali is mix & match of various things. It is easy to experience water sports, adventure sports, sightseeing, trekking, jungle trails, temples, mountains etc all on the small island to Bali.

Ride Forever Bali

Some of the things not to be missed is scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain trekking are some of the activities that should not be missed while holidaying in Bali. Bali is also famous for its rice fields which are a big hit among the western travelers. It is unique & good for a one time visit. The rice fields are beautiful to watch. If you are not interested in any of the activities. South Kuta & Seminyak has some of the best places to party till late night in Bali.

Rice Fields Bali

Here is an account of my first impression of Bali. As they say “First time is always special”.

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