Tag Archives: Tourism

A Look Inside Myanmar’s First Real Year Of Democracy – 3

Jack continues his photo exploration of Myanmar’s first real year of democracy. Presenting the third part of the 4-part series.

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Sunset from Ubein Bridge. Locals and tourists flock to the bridge to witness the spectacular sunsets.

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A young girl plays with her skipping rope outside the tourist jetty in Mandalay. Tourism in Myanmar has boomed over the past year, topping over one million foreign visitors for the first time. However infrastructure still remains underdeveloped.

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A passenger smokes a cheroot out of the train window.

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A trishaw driver, fishing in a flooded field hopes to catch something, while a cow wanders past.

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A young boy drags a bag of recyclable rubbish, which will be sold for small change. Often people of all ages work to support themselves and their families.

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A toddler sits by himself on the banks of the Irrawaddy river.

A Look Inside Myanmar’s First Real Year Of Democracy – 3

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Things To Be Beware In Bali

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Having been to Bali recently, I thought to share a guide to the lovely island. I booked my holidays via a travel agent because South East Asia looks to be a troubled place on the internet for all kinds of nonsense. Bali, though is a wonderful place. Beaches, Bikini Babes and some great sights make the island a must see for travel enthusiasts.

The island city though has had its share of troubles. In October of 2002, Kuta, a very happening part of Bali and a place where you can find westerners in hoards was the site of a car bomb attack. It did not stop there as in 2005, the island, again got wrecked by additional bomb blasts.  Tourists were the primary target and this could easily be adjudged by the fact that the blasts took place at tourist hotspots like nightclubs and restaurants.

The island’ security agencies have since than made many efforts to ensure tourist safety and hence since 2005, except for some minor incidents, Bali has been relatively untouched by problems. The place though is poor and that is why one is never out of the prying eyes of people who can strip your pockets. A sensible advice hence is take a good hotel when you travel (check tripadvisor ratings, we stayed herehttp://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g297697-d307575-Reviews-Bali_Dynasty_Resort-Kuta_Bali.html) and keep cash and valuables in the safety locker box of the room.

Although the Balinese believe very strongly in Karma still it is good if you avoid under populated and silent lanes after dark. Wear least amount of jewellery and do not invite prying eyes by flaunting wealth in the poor place.

Drugs again should be a no-no while being there. Like all nations on that part of the globe, Bali also has very severe penalties against illegal drugs. Western tourists often get arrested on these counts. Always remember when you travel abroad, you are your country’s unofficial brand ambassador and anything untoward you do, reflects poorly on India, hence try to refrain. Balinese respect Indians a lot and there is a sense of brotherhood so try only improving it. Statutory Warning: A lot of the drug peddlers might be undercover police.

Lastly, do not drink the normal water available, buy bottled water only. The local water in the island ain’t treated and is hence not safe. Try using mineral water for brushing teeth too. Mineral water is not very expensive and use it for everything.

For to do activities in Bali wait for my next post. 

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The Perfect Haven for Tired City Dwellers – McLeod Ganj

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If you are looking for a short 3-4 days relaxing break from your hectic schedule, try a trip to McLeod Ganj. The breathtaking beauty of this Dharamshala suburb (9kms) makes it the perfect haven for the tired city denizens. The tranquil surroundings can be credited torichard-gere-at-outside-the-dalai-lama-place-at-mcleodganj McLeod Ganj’s historical link with Buddhism and His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. The serenity and beauty of the township has attracted even celebs, like Richard Gere.

Best Way to Travel
Approximately 500kms from Delhi, the best way to travel to Mcleod Ganj is via bus. You can take a bus from ISBT Sarai Kale Khan and arrive at this quaint, clean little township in 12 hours. McLeod Ganj does not have a railway station. The nearest station is Pathankot (90 km). The Gaggal airport is situated 15kms south of Dharamshala.

Chief Attractions
While tourists can easily spend all their time admiring the natural beauty of the mountain ranges, pine and oak trees and the deodar forest, there are several attractions of Mcleod Ganj. The must-sees include:

Bhagsunath Temple – This medieval temple is situated 3kms from the center of McLeod Ganj. Named after King Bhagsu, legend has it that the King stole water from the Nag Dal BhagsunathTemple_9958Lake, thus incurring the wrath of the Naag Devta (Snake God). This resulted in a battle between the two formidable forces. This shrine was built by the King to commemorate the occasion of being pardoned by the Snake God. The temple is frequented both by the Hindus and the Gorkha communities.
Bhagsu Waterfall – Located very close to the Bhagsunath Temple, the waterfall is a tourists’ delight. It has a cascade of 30ft during the monsoons. The water from the Fall flows through IMG_0313the Bhagsunath Temple and is collected into two holy pools. Devotees believe that a dip in the cold water of the pool can relieve them of their miseries.

Triund Hill – The hill is located 9kms from the town. There are chances that you get to catch a glimpse of some snow birds or a musk dear. A triund-hillclear day is bound to leave you spellbound with the picturesque views of Kangra. If you wish to a wide-angle view of the Triund, you have to visit the Shri Kunal Pathri Devi temple. That’s the highest point of Triund. The entire trek from McLeod Ganj to Triund is covered with oak and deodar trees.

Food stuffs are slightly expensive in Triund due to the cost of transportation. Soft drinks and bottled water can cost you anything between 45 – 55 INR. And a cup of tea is for 20 INR. A IMG_0281plate of rice, pulses or noodles might come up to more than 100 INR.

For all the Himachal lovers, if you have not yet visited McLeod Ganj, mistaking it for a small, inconsequential town, think again! Small it is! But, inconsequential, NO way!