Five Offbeat Stays Where I Would Like to Spend a Day!

When I was invited to take a look at the website MyIndianStay.com I was not sure what to expect. By now I have spent a few hours on the site and I have to say I quite like the prices they quote! At that prices I am game to try out a few properties soon! I decided to pick up five that excited me due to various reasons and share it on my blog.

A Tree House in Leh, Ladakh

A Tree House in Leh, Ladakh

A Tree House in Leh, Ladakh

I visited Leh in 2005 and I am completely smitten by the place. It was less of a journey and more of a pilgrimage for me, that trip to Ladakh. While browsing through the various stays I stumbled upon a tree house! Now I can only imagine what fun it would be to stay in a tree house anywhere but I can take a bet that in Leh it is going to be extra special. I actually want to drop everything and run straight to Leh and try out this tree house!

Fully Furnished AC Rooms in a Guesthouse in Calangute, Goa

Fully Furnished Standard AC Rooms In Guest House In Calangute

A Guesthouse in Calangute

From a tree house to AC rooms is quite a contrast. But I like all kind of experiences, from luxury to trekking! I picked up Calangute because it is a bit out of my comfort zone. I am a peace/nature kind of a person. And Calangute is North Goa, the party hub! I liked the appearance of the room and the surroundings and hence this preference for a Guesthouse! It is also in pretty Goa colors!

Luxury Tents in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Luxury Tents In Jaisalmer

Luxury Tents in Jaisalmer

I have been to Jaisalmer and I so so like the place! I have been to sand dunes but I have not stayed in tents. This time if I go, I would like to stay in a tent closer to the dunes. I would take a camel safari where I can spend a night in the desert under the stars and wake up to watch the sunrise!

Standard Room in a Guesthouse in Naldhera, Shimla

A Guest House in Naldhera, Shimla

A Guest House in Naldhera, Shimla

Naldhera is just 22 kilometers ahead of Shimla but it is a different world. It is a peaceful place, where you do nothing other than enjoying nature. But I also know that there were only a few stay options which were on the higher side. So when I saw a room in a guest house I wanted to go back to Naldhera!

Bamboo Cottages in Wayanad

Bamboo Cottages in Wayanad

Bamboo Cottages in Wayanad

In this list Wayanad is the only place I have not been before. It is the lure of exploring a new place plus living in a bamboo cottage that gets me excited. I have had my share of hotels. I am always game for an offbeat experience which these bamboo huts could offer!

You can find out many more such drool worthy stays on the MyIndianStay.com. Do check it out. So basically MyIndianStay is a platform to connect travelers and local hosts in order to provide unique holiday experience to the traveler. It is my kind of travel! And if you like writing, MyIndianStay is running a contest as you read this. There are prizes worth Rs 28,000 up for grabs! Check out their Facebook Page for more details!

Heathrow Airport Welcomes you on the Ultimate VIP Journey and to Indulge in a Personal Shopping Experience Like No Other

One of the finest airports internationally, Heathrow is also one of the busiest and sees tremendous destination and transit traffic from all over the world. 2014 witnessed a total of 73.4 million footfalls with 2.5 million of those travelling to and from India.

The well-heeled Indian of today is a global citizen and settles for nothing short of the best with airport commercial spending rising significantly in a time poor environment. An evolving outlook, increasing disposable income and refined tastes are the main driving factors for Indians indulging in luxury purchases. Heathrow understands that every journey is unique and its VIP services illustrate the superior levels of service that distinguishes it from other international airports and is aimed at enhancing the airport experience for both transit and destination passengers.

london-heathrow

London Heathrow

A private and personal service like no other, Heathrow VIP offers a luxurious and exclusive transition making it the perfect airport experience. Heathrow has over the years offered Private VIP service for dignitaries and heads of state. This service now extends to the world’s most discerning travellers and ensures the perfect airport experience with private and personal service like no other. This service is available to book for those travelling on First or Business class flight tickets, with all airlines flying to/from Heathrow Airport. A luxurious and exclusive transition through Heathrow includes

Departures
After arriving at a dedicated entrance, VIP passengers will enjoy the oasis of calm that is Heathrow VIP. A highly specialised team will take care of everything, while travellers relax, work or spend time with their invited guests in their private lounge. Security procedures occur within their suite, and once the flight is ready they will be chauffeur driven directly to the aircraft.

heathrow

Heathrow

Arrivals
A team will be waiting for passengers to step off the aircraft, where they will be whisked away by luxury vehicle to their private lounge. Whilst they unwind, representatives will assist with immigration formalities and collect their luggage. Once completed, a pre-bookable fleet of luxury cars, or their driver, will take them to their desired location.

Connections

Heathrow connects hundreds of destinations worldwide, and are pleased to offer these luxury services for transferring flights. A team will escort transit passengers from their arrival, through to their private lounge and on to their departing flight.

Heathrow also offers complimentary Personal Shopping for customers looking for that personal touch. Bringing together over 400 brands under one roof, travellers can book a bespoke consultation with an accredited stylist who speak nearly 35 global languages, be it day or night.

personal-shopper

Personal Shopper Experience

Irrespective of class of travel or minimum spends, the Personal Shopper Team is there to help with fashion advice & styling, gift ideas for that special someone, or choosing the perfect travel accessories all of this, with the advantage of tax free pricing.

Heathrow is also home to the world’s first airport shopping lounge in Terminal 2, where Personal Shoppers can assist with browsing, trying on and purchasing from multiple choices across brands, in the privacy and comfort of the brand new suite.

PS. This is a sponsored post with the content and the images provided by the sponsor.

Sai Vishram Beach Resort, Byndoor

When I realized at the Delhi Airport that the Air India aircraft that was supposed to fly from Delhi to Mangalore was not cleared by the maintenance, I was worried about my trip. However after two hours of delay they found another aircraft to take us to Mangalore. And that is how I had a fabulous time at Sai Vishram Beach Resort in Byndoor, Coastal Karnataka. It is a resort that serves only vegetarian food and it doesn’t serve alcohol. And yet they are so popular for family vacation!

Rooms

earth-cottage-view

The View from the Earth Cottage

I arrived at the Sai Vishram Beach Resort by evening. it was an overcast day.  I was so tired that when Adarsha the resort manager asked me if I would come by the beach for the evening tea, I replied in the negative. I had my tea and samosa sitting in the balcony of the earth cottage. I could gaze at the sea in far distance and I was content. Later I shifted to one of the sea cottages by the beach.

beach-cottage

The Semi Outdoor Bathing Area in the Beach Cottage

Both have their own advantages. In the Earth Cottage there was a rose apple tree right in front of my room and I could eat the fruit straight from the tree! I loved the outdoor bathing area of the sea cottage. In the end I would take the sea cottage because I could go to sleep to the sound of the sea out there.

Yakshagana

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A Yakshagana Performance at Sai Vishram Beach resort

In the evening there was a yakshagana performance happening in the open theater within the premises. Yakshagana is the folk art of Coastal Karnataka, it is usually held from dusk to dawn. The resort performance was of one hour. As it was in the local dialect, Kannada, I could not understand the language much. But it was a privilege to watch the act of Arjun and Sudhanva and Lord Krishna being played out in elaborate costumes.

yakshagana-karnataka

The Arjun and Sudhanva Story

The story is about Sudhanva holding the horse of Arjun so that Arjun and Lord Krishna would come to his kingdom and he would get to see the Lord. In the end you don’t need words to enjoy the art. I thoroughly enjoyed my time watching the performance!

Food

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My Breakfast Plate

From the open theater I straight headed to the dining area. Sai Vishram serves excellent vegetarian food, night, morning and noon! They have a variety of food, including noodles and at least one North Indian dish.

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The Lunch at Sai Vishram

 

There would be many South Indian dishes. I liked the idea of having a nice fruit section for dessert apart from traditional desserts. The best was that they kept an ice cream fridge for the guests where you could go out and take out any ice cream that caught your fancy. It was hugely successful with the kids.

The artists who performed the yakshagana were having dinner at a nearby table in their normal clothes and I could hardly recognize them as the same who were performing in the elaborate costumes!

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Chaat by the Beach

They would serve the evening tea and snacks by the beach, which I loved. They would put pitchers of fresh juice on the beach during the day which was another lovely idea.

Water Sports

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The Banana Boat Ride

I crashed early after dinner and took my own sweet time to wake up the next day. That way I quite fresh in the morning again. After a heavy breakfast I went to the sea. I met Prashanth and his family and together we went on the banana boat ride.

That is when I discovered Chandravati, the dare devil female water sports instructor of Sai Vishram. I then went on the jet ski with her. She rides like really fast! She truly is an inspiration. Then I tried my hands at kayaking and it was fun too. There are many other water activities that I could not try dues to lack of time.

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Off in a Kayak!

A guest who was visiting Sai Vishram Beach Resort for the fifth time with his family told me, “We love coming here because they encourage you to go out in the sea. Not many resorts do that!”

Sunrise Walk

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Where the Sea Meets the Backwaters

The next day I woke up at 6.00 am to take a walk to a vantage point and see the sunrise. We must have walked for about a kilometer to reach the point. The view was excellent, after all I do not get to see the sea meeting the backwaters everyday! But the sun played truant, there was no sunrise, the clouds ruled. After going there, I would recommend that you go to the vantage point even on an overcast day as the views are still stunning.

The Beautiful Evenings

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The Sai Vishram Beach

I love sunsets by the beach. The location of the resort is such that there are only the house guests on the beach. I spotted an occasional other person from the fishermen families living nearby. I could see a few houses nearby otherwise the whole place was green and silent. The sun was merciful the second evening and gave much cheer to people on the beach!

This was my first tryst with Coastal Karnataka and I never imagined it to be so beautiful. I wonder why tourism has not developed around the coast like Kerala!

PS. I was invited by the Sai Vishram Group on this vacation.

A Food Post from Goa

After traveling twice with food bloggers on trips to Jaipur and Goa, I am slowly noticing food. Otherwise more than 10 years of hostel food simply killed all my taste buds. After almost ten years of travel, I am trying to revive it. Goa is known for its seafood but I am a vegetarian. However, I ventured to taste a mouth full of different types of fish on this trip. So, here I go with a food post from Goa!

fried-veggies

Fried Vegetables

One of the first places that we stopped at was Ritz Classic Patto for lunch. I was the only vegetarian on the table. I ordered a vegetable xacuti with rice and fried vegetables for starters. The trouble was that the portions were big and I could not finish everything alone! And I still do not like to leave food on the table.

goan-thali

The Goan Thali

This was the Goan Thali at the Ritz Classic Patto. People who ordered it wondered how were they ever going to finish it! I did taste the fish, just a small bite. I can actually take a bite of fish at times, but the trouble with me is that I cannot finish a complete fish dish ever. I do not go near any other meat, And there is no logic behind these decisions. It is just based on what I feel like doing.

dessert

The Dessert

This was my dessert at the Ritz Classic Patto. Since I did not click a picture of the name, I have promptly forgotten the it. I surely need to improve my notekeeping for my posts!

pulao

Cashew and Peas Pulao

As a vegetarian one of the dishes I enjoyed was the cashew and peas pulao by OCoquerio at Goa Coconut and Cashew Festival 2015.

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Fried Mushrooms

Later we dined at OCoquerio Restaurant as well. One of my firm favorites are mushroom in all its guises. I quite liked the fried mushrooms at the place.

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Coffee with Canon

I particularly liked the local cafes in Goa. While walking through Fontainhas we stumbled upon the Urban Cafe, a cozy little place where I had my coffee with Canon! If you are in the area do check it out, you will recognize it by its colorful walls quite easily. There lemon cake is also quite good.

blueberry-cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake

I am very partial to cheesecakes, especially the blueberry ones. I had this excellent piece at Destination One  Escapade by the Calangute Beach. Actually the only food that truly excites me is dessert!

baileys

Baileys at Nyex, Anjuna

We visited Club Nyex at Anjuna. It has newly opened and is right by the beach. The Baileys that they served me wa excellent. Actually as I like Amarula a lot I went with Baileys. I was quite happy with my choice of drink.

kokum

Kokum

However, for me the biggest food story from Goa is Kokum. We visited a cashew farm near Bicholim. The farm owner Mr. Joshi gave us Kokum Fruits to carry home. I tasted Sol Kadhi in Goa. So not only Chhavi and I enjoyed the fruits, I decided to make Sol Kahdi out of the fruit skin.

sol-kadhi

My First Attempt at Making Sol Kadhi

I dried the skins patiently and then searched for a recipe on the net. This glass full of Sol Kahdi was result of my effort. My elder nephew Dilip and I quite enjoyed it.

So this is an attempt to get back to enjoying food after probably ten years of being indifferent to it! I hope I will continue on the path of rediscovering food.

PS. I was invited by Goa Tourism on this trip.

The Beautiful Umbrellas of Chiang Mai

I took notice of the beautiful Thai umbrellas from my early trips to Thailand. Chiang Mai was the place where I acquired a closer acquaintance with them. We visited the Bo Sang Handicraft Center on the San Kamphaeng Road just a little outside Chiang Mai. So come along with me and discover (or rediscover) the hand made umbrellas of Chiang Mai.

romborsang

Rom Borsang

Rom means umbrella in Thai. So ‘rom’ is the famous handicraft of Borsang village in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The handicraft center had eye catching displays of umbrellas. They also take you through the umbrella making process. one of the best explanations of the umbrella making process can be read here.

spirit-house

The Spirit House

But before we get into umbrella making, you might have noticed the spirit houses outside Thai homes or work places. It is an offering to the spirits dwelling that might be dwelling in the area and may get disturbed because of a new house or workplace coming up! A spirit house is a peace offering to the spirits of the area.

sa-paper

The Sa Paper

The two key ingredients of the umbrella are the sa paper and the wooden frame. Sa is Thai for mulberry. So the Sa bark is taken off the tree and boiled. It is then pounded by wooden mallets. It is further treated. Finally they are dried in the frame on wooden frames.

wooden-frame

The Wooden Umbrella Frames

These are the wooden frames on which the umbrellas are mounted. Both the paper and the frame are handmade.

making-wooden-frame

Making the Wooden Frame

The making of the frame requires complex hole drilling in the pieces of wood, which is what this woman was doing with dexterity!

bo-sang-chiing-mai

Bo Sand Handicraft Center

Finally the paper after further treatment is mounted on the frame and then painted. We were told that it is the process of making it waterproof that makes the Chiang Mai umbrellas unique. It is done with persimmon fruit and oil but the exact formula is a secret.

chiang-mai-umbrella

A Beautiful Display

The painted umbrellas are a delight to watch. It was with a lot of difficulty I managed not to buy one to carry home.

hand-umbrellas

Hand Fans

The factory also had other artifacts as well, hand fans caught my eye too! Conversing with the people working there was difficult as we did not speak each-other’s language but they were quite cheerful about me going around clicking pictures.

paint

The Paints for the Umbrella

An array of paints were to be seen all around the place! And they not only specialized painting on the umbrellas but on other stuff too.

An Artisan at Bo Sang

For example, this beautiful lady offered to paint my white cell phone in the ravishing colors of Chiang Mai. She could do it on my jeans or handbag too! But the chicken that I am, I did not take up on the offer. I now wonder if I should have taken it up!

That Aimless Walk at Harangi Backwaters

I have said it often, I love to walk, all kinds of walks, but more than anything else, the aimless walk. The evening I went walking around Harangi backwaters (Kushal Nagar, Coorg, Karnataka) sky provided enough drama for me to keep up with my Sky Watch Friday post!

The Overcast Sky

evening-walk-harangi-backwaters

The Overcast Skies at Harangi Backwaters

To begin with the sky was overcast. However my attention was diverted by the monks who were present in numbers. Some of them were playing football! The mystery was solved when the Sai Vishram (my hosts) staff informed me that Bylakuppe Monastery was close by.

The Gathering Clouds

lone-tree

The Lone Tree

The landscape throughout was beautiful. And yet the small white stuff you see on the ground was trash! I wonder why can’t we keep our public spaces clean. I only saw the monks cleaning after them when they were going. And the skies were busy gathering clouds!

The Threatening Clouds

dark-clouds-harangi

The Threatening Clouds at Harangi Backwaters, Karnataka

Half way through my walk the clouds started to threaten! We hurried back. Rather my companions hurried back with my SLR. I walked leisurely with my waterproof cell phone! I eventually got caught in the downpour. I went in the RV to change, thinking that it was going to be a very watery end to the day.

The Change in the Weather

sunset-harangi-backwaters

The Change in the Weather!

However, within the short time that it took me to change, the weather managed to change its mood. It was breaking through. Nagaraja, one of the staff members of Sai Visharm remarked, “the rain came only to get us!”

The Monks Go Home

monks-harangi-backwaters

The Glow in the Sky

With the break in weather, I was hoping for some drama in the sky. But the football game was over. The monks were headed home!

The Glow in the Sky

harang-backwaters-coorg

The Beautiful Harangi Backwaters

For me the joy of travel lies in these small things, like watching the weather change its mood and the monks waving at me as they went!

Bhawa Spa, Bangkok

It is raining spas on Travel Tales from India these days. I have been to three spas in last two months and by my standards that is  lot. When I was in Thailand (on invitation from TAT New Delhi) I visited the Bhawa Spa, Bangkok. I wonder how they do it, but the ambience itself does something to make you relaxed.

spa-oils

The Spa Oils

We were presented with a refreshing drink with soothed me down even further. We were going for an aromatherapy massage. The ladies explained the virtue of the various oils. Papaya and almond caught my attention as it was meant for dry skin! I have to say there were better smelling oils but I am beyond the days when I would pick them up just by smell!

bhawa-spa-bangkok

A Display in the Waiting Area of Bhawa Spa

The waiting area was beautifully decorated. There was an outdoor swimming pool which caught my attention. They had spa products for sale as well.

swimming-pool-bhawa-spa-bangkok

The Swimming Pool at the Bhawa Spa

I have to admit I visited a spa for the first time, in connection with my blogging I think in 2008. I was extremely reluctant to begin with. But spas have grown on me gradually! There were two team members for whom it was a first time in a spa. Talking about first times in a spa, the best piece I have read is by Prasad NP.

bhawa-spa

The Foot Massage Essentails

The massage started with a relaxing foot massage. The setting of the room automatically made me switch on the princess mode! The foot massage was followed by a full body massage. I had an wonderful one hour where gradually my various aches and pains, which I didn’t even know existed, started melting away.

rooms-bhawa-spa

The Rooms at the Bhawa Spa

The lady who gave me the massage was excellent. She would at appropriate times ask if I was comfortable or not. They also recommended that we take a bath at the beginning of the massage and keep the oil on after the massage.

When we came out, we started comparing notes. One of the first timers told us that he got so surprised by the depth to which his towel was pulled while massaging his lower back that he got up with a jerk and spilled the oil! We laughed and laughed at him and with him!

mango-sticky-rice

Mango Sticky Rice!

While we were emerging one by one from the various rooms, Bhawa served us with mango sticky rice for after massage! Now that truly made my day. Mango sticky rice is my favorite Thai dessert. It was an excellent ending to a very relaxing time at the Bhawa Spa, Bangkok.

 

Of Lunch and Conversations at Bawarchi, Intercontinental, Bangkok

When I travel I usually eat local food. I am a vegetarian but I do not hanker over Indian food while I am traveling. heck I like to travel so much that I could eat just bread and butter and never complain as long I get to see new places or even revisit old ones. But when I get to eat Indian food on in a foreign land once in a while, I thoroughly enjoy it! Bawarchi Intercontinental Bangkok was one such delightful experience because of the food and the conversation!

intercontinental-bangkok

The Intercontinental, Bangkok

It was one of the Songkran days when we landed at Bawarchi! I was whispering to one of our team-members if I was inappropriately dressed in shorts. I was dressed for Songkran. In walked another dressed and all the unease about my dress vanished straight away! Compared to him I was dressed to meet the queen!

The Beer Saga

beer

I was the Only Woman to Have Beer!

There were five of us in the group, three women and two men. When we were asked for our choice of our beverages three of us opted for beer and two for buttermilk. I was the lone women giving the men company for drinking beer. Arpti and Gairav came up with a tag line for the other two girls- “Buttermilk in Bangkok!” And that became the butt for so many jokes! I was the eldest in the group and other young people would anyway spare me a lot of jokes, but thankfully I was not drinking the buttermilk!

The Food

It started with masala papad and beer for us and buttermilk for the buttermilk girls, Vaishali and Manjulika! After not having Indian food for a few days I had a new appreciation for the masala papad!

paneer-tikka-ajwaini

Paneer Tikka Ajwaini

The starters were delicious, we had Paneer Tikka ajwaini  and Tandoori Brocolli for vegetarians and Tandoori King Prawn and Tandoori Lamb Chops for the non-vegetarians. The non-vegetarians were of course welcome to the vegetarian options!

tandoori-broccoli

Tandoori Broccoli

If you ask my honest opinion I was full with the starters and I would have happily called it a day. By now the buttermilk excitement had gone down. But a new one came up within no time. It was a Tuesday. And many Indians do not eat non-veg food on Tuesday due to religious regions. One of us decided to go ahead and eat it. Within no time she was declared ‘Khuni Darinde.’ We were laughing so much that we had to remind ourself that we might be disturbing others! One of the staff responded- “You guys are in Songkran mood!”

main-course

The Main Course

By the time the main course arrived. It was Butter Chicken and Rogan josh for non-vegetarians and Saag Paneer, Daal Makhani and Hyderabadi Biryani for everyone with assorted flat Indian breads. The dessert was Gulab Jamun.

We had so much fun while having the delicious food that we never realized that we were getting late for our Songkran fun! If you are craving Indian food in Thailand in lavish surroundings look no further than Bawarchi.

Seven Things to do in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Koh in Thai means ‘island’. Lanta is a beautiful island in the Krabi Province. I would recommend both Krabi and Koh Lanta highly for a vacation. The beaches are divine and the crowd is not that thick! I also feel not many Indians go there, which is a pity! Let me take you through my seven favorite things to do in Koh Lanta!

The Beautiful Beaches

beaches-koh-lanta

Kantiang Bay Beach- One of the Many Beautiful Beaches of Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta is blessed with many beaches that are truly beautiful. I spent most of my time at Kantiang Bay Beach as it was next to the Pimalai Resort where I was staying. Not too crowded at any point of time, sunsets were special!

Mu Koh Lanta National Park

koh-lanta-national-park

Mu Koh Lanta National Park

Mu Koh Lanta would work for you if you are looking for peace. I almost had the entire beach that you see in the picture to myself. I went walking along the length of it and saw just one couple! There is a path leading to a lighthouse, which gives the fabulous view of the park!

Mangrove Forests

mangrove-forest-koh-lanta

The Mangrove Forests- Koh Lanta

You can go kayaking along the mangrove channels. I didn’t had the time to do it, but I can imagine what fun it would be. If you are fond of eating fish I was told that the fishermen cook the fresh catch in the local restaurants that dot the walkway of the mangrove area.

Fishermen’s Village

fisherman-village-koh-lanta

The Fisherman’s Village, Koh Lanta

There is a quaint fisherman’s village in Koh Lanta which is worth exploring. You immediately get a feeling of stepping back in time. The inhabitants are said to be sea gypsies and they hardly interact with tourists. But one is free to roam around and walk through the village.

Lanta Old Town

lanta-old-town

Lanta Old Town

The old part of Lanta town has fascinating architecture. You can walk across the main street end to end easily. The wooden houses are a feast to the eye. There is a pier to walk through as well. It is a place to sit down at the restaurants and take it slow.

Shopping

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Shopping at Koh Lanta

After five trips to Thailand i would say the whole of Thailand offers great shopping. The conventional wisdom says the shopping is great in Bangkok. Initially I would also leave stuff that I liked, thinking I would pick it up in Bangkok. But then I would never find the same stuff in Bangkok, or I would not have time! My new shopping mantra is that if the price is reasonable, and if I like it, I would not wait for Bangkok. I buy it then and there. I picked up my favorite t-shirt in this shopping complex at Koh Lanta.

Good Food at the Local Restaurants

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Swedish Pub and Restaurant at Koh Lanta

I had food at my upmarket resort and I had food at local restaurants. Both were good, but the local restaurants are so much fun. And they always had something for the vegetarian me!  I had pizza at the Swedish Pub and Restaurant and veg noodles at Same Same but Different (it was the name of the restaurant) and both were smashing.

So what are you waiting for? If you are thinking Thailand, think Koh Lanta and Krabi. They are great places for a family vacation.

PS. I visited Koh Lanta on invitation of Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi.

Camping/RV/Caravan/Denali Holiday with Sai Vishram

When I saw the camping trailer and the location of the Harangi Backwaters near Kushal Nagar, Karnataka, I immediately forgot how tired I was! We started at 6.30 am from Balkatmane Spa but here I was all my tiredness completely forgotten! I was excited about my camping holiday with Sai Vishram.

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The Camping Trailer at Harangi, Karnataka

I was behaving like a school girl when I went inside the caravan! I explored all the nooks and corners at one go! Denali by Dutchmen is a home in itself!

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The Living Area of Denali

It has a large living area with kitchen and TV. There is a master bedroom, two bathrooms and another smaller living area. There is a bunk bed in the smaller living area as well. The sofas unfold as beds too!

While Denali is fully equipped with a kitchen Sai Vishram does the cooking in a house adjacent to the trailer.

narayan-with-food

Narayan with Food at the Trailer

Narayan not only made good food, he was very fond of feeding the guests as well. He was quite disappointed with me as he said I ate nothing! On the other hand I thought he fed me till I would burst at the seams! As he lived in Mumbai for a long time, he spoke Hindi quite well. And all that was food for one!

fruits

Fruits for Dessert

After a heavy meal, thankfully he would give me fruits for dessert! He sensed that I liked fruits so he increased the quantity later on! He also correctly sensed that tea was the way to keep me happy after I asked for the first cup. Then it would materialize on its own, I never had to ask for tea again.

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Beautiful Weather at Harangi Backwaters

The weather was lovely the day I stayed there. I was frequently switching between staying indoors and then getting out to enjoy the view!

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A Partial View of the Cooking Area of Denali

After lunch the staff retired. I had the huge RV all to myself! I noticed that a lot of cattle come to graze to the campsite. Harangi Backwater is also popular with the locals. Someone or the other would trickle in at all hours of the day! After the siesta it was time to go for an evening walk!

football-harangi-backwater

A Most Scenic Football Field

While I was there a football game was in progress and I have to say this was one of the most scenic local football grounds I have ever scene. I immediately remembered my younger nephew Sunil, as he would have been thrilled to be a part of it! There were monks out there in numbers as well. On investigating I was told that Bylakuppe Monastery was nearby and the monks would come to the Harangi Dam’s Backwaters for an outing. As we walked by, the football landed near me. I passed it back and the monks offered me and my two companions mangoes which I happily accepted on everyone’s behalf.

harangi-karnataka

The Weather Turned to Rain

As we walked to the edge of another water body, the weather turned dark. With a lot of reluctance I started walking back. Mid way it started to rain. Nagraja and his friend ran back. I gave them my bag with the DSLR. I was happy to get wet with my water proof cell phone!

sunset-harangi

The Beautiful Sunset at Harangi Backwaters

I got nicely drenched on my walk back. The monks also packed up along with the football players. They even took the goal posts away! As soon as I got in and changed, the rain vanished leaving behind a most glorious evening sky!

After a heavy dinner (which was a repeat affair as lunch) it was time to crash in my cozy bed room. I was alone inside the RV.

denali-masterbedroom

The Master Bedroom, Denali

I was cautioned both by Nagaraja and Narayan to lock the door properly and not to open it. If they would need anything, they would call me on my cell phone and only then come. While I was about to crash at 9.15 pm my fellow blogger Indrani called me. She too has visited the place (as has another friend Shrinidhi) and she asked me if I was all alone! Thankfully I am used to staying in open spaces and I felt safe all the time. I had a peaceful night, once I fell asleep after 10.30 pm I woke up only when it was bright daylight!

I am left wondering that if I enjoyed staying in a stationary Camping Van so much, what would happen if I got to be in one that was moving from place to place! My Camping Holiday with Sai Vishram was a smash hit!

PS. I was invited by Sai Vishram Group on this trip.