What’s in my bag? {Stop Motion Animation}

Hey guys!

Here’s a small little project that my friend Madhavi & I did a while back! I am not too sure why I didn’t upload it earlier. But, better late than never, right? To know what’s exactly in my bag and read about all the products shown in the video, check out this post!

Meanwhile please do rate the video and give me your feedback! Would love to hear from you. Oh, and you may just get to see some more fashion, food and beauty videos! YAY! <3

Travelling Solo 101

IMG_9792Hey guys!

I am starting a new series (FINALLY!) and I’m so, so excited for it! As some of you may know I went for a Eurotrip and it was AMAZING! I have updated my social media with tons and tons of pictures but I thought that the entire trip deserves a bit more than that. So, here’s a mini travel series where I talk about all the places I visited, all about my air bnb experience and of course, a quick guide on travelling solo!

Though majority of my trip was with my parents, I was alone for a few days in Italy after which I met Shirin in London! Travelling with your BFF is one of the BEST experiences that one can ask for but on the other hand travelling completely alone to a place unknown has it’s own learning curve. I was always the person who wanted to go for a film alone (STILL haven’t done that), and I love going out for meals or even shopping all by myself. So even though I was in #RomeAlone, I knew I was going to love it every bit!

This post is a little guide, the first post in my #MMTravelDiaries series to gear you up or inspire you to travel alone!

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Money, Money, Money

1. Change or Change Machines: Lets say you need to pee. You may need change. Just like India, where to use public toilettes you have to give in some change, similarly you may to do the same thing abroad too. Now, when it comes to me. I HATE CHANGE. It adds weight, it falls off from my wallet and to be very honest, I am math challenged so I just can’t figure out how it works. However, I did realise that change is very handy and thats where keeping a little zip lock comes into use. If you’re a solo traveller, you would obviously be paying for one & so sometimes, whatever you need to pay for may actually be bought using change itself. Your aim should be to just keep the change zip lock with you at all times and just start using it up. What happens if you don’t have change and you can only pay via coins? Unlike India, you will be able to find Change Machines (Machines where you feed in notes and it returns you the same amount in coins) really easily! Keep an eye out for those or simply ask around.

2. Currency Exchange: Let’s say you have some dollars on you and need to convert them into euros, DO NOT go to currency conversion cambio in a touristic place. Yes, they’re the easiest to spot but will also give you the worst conversion rates possible. In fact, even your hotel will charge a commission so always stick to banks for currency exchange or find a currency exchanger where “locals would go”. It’s important to do your homework online as to what’s the best conversion ratio that you can get. You would be surprised to see that bargaining will work! I had my research in place and knew what I should be expecting. I went to a currency exchange cambio in Rome and actually managed to haggle my way through. ATMS of your banks may also be your best friend where you can withdraw currency in Euros. If you have an American Express card, you will also be able to find Amex ATMS where you can choose your language, and withdraw currency in Euros!

Mappin’ It

Maps. They’re definitely any traveller’s best friend. Though I absolutely love physical paper maps for circling out the locations that I want to go to for sure, when it comes to routing, I definitely prefer google maps or city mapper  on my phone. Conventional tourist maps are fun and usally mark out all the must visit spots but they may not be as detailed with walking/bus/train routes. City Mapper (an app that I was recently told about by Shirin in London does wonders as you can type in literally anything you want and it will show you the fastest and best way to reach there! It’s definetly a more comprehensive app as compared to google maps but it’s not available in all countries/cities in the world and thats where the good ol’ google map helps! Yes, most of the times, it will take you through the lamest route possible but if nothing else, you at least have a way to reach!

Let it Rain 

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Bad weather can be a pain especially when you have your day planned. It’s of course common sense to check the weather of each location for the dates you’d be there in advance (while packing) but it’s also smart to have the weather app on your phone so that you can be in touch with how the day or next day will pan out. That way even though you have your rain coat in your suitcase, you’ll actually know when to take it out! On another note, always carry a little umbrella in your sling/backup even if it’s not supposed to rain that day!

The Smart Tourist 

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Everyone who travels have different expectations from their trips. Some vacations can be all about going hardcore with backpacking, hiking etc, some can be laid back and living on the beach or some can be about experiencing the city as a local – it’s history, food etc. If option there is what you’re looking for, and it’s daunting to you as to how one can do sightseeing or eat meals alone- trust me when I say it’s totally possible! A baby step would be to book a tour that suits your budget through viator.com
Some tours have upto 25 people and some may have only 8-9 people. Even though numerous people may join these day trips in groups or couples, you may be surprised and you may actually make lots of friends! I did and I’m still in touch with them. This options really helps if sightseeing absolutely alone is a little boring for you and you like the idea of meeting new people from all across the world. If the whole purpose of your trip is defeated by joining a group, then I suggest you check out the audio guide route. If you really want to learn about a place, an audio guide would be your best friend. reach the location you want to explore and at the entry point almost every single “sightseeing spot” will have audio guide counters which are basically these walkie talkie sort of things with headphones. Start walking and the automated guide will give you all the fun facts. Best part? You can mute it or switch it off when you’re bored or want to take a little snack break!

Tring Tring

You’re travelling alone and chances are that you would want to be in touch with family and friends. Get a local sim! The matrix days are gone now and the deals are way to expensive. As soon as you land into your first destination in that country- check the airport for local sim companies. There are some airports that may not have such shops and so the best option is to ask a cab driver, hotel person or any local in the city. Venice, for example was my first in Italy and hence I wanted to get my Italian sim from that city itself. Sadly the airport didn’t have a stall so I asked the lady who managed the apartment I was living in and she guided me to the closest Vodafone store that had some pretty good voice and Internet packs for tourists.

Yummies in my tummy

Do as the Romans do. When you’re in any city, one of the best parts is experiencing its food. Yes, since you’re alone you may not get to try multiple things for one meal and may be able to order only one dish. That is why it’s important that you try different things each time you eat. Once I left home after having my yaks cuppa coffee, I stuck to have numerous small meals in the day rather than 3 big meals. Though cafes and bars in touristic places would be mostly full, one cant guarantee how the food will be! In fact, very often it would be just mediocre and over priced! Try the local cuisine of the place! If you’re in italy, eat Italian food! You’ll find tons of regional options. Tuscan Italian food is really different from Roman food or let’s say pizza available in Naples! However, if you’re in a city as cosmopolitan as London or New York, my suggestion would be to try out different cuisines from all over the world!

#Selfie

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Just cause you’re alone doesn’t mean that you can’t capture memories right? Take lots of photos! Yes, enjoy a moment, soak it in BUT if taking photos make you happy then by all means flood your camera roll! Don’t be shy to ask people walking by (probably someone who doesn’t seem that they’re in a hurry) to click a photo of you! Oh, and BUY A SELFIE STICK. I know it looks absolutely ridiculous but trust me when I say that you can really experiment with your photography with this inexpensive gadget! It best part of the selfie stick is that you can take selfies on a wider angle making it look like you’re not clicking your own photograph since the ostrich arm isn’t visible.

Hope this helps all the solo travel aspirants! Even if you dont plan to travel solo, do keep these tips in mind 😀

Untill next time, lots of love x

How to plan a plan a trip abroad

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Hey guys!

As many of you may already know, I AM GOING TO EUROPE for my graduation trip (I just got done with my Masters) in three days. I can proudly say that I planned the trip from beginning to end – from travel to accommodation to the itinerary ! Of course my parents were there to give in their inputs, approval and have funded it as well but this was my first international trip that I booked all on my own. Haha. The little joys. You can check out my little itinerary calendar that I made here.

So , now when it comes to planning the perfect trip, for any budget, there are a couple of steps that I follow and I thought I would share them with you. I think the first thing you need to come in mind is to be absolutely calm and collected. Organizing a trip is not easy by any means and it requires a lot of patience and time. But, all that said, it’s important to have FUN while you do so. I will take a second here to quote what my favorite letter note products say “ one life. keep it simple. Follow your dreams. Be curious. learn new things.”

The whole point about traveling is to widen your experience and to learn and see. So without further ado, brew your self a cup of tea, take out your notebook, and lets BEGIN!IMG_7380 (1)

 1. What is the Purpose and Budget of the trip?

The first question you need to ask your self before organizing any trip or holiday is  WHY do you want to go? Do you want to relax and maybe hit the beach? Do you want to explore and learn about cultures? Do you want to go on a treck? It is really important to narrow down the purpose of the location. Once that is done, figure out an approximate budget. Yes, it is not easy to do so before fixing a location and making bookings, but how will you fix a location if you don’t have a budget in hand? For example, if your budget for an accomodation is Rs.5000 per night- multiply it by the number of days you want to go for along with chalking down an approximate amount you would want to shell out on flights/train tickets. You may end up with a huge number which might be intimidating and hence the primary question of WHY you want to go comes into play.

2. Shortlist a location/multiple locations

Once you have a very vague idea about a budget and the type of trip you are looking for, shortlist the locations you want to visit. For example, we were sure that we want to do a trip that has a lot of good food, exploring cities, culture, history and so on. Hence, my family and I chose Turkey and Italy. I then realised that since I am going to be Europe, I could go ahead and visit my best friend in London post the family trip. Now, what is important to remember is that if you want a convenient budget friendly trip, keep a political map of the continent you want to visit and see what locations make sense together. There are certain combinations that usually workout well in terms of logistics – For example: Italy and Spain,  France and UK  or Germany , Austria and Belgium. It really doesn’t make since picking up locations like Mexico and Egypt in one trip. The amount of time and money you will spend on traveling would be ridiculous, to put it simply.

3. Travel Logistics

Now that you have the locations shortlisted, it’s time to figure out the travel plan. Take out your pen and notebook or open and excel sheet and begin jotting down combinations. Yes, this sounds painful but it can be fun too! I use the following websites to check out various flight trips and combinations

a) Clear trip

b) Make my trip 

c) Individual airline companies

Two things you should keep in mind while figuring out the tickets:

a) Theorder in which you visit the locations. This will affect the entire round trip price which is why its important to check out different flight combinations. For example: I am going to Turkey- Italy-UK- India as it most sense economically. The first leg of the trip, ie: INDIA- TURKEY- ITALY is via turkish airlines and the second leg, ie – ITALY-UK-INDIA is via British Airways. b) Rather than looking at individual flights from one destination to the other, it worked out MUCH cheaper to book “multi-location flights”

4. Visa

I wont go into too much detail when it comes to this step since to be very honest, my dad handled this part of the planning. Certain places have visa on arrival and others require an appointment. Make sure you give a good month to plan and get your visa sorted. Also ensure that you figure in the visa cost while estimating a budget since they can be expensive.

5. Accommodation

I really enjoy this part of vacation planning : So now you have two options: You can either do some research online before going and be VERY adventurous and find those/any other accommodations that work for you when you arrive in that partiular city OR do all bookings in advance. I must admit that my family and I are definitely not a very adventurous lot when it comes to accommodation and  I personally cannot imagine not having a room reserved before han; but then whatever works for you! The whole hotel/apartment/hostel hunting can be lots of fun too if youre a group of friends who would be okay and in high spirits if you all don’t find a place that reaches your expectations last minute. Here too, the first question comes in to play- WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR TRIP? If the idea is to relax in a beach resort across the ocean, you would obviously want to book your self a lovely room with all the facilities you are looking for before hand. On the other hand,  if youre camping or backpacking, last minute hunting can work perfectly as well!

Since my family and I prefer doing bookings in advance: I use the following websites for thorough research and bookings:

a) Trip Advisor – I use this for anything and everything. Trip Adivisor can be very helpful if you feed in all the filters (Budget, location, preferences) and it will sort out the hotels for you according to those filters. I find this very, very helpful since the ranking is done not according the number of stars, but according to YOU

b) Booking.com – Booking.com is great for deals! It works exactly like trip advisor where you can find hotels using particular filters. It offers really good deals! It’s always best to check out deals on these sits and go out to the official website of the hotel and cross check the tarrif to ensure you are getting the best rate possible.

c) Air Bnb : I knew about Airbnb for a wile now but never really used it for a long time! It’s finally time since for my upcoming trip, I would be staying in Airbnb accommodations in Rome, Florence and London! The apartments are absolutely STUNNING  and I am positive there is everything for every budget.  One can get an entire apartment, a private room within an apartment or a shared room with other travelers!

6. Internal Logistics

This step may often be neglected though it is very, very important!. By internal logistics, I mean things like taking trains from one city to another. For example- taking a train from Rome to Florence. One has booked a flight from the home destination to Italy and it obviously doesn’t make sense taking internal flights within Italy, so what about the train tickets? Contrary to belief, these tickets do get sold out!! I didn’t consider buying these tickets earlier untill a day or two ago when I thought I should simply check them out to get an estimate and I was shocked to see that quite a few tickets for the peak hours were sold out! Keep in mind the season that youre going in. If you’re going to Europe, for example in June- IT IS PEAK TOURIST SEASON and hence booking internal transportation makes a lot of sense before hand! I would also suggest getting your self Oyster cards (For UK) that work for metro and buses or the Euro rail passes, incase that thats medium of transport you will be choosing (if in europe). It’s definitely more economical to have these passes in hand for local travel rather than constantly spending on individual tickets.

7. Day trips and Miscellaneous Tickets

If there is something that I truly hate, it has got to be ques. Most touristy places with historical sites, monuments and museums have ques that can be upto 2-3 hours long sometimes! Waiting in those ques is such waste of time when one could have chugging down a beer or a having a lovely glass of wine instead 😛 Hence, I  prefer booking all these miscellanous entry tickets in advance. Ofcourse this leaves less scope for random plans since the tickets are booked in advanced. However, in my opinion, if your accommodation is booked, and your travel tickets are booked, you don’t really have any escape from that city right? So why not make the most of it and chalk down a rough itinerary? Let me give you an example-  I am in Rome for 3 days so it makes more sense to book my ticket for the Colosseum for any of the three days. I chose any random day and took a morning slot for 10 am to get it out of the way. That will save me so much time and maybe even money! You can take these guided tours using Viator.com and I SWEAR by it! Viator also does day trips- So if you had a location or city in mind and you know you cannot stay there- why not arrange a day trip to that city? I am doing a day trip to Cinque Terre in Italy from Florence since I know staying there would be impossible. Using Viator, I have my transport to the location sorted! Best part? Unlike most  group “tours” this company lets you be alone for a good 2-3 hours or whatever time stipulated. So if you’re the type who hates group tours and likes being alone/with your family- this is for you!

8. Baggage and Clothing

This step is fairly obvious and yet again, comes down to the type of trip you are going for. If you’re going to one single destination, you get a huge leevway on the luggage youre carrying since you wouldn’t drag it along with you wherever you go. On the other hand, if you’re doing a multiple location trip like me,  carrying more than a small/medium bag + little sling/backback doesnt make sense! Also, check your tickets to see how much baggage you are allowed in the first place. This differs from flight to flight. For example. I am allowed 23 kgs (1 bag) from India to Turkey but only 15 kgs (1 bag) from Rome to London!

Think about carrying that bags from airports, stations, cabs and so on! Also, if you would taking a cab from airports to the hotel- just cause you have too many bags, you may have to take a bigger car (more expensive) even if you are just 2-3 passengers. LOOK UP THE WEATHER, and pack in layers. I am going for 19 days but I am packing for 7 days since I know, I will get my clothes to the laundrey atleast once. The idea is to enjoy your self and be comfertable. If wearing heels and dolling up makes you happy – go for it! Just be prepared and always in keep in mind that you should be comfy no matter what!

 

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I really hope this post has inspired you to pick up your bags and just go!

Letter Note kindly sent me these products and I am ever so thankful. I have ALWAYS been a fan of their stationary and honestly sometimes we need a little reminder in our lives to just have fun and live each day as it comes. All these products are simply tokens to remind us that. I truly LOVE the quotes on the products and if you know me, you know I have stuff from there DO EPIC SHIT collection as well! If you’re in Delhi, check out their store in Hauz Khas Village and we can be besties 🙂

What’s in my bag? {Travel Edition}

IMG_4659Hey guys,

I AM BACK! I am so sorry for being MIA for so long. To be very honest, I had too much going on past two weeks, from taking exams, graduating to finally taking a vacation after months. Plus, I faced some serious technical issues and hence couldn’t post for a while and almost reached a point of giving up, until I realised how much I love blogging and can never let go.

So, today I have for you one of my favorite posts to shoot- What’s in my bag// Travel Edition. If you follow me on Instagram, you would know I just came back from Calcutta {Expect a blog post to be up soon!}, since my feed is flooded with travel photos. So, this is exactly what I carried with me. Some of the items aren’t photographed since I took them out of my bag or simply used them up, so I am really sorry for that!

India Circus  sent me some goodies and of course I had to start using me them the day I received them! I have worked with India Circus before and I am sure you know by now how obsessed I am with them! Check out the first India Circus post here, if you haven’t already. Now, when it comes to this post, my friend Madhavi and I shot something super fun for you all; something I have never done before. However, that little experimental project would be part II of this post, so stay tuned for that. We faced MANY technical glitches and I really wanted this to be up ASAP, so here is PART 1 for you all 🙂

DSC08239 To my own surprise, my travel hand bag/backpack is not overly cluttered (unless my luggage is overweight and I am trying to squeeze in as many things as possible in the carry on). So here’s what all you would find in my carry on bag before getting on a flight>

A neck pillow: 

This might not seem as an essential item to some but I cannot hop onto a long flight without this baby. I don’t actually carry in my bag but instead just clip it on to my carry on luggage. I am the kind of person that can sleep ANYWHERE and hence the pillow is my best friend on long flights, especially while flying economy.

Wallet/ Card Holder/Passport Holder

India Circus sent me the cutest passport holder ever! Now, I must admit that I have never used a passport holder and this was my first time! So what I did instead was to de-clutter my wallet and make use of this passport holder as a card holder too (it has a couple of slots for cards). That worked amazingly well since I didn’t need to carry my whole wallet as I don’t need it anyway when I am travelling. Some cash, important cards, my id and passport, all fit it in perfectly in one little folder.

Sunglasses and Chewing Gum (Now shown here)

I always, always carry my sunglasses in my carry on backpack/tote cause I know I will need them as soon as I am out of the flight. When it comes to gum, my ears hurt quite a during landing and chewing gum really helps. I finished mine on the flight- oops.

Electronics:

Ipad: (Cover by India Circus)

I usually have my laptop or Ipad, depending on the duration of the trip. If I am going with my family, my dad usually carries his laptop so I skip carrying mine. My ipad however is always with me since it works as a mini laptop, ipod and even a kindle! PS: How beautiful is the green elephant cover? I am absolutely in LOVE with it! It’s on a 30% off on the website right now so you should get it too and we can be besties heheh

PS: I do usually carry a book but I took it out from my bag after travelling since I wanted to complete reading it (my bad)

Camera (Mini DSLR/DSLR)

No matter where I am going or for how long, a camera makes it on top of my list. This shouldn’t be a surprise since I blog afterall haha. Just like the other things in my blog, the camera I carry depends on the duration of my trip. I recently bought a Sony a5000 which is basically a mini DSLR and OH MY GOD, ITS AMAZING! I hate saying this, but it does work well as a replacement for the good  old big camera. However, I will be going to Europe in two weeks and hence I see my self carrying the Canon DSLR as well.

Cell phone and Portable Charger

If you have an iphone and its more than 2 years old, you know the importance of a charger. No, seriously, my phone dies every two hours and its ridiculous. I usually have TWO portable chargers on me, though one does the job. When I am on vacation (internationally) I  use my phone on wifi only and never really switch on international roaming. Nonetheless, the phone refuses to cooperate when it comes to battery life. The phone cover by India Circus matches my ipad cover perfectly teehehee and I love it!  The  portable charger is from Amazon and you must get it! It charges the phone atleast 2 times, fully.

Headphones

This is a fairly obvious item. I am that person who has my headphones on throughout the flight. I highly recommend these Sony headphones (look how pretty they are) as they are super comfy and the sound quality is amazing for the price.

Beauty Essentials: 

All my inflight essentials serve atleast one purpose: RE-HYDRATION. Flight’s are the worst when it comes to making your skin feeling disgusting and it’s really really important to make sure you do take one little extra step before and after the flight. Always make sure your skin is hydrated and is not loaded with makeup- it may break you out if you cake up.

Lip Balm and Lip Tint

I hate the feeling of chapped lips and you will always find a lip blam in my bag. I love this one by Nivea and it has a beautiful tint to it too! So it looks like your lips, just better! haha  Since I don’t apply any makeup on a flight, I do like using a lip tint (NOT GLOSS) over the balm. It makes me look more put together , I am not too sure why. My lip tint is by Revlon and is called Revlon Colour Burst Laquer Balm in the shade 120.

Eye Cream and Face Cream

I find my under eye area becoming really puffy during the flight and skin completly de-hydrating so two things I just cannot do without are my eyecream and facecream. I apply these two before getting on the flight and before getting off. I don’t know if thats the correct way to go ahead with it, but it does work for me. Before getting off the flight, I wash my face or use wet wipes and then apply these two products. my eye cream is by Nuetregna and my Face cream is by Kiehls (Ultra Facial Cream). Both these products are AMAZING and you must get them.

Sanitizer and Wet Wipes

I haven’t shown a picture of the wet wipes since I shot the post after I came back from vacation and had run out of them 😛 I do however, carry wet wipes and a hand sanitizer in my bag at all times.  Not really picky about the brand for either however when it comes to wet wipes, I prefer any ‘cooling makeup removing wipes’ which are by Nuetrogena, if I am not wrong

Perfume

A perfume or a deodrant is an absolute must while travelling. Even if one is simply sitting in their seat for hours, its always good to smell good?! I carry my Michael Kors Sporty perfume!

Hair Brush and Mirror

We all know what happens to our hair after a flight. When it comes to my hair, its basically a mane of grease. My hair gets intenselt tangled and icky during a flight and ofcourse brushing it is really important. A mirror on the other hand helps when you want to apply the eye cream without moving your bumm and heading to the restroom. When I used to have long hair (sigh..) I woild ALWAYS tie my hair on a flight to avoid any tangles but now that my hair is too short, I simply take a bobby pin and clip away my side part away from my face. Last thing I want is my oily hair breaking me out on my fore head.

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India Circus Ipad Cover

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 The Outfit:

I thought I’d show you my outfit while travelling. I usually find my self wearing my comfiest jeans or leggings while taking a flight! My jeans are from Westside, Top is from Zara, shoes from Adidas (Stan Smiths).

I am so excited for a part two of this travel series. It’s an experimental project that I have NEVER ever done on this blog. To give a little hint- its an animation! WHAAA?

Thank you Madhavi! for clicking me and bearing me during our shoot! 😀

Pondicherry: France in India

IMG_7916Hey guys!

Im finally here to share my experience about Pondicherry! I have tried my best to keep it short! If you all want more details on the trip, please do let me know 🙂

History, food {great food}, beaches and Ashrams; Pondicherry has it all. Having visited the backwaters in Kerala last year, I knew that I haven’t gotten enough of the South and Pudducchery/Pondicherry was on top of my bucket list.

We booked a flight from Delhi to Chennai and decided to drive down on the East Coast Road to our final destination. The drive as expected was beautiful and even though we did stop at a dhabha en route which was a huge dissapointment when it came to food, the filter cappi made up for it {Heaven, oh yeah}.

In Pondicherry, we stayed at the hotel Palais de Mahe. Newly built, this hotel resonated the old world charm of French architecture. With intricate details resembling the colonial building styles, this boutique hotel transported you back in time. We had our first meal at the hotel’s restaurant itself {which was highly recommended}, and boy was I surprised! From Lobsters, crab to grilled fish, they had it all. With each dish being succulent and flavourful, we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the trip.

Having rested for a bit, we decided to walk around the city in the evening {it’s way too hot to do so in the day}. Pondicherry is interestingly has it’s areas marked out using the colour of the buildings. If the colour of the building is yellow, it’s a part of the French quarter {where he lived}, if it’s grey, its owned by the Aurobindo Ashram and if it’s white, it’s a part of the Tamil Quarter. Easily explorable on foot or cycles, Pondicherry is every history buff’s delight. What makes the space stand out is the very fact of how modern elements such as graffiti takes over walls of the colonial French quarter.

The Promenade is open to walk , sit, eat and do whatever one wants from 6 am to 6 pm as no cars are allowed on that 1 kilometer stretch. With hundreds of people simply hanging around with their families and enjoying an evening snack at the hawkers around the ocean, there’s a sense of quiet in the chaos.

For my family and I, what made the trip the trip was definetly the food. Since we aren’t really into medition or spas, the gastronomic journey was the highlight of our trip. The food was a delightful mix of French cuisine with Tamil flavours and vice-versa. It may sound strange at first, but trust me, you got to exeperience it to truly appreciate it’s brilliance. I won’t talk about every single meal here since this post would literally never end but two meals that definetly stood out for us were at Maison Perumal in the Indian Quarter and Tantos in Auroville.

Maison Perumal, the sister property of Palais de Mahe specializes in authentic Chettinad cuisine. We ordered a portion of shrimp tossed sautéed with coriander, their classic fish curry with apams and prawns ground with spices served with rice. Though I don’t remember the exact names of the dishes, till date the flavours are etched in my memory.

Tantos, on the other hand, located in Auroville provided us with an altogether different experience. Auroville , located just 10 kms from Pondicherryis an experimental township in Viluppuram ) is an experimental township in Viluppuram district which houses about 50,000 people from all over the world. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity – in diversity. Today Auroville is recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness, also concerned with – and practically researching into – sustainable living and the future cultural, environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind. What makes the place even more interesting is the fact that out of the entire population, only about 1/3rd are Indians. Hence, this global township offers you a unique spinechilling experience. With german bakeries, French cafes, Italian restaurants, greek dhabas, Auroville has something for everyone’s liking. After hearing so much about Tantos from tourists as well as civilians, we had to try it out and I am so glad we did. Specializing in pizzas, they are some of the best I have had across the world! If you do visit there, make sure you are ready to wait to be seated and served {it’s worth it}. We also picked up a slice of banana chocolate chip cake from the Auroville bakery and enjoyed a cup of tea with homemade bread and jam in an organic café called Natural Elements. To add to the experience, we also got to visit the Auroville paper factory and that was one experience no one should ever miss. If you love stationary, this place will be your paradise.

Other than Auroville, the Indian Quarter of Pondicherry completely sets it self apart from the French quarter. Resembling any other town in Tamil Nadu, this area is any shopper’s paradise. Specialising in leather goods {The Hidesign concept store + factory + factory outlet is located here} to indo-western outfits, candles, essences, if you’re looking to take out some time to shop, you’re in for a delight. Most of the stores in the French quarter are boutiques and hence the pricing may be a tad bit high, though totally worth it.

I wont go on too much and will let the photographs speak for them selves. If you do plan to go to Pondicherry, please feel free to email me at sarasuri@gmail.com and I’d be really, really happy to help you! Here are some of the places that you MUST visit-

Places to Eat:

  1. Maison Perumal- For Lunch {The Indian Quarter}
  2. Palais de Mahais- For Dinner {The French Quarter}
  3. The Indian Kaffe Express- For Coffee {The French Quarter}
  4. La Maison Rose- For Dinner and drinks{The French Quarter}
  5. Villa Shanti – For Lunch {The French Quarter}
  6. Tantos – For lunch, Italian {Auroville}
  7. Auroville Bakery
  8. Natural Elements – For tea/lunch {Auroville}
  9. Paradise Beach and Auro Beach –It’s too hot during the day but as the weather gets pleasant in the evening, the beach gets crowded. Catch 22.

 

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Filter Coffee, En Route Pondicherry {East Coast Road}

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View from the terrace of the Hotel

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Hotel Palais de Mahe- Pool

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Restaurant at the Hotel

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The meal at Maison Permual

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Tantos and Natural Elements in Auroville

Hope this post inspires you to make a trip there! Pondicherry and Auroville have so much to offer. Though theyre really quaint, both these spaces offer and insight to global and local fusion in best way possible!

 

 

Charm amongst the Chaos {Shimla}

Chaos.

That’s the first word that comes to our mind when we think of Shimla.
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This hill station, over the years has become synonymous with being overpopulated and hence extremely crowded. Often when asked, “so where are you going for a holiday?”  “Shimla”, one answers, the expression on the questioner’s  face is nothing short of a “WHY?” . Over time, this has simply gotten worse.
For every facet of any space there is more than  simply one way of looking at it. When it comes to Shimla being one of the most popular hill stations in the country along with holding the title of being the Summer Capital for over hundred years, there is of course one question then comes to my mind: what is it about this city that people still love? That question is precisely what wanted me to visit here over 15 years later. My purpose of visiting Shimla was pretty simple. More than a fun extended weekend getaway ( who doesn’t love that?), I wanted to understand what makes this hill station the way it stands today. When we planned this vacation, of course questions were raised, but I was all prepped and nothing was going to change my mind.
We left Gurgaon at 5 am and journey of course began with food (no surprises here). The first pit stop was Gulshan da Dhabha in Murthal.  Ok, let’s pause here for a moment. If you haven’t been to Gulshan’s, you’re truly missing out some of the best paranthas of your life. From paneer, gobi, aloo to mixed veg,  this Dhabha has it all {with a couple of gallops of butter to make everything even better}. We ordered the Gobi  paranthas and trust me, I still have the flavour entrenched in my taste buds. Before we knew it, we were on the new Ambala-Chandigarh expressway and reached Shimla no time. We managed to and check into the hotel by 2 pm and to my pleasant surprise, there was no scarcity of pines!
The hotels: When it comes to accommodation, there is absolutely no scarcity of hotels. It really depends on what you’re looking for. If Shimla’s  mall is just not your cup of tea, I recommend staying a little further away at Wildflower Hall. This Oberoi property is not short of a castle in the hills right out of a fairy tale. On the other hand, if you’re the hand if you want to explore the city and absorb it’s essence, you have tons of options at this Summer capital. After tons of research, I came across my top three recommendations.
1. The Oberoi Cecil: This property is absolutely stunning. Even though it’s located right at the edge of the mall, it’s still far away from all the chaos.  Keep in mind: If you are a group of three adults you will HAVE to take 2 rooms. They take this policy extremely seriously.
2. Hotel Marina. This property is really gorgeous too. Since I wanted to be in the city and we were three adults, we decided to stay here for a night. They were definitely more accommodating when it came to the number of people in a room. The hotel facilities were upto the mark and they had one of the prettiest patios, ever.
Keep in mind: The price of the hotel is same as Cecil for a normal room {only difference being that they allow 3 adults}.
3. Sunny Mead: Though I haven’t ever stayed in this property and was told about it via a friend, it’s definitely on my wish list. It’s a little guest house located close to the Viceregal Lodge. Just like any home stay accommodation, this one really capitalizes on it’s food, a really cozy homely ambience and two furry pets that stay on the property!
So moving on, since we reached Shimla at a really decent hour we decided to relax in the room for a bit and order in some food rather than venturing out for the first meal. Boy, were we surprised! The food at Marina is really, really good. Their serving size is huge and is well priced too. Truthfully, just couldn’t have asked for a better comfort meal.
The real adventure began when we got out of our room in the evening for the evening walk. Walks in the hills one of my all time favorite things to do. Though I’m more of a beach person, once I’m in the hills, I can’t deny that I’m constantly waiting to put my keds on and head out for the day.
Shimla, in itself has a lot of touristy things to do. The mall of course is the hub and cultural centre of this hill station. With small dhaabhas, cute bakeries and and never ending street vendors, there’s something here for everyone.  If roaming around the mall  is not something you would enjoy, then taking a walk towards the viceroy lodge is something you should really consider.
The food: Shimla has no dirt of places to eat. It just really depends on what you’re looking for. Here are some of those “must try’s”. Since I am not from the city, these are the places that I personally have tried out! Feel free to leave all your favourite eateries in the comments below.
1. Sher-e Punjab
2. Trishool Bakery
3.  Marina (Hotel)
4. Cecil (Hotel)
5. Wake and Bake
6. Baljees
7. Combermere
8. Krishna Bakers
 Shimla is one hill station that’s absolutely unapologetic in it’s true sense as it stands the test of time and holds it’s high as a prior summer capital. From young group of friends  waking and enjoying a softy (that was hands down my favorite part. I thought about clicking a picture but the glutton in me finished it before I could think of getting my camera out) to some of the elder citizens greeting each other in the middle of the road and heading to the club. The perks of a small tight knit city, I suppose.
Whether it may be for a night (what I did) or for a meal, a trip to Shimla is incomplete without exploring the nearby hill stations. My top picks would be the Chalets in Naldehra and as I mentioned earlier- Wildflower Hall which is located en route Mashubra. Since we had already stayed in Naldehra in a previous trip, this time we chose the latter. Wildflower Hall is one hotel which is truly secluded in it’s complete sense. Located in a hill, the residents have access to their own tracks to walk barring any hustle bustle and traffic, an acuity room which has a theatre, cards, board games, a bar, lounge, restaurants, heated pool and so on. There’s tons to do on that little hull top itself and if nothing else, you always have a good book with a cup of hot chocolate to the rescue. For all those who haven’t stayed at this property but have been intending to, i’d say ” don’t wait! “
With the sights of the cute little toy train, the long walks, fuzzy warm clothes, hot coffee and yummy food, there was nothing more that I could ask for in a short but packed weekend trip. We are more than ever so obsessed with trying to find exclusivity and distance from the city that we miss out it’s charm thats omnipresent right in it’s core. Maybe it’s time to revist the forgotten spaces that remind you of your childhood and experiencing those little things that made you happy.

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Notes: Driving to Shimla takes approximately 8 hours.(Depends on the number of stops you make and the time you leave home). You can also go by air ( I personally don’t see the point unless you’re coming in from other parts of the country and not Delhi/Chandigarh).  Jubarhati, which is about 23 kilometres from the town, is the nearest airport. There are regular flights going from Jubbarhatti to Chandigarh and Delhi. You can easily get a taxi from the airport to get to Shimla or you can ask your hotel to arrange for an airport transfer. Finally, the small railway station in Shimla is just 1 kilometre away from the centre of the town and is connected to Kalka by a narrow gauge rail track. The famous toy train of Shimla goes between Kalka and Shimla, covering a distance of 96 kilometres in about 7 hours. Kalka in turn is the nearest rail head, which is connected to Chandigarh and Delhi by regular trains.
Though there are tons of hotels, Shimla is an extremely popular hillstation and there are chances that rooms are booked off. In winter, people come in for Skiing to Narkhanda (pretty close by from Shimla) so that’s a fun option!

Missing Mcleod Ganj

Hello everyone! Mcleod Ganj is definitely one of my favorite hill stations in the country and I really, really miss it right now. Delhi’s summer’s back and nothing seems more inviting than a short trip to the hills. I wrote this teavelogue a while back and it was published in Emaho Magazine. Hope you enjoy it 🙂 mcleod5 Think Tibet, think dimsums, think McLeod Ganj. There was something about McLeod Ganj that put me into a state of blissful inertia and I felt as if I had entered a time capsule I didn’t want to leave. Dharamsala, a mere 11kms away seemed absolutely alien to McLeod Ganj in terms of the lifestyle, the people and the food amongst other things.   The drastic change in everything I observed made me ask myself if I was an outsider in my own country. McLeod Ganj was like a cocoon, with its own inhabitants- food, religion and culture. Maybe this why even those who aren’t from India fit in just as well if not better.   McLeod Ganj is the perfect hill station for any foodie and that’s why it suited me perfectly. One will find little cafes hidden in niches and by-lanes with cuisines from all around the world. This is probably due to the large number of travelers from around the world who settle here for months on an end. There are several options: from an authentic Canadian breakfast at the Green Hotel to Tibetan Thukpa for Lunch at the Lhasa Restaurant to mouth-watering Italian at Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen. McLeod Ganj felt like a gracious food genie. Cafés like Moonpeak Espresso and The French Café made me feel like I had been transported to another country all together.   Another thing that really intrigued me about McLeod Ganj was its fascinating religious aura. McLeod Ganj was offered to the Dalai Lama as his official residence, making it a refuge for several Tibetans. There is the Tsuglagkhang complex, which is the residence of HH the Dalai Lama. The complex contains a monastery, stupas and even a museum. Then there is the St. John’s Church located amidst the dense Deodar trees away from the bustling town. Visiting this unique town is not all about its eclectic bohemian vibe that draws so many of us in, it’s equally about its importance as a destination of refuge, pilgrimage and solace to several individuals.   Another thing that constantly caught my eye in McLeod Ganj was the abundance of flyers everywhere. On offer were courses in papermaking, yoga, cookery, writing, carpentry, handicraft making and probably anything else you could think of. One day I’d love to visit it again, maybe take up a month long course and actually try to be a part of this quaint town I was almost starting to fit into. mcleod1

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Synesthesia: Experiencing Amritsar in a day & a half.

Hello everyone,

This travelogue recently got published at Tripoto.com. Tripoto is an amazing platform to discover destinations, read about them and even book your own trip! Once I posted this article there, I couldn’t help but planning another trip to Amritsar.

I wanted to share my previous experience with you all, so here’s the post 🙂

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My grandmother, while narrating her stories of Amritsar to me exuberated with emotions and memories about this golden city, which she used to visit as a child every weekend from Lahore. Amritsar to her, is more than just the city of Harmindar Sahib or Jalianwalah Bagh. It is the city where her numerous childhood memories are attached before and after partition. When she was my age, she traveled yet another time to Amritsar, this time from Jalandhar because of the Partition. Her experience this time was definitely different as compared to the earlier ones. This story gave me the goose bumps as I listened to her patiently telling me about the partition, the Golden Temple, Hall Bazaar, Lawrence Road and the food, which cannot be sidelined. Listening to these memoirs, I couldn’t help my self booking a ticket for the early morning flight to Amritsar that lands straight at the Sri Guru Ram Daas Jee Airport.

Amritsar, approximately 460 kms away is easily commutable by the Amritsar Shatabdi as well. However, if you are looking at spending just one night, taking a flight saves a lot of time in hand to explore the city.

As soon as we touched ground, I knew the first thing I had to do was visit the Golden Temple or popularly called Darbar Sahib. I had pre-booked a taxi from Delhi itself, but to get a pre-paid taxi from the airport is also another great option. As I sat in the cab with my small bag, Itinder Singh (the taxi driver) symbolized all what is ‘Amritsari’. He had so much of pride for the city and started telling me a number of interesting facts about this old walled city that is encompassed within 12 gates. It was then, that I realized I have the perfect guide for the day. We reached the Golden Temple in about 20 minutes and the taxi had to be parked, since no cars are allowed in the narrow gullies leading to the Gurudwara. The rickshaw to the Darbar Sahib, from the Parking area took Rs.10 where he rickshaw puller insisted that he waited for me till I return.

As I entered this spectacular spiritual shimmering temple, I somehow felt at peace. I washed my feet at the climbed up a couple of steps, excited to catch a glimpse of it. I walked closer, and had to climb down a couple of steps, slowly, this magnificent façade came in to my sight. I was truly left stunned as I saw it sit up beautifully on the Sarovar (lake), while thousands of followers, all with devotion in their eyes either took a bath in the Sarovar with their sons, knelt on the floor to pay it respect, enjoyed the Langar which is available all day round or just stared at in awe. As the pilgrims, first pay their respect to the number of small shrines while they walk around the parkirama and the Harmindar Sahib , it is only after they complete this round, they do genuflection before the Akal Takth and que up in hundreds to enter the main shrine. With devotees from various backgrounds, engaging them selves in the Kar Sewa together, I couldn’t help but point out the sense of equality I experienced during this visit.

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If you were to visit the Golden temple at night, just like I did after ending my day in Amritsar, there would still be thousands of pilgrims paying their respects. At night, with the temple lit up , it’s an experience that one cannot let go of. It is one of those sights that you would cherish forever, as this the Darbar Sahib at night offers nothing less than a phantasmamagoria.IMG_2181

Post this spiritual visit, I decided to grab a big glass of lassi with a samosa as I was famished since the morning. Lassi, which is available in almost every nook and corner around the Harmidar Sahib is a must try with an inch of Malai on top and beautifully whipped ,cool ,sweet yogurt below. One can also try the varieties of Kulchas for a quick snack yet sumptuous before heading to the Jalianwalah Bagh.IMG_2277

The Bagh is a 5 minutes walk from the Golden Temple itself. As I entered the narrow hallway from opening up to this huge garden, the first thing I noticed was a marking stating “This is the place where the bullets were fired from’. It was then, when I could entirely visualize the gruesome event that  took place on April 13, 1929. As I approached the bullet marks on the walls, this eeriness surrounded me. It is hard to think how, from a lane, where even three people can walk next to each other comfortably, one man managed to perpetrate a massacre, leaving a reported hundreds dead and thousands injured. As hoards of tourists surrounded the martyrs well, this space still had it’s own sense of silence that lets you recapture your thoughts and pay your respect to all those who lost their lives.

Having completed my morning to-do list, I decided to check-in in to the hotel and start by day exploring the city as it was still in the fine hours of the morning. I stayed at Hotel Golden Tulip which was extremely comfortable and probably the best option in Amritsar if you’re looking at a tariff of INR3,203 – 5,158 per night.

Incase, you want a true 5 star, top of the line experience, Hotel Ista is where you must check in with tariffs ranging from INR 4500 – 7,700 per night. Various other options, which are worth looking up, are Hotel Country Inn, Best Western Merrion and HKClarks inn.

After having a quick shower, my stomach growling with hunger, I went for a hearty meal at Makhan Restaurant. Truly living up to it’s name and Amritsar’s pride, this small AC restaurant offered the best Amritsari fish I have ever tried with butter naan. For vegetarians, the best option would be to try the tomato paneer with any bread that they offer.The list of items on their menu weren’t many, but it absolutely aced when it came to parameters of taste and authenticity.IMG_2187

Now that I was satiated and refreshed, I decided to visit the Attari station, Kanjiri Pull and the Wahga Border. Attari station is about 30 minutes from the old city and only abour 3.5 kms from the Wahga Border .The Samjhauta Express or the Attari Express leaves Old Delhi railway station, and then travels to Attari, where the Attari Express changes formally into the Samjhauta Express. After the customs and immigration clearances at Attari, the passengers start their journey to Lahore in Pakistan through the Wagah border. This quaint station is a must visit ,being oldest train link between India and Pakistan since partition in 1947.IMG_2212

From the Attari Station, before visiting the Wagah border, I visited Pul Kanjiri ;a historical site that hasn’t been given it’s due share of publicity that it deserves. This fascinating and charming site is a based on one of the numerous legends from Mahraja Ranjit Singh’s time. The legend states that a young muslim dancer (Punjabi word Kanjiri for concubine) Moran, hailing from Lahore, once was on her way to dance at the Maharaja’s Baradari, her sandal fell into the water channel on the way. The piqued dancer refused to dance until a pul (bridge) was built hence the place became popular as Pul Kanjri. In fact, what is interesting about this site is that the Pakistan border is less than 2 acres away, with absolutely no hoards of people swarming the area, unlike the Wagah Border , which is where I went next.

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Wagah Border , the only open border crossing India and Pakistan and which is officially accessible by both the nations hosts a closing ceremony as ‘lowering of the flags’ ceremony. It is a daily martial custom that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Sutlej Rangers) have mutually followed since 1959. This interesting ceremony takes place every evening before sunset around 5:30 pm. I had a VIP pass and hence access to the gates was much faster where I also got seated to the area closest to the ceremony. If you are not planning to acquire a VIP pass, then you must make sure you reach way ahead of time by at least 3:30 pm to grab a seat and stand in the long, almost never ending ques.

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As I sat at the stands, I could hear thousands of people screaming and cheering right before during the beating the retreat ceremony. Crowds screamed ‘Jai Hind’ and Vandematram with an incredible energy and a nationalist fervor. On the other side, there were hoards of Pakistani nationals screaming ‘ Pakistan Zindabad’ with as much energy and zeal. It was here , at I realized that these lines are political because there was absolutely no difference between the people on either sides. This 45 minutes ceremony ends with a aura of celebrations along with loud shouts of patriotism. During the ceremony however, one could sense silence as the soldiers marched, so clinically that I could hear their boots tap on the ground with each step they took.

Post the ceremony, I decided have an early at the famous Surjit Chicken House at the very elite area, Lawrence Road. As Amritsar is a land of foodies , it was very pleasant to see all kinds of people, coming together and enjoying the heavenly food at this humble restaurant.

I woke up in the morning and went for an Amritsari breakfast to the famous Bharawan Da Dhaba , est. in 1912. This restaurant offers top of the line north Indian cuisine. I tried the stuffed paranthas glistening with desi ghee, offered here.They were of course were out of this world and I felt I was already ready for a siesta.Other places that you must try as Kesar Dhaba (Highly Recommended), Beera Chicken Corner, Brijwasi, MK Hotel and All India Famous Kulchas.

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Amritsar is known for its Jutis, Phulkaari work, Papad’s and Wadiya’s, which I personally had all intentions of picking up .An advice would be to definitely carry a bigger suitcase even you are traveling for a day as there as no way one can resist the temptation of the abundance of items available in this shopper’s paradise. I went to Raunaq Jutis in Hall Gate, which was recommended to me Mr. Itinder Singh. From here, I took a rickshaw to Hall Bazaar where I went to Raja Exclusive to shop for Phulkaari Chunnis. Other markets that I glanced through and that one should definitely visit as the various Katras. Katra Jaimal Singh and Katra Aluhwalia for their clothes, Katra Sher Singh and Guru Bazaar for the numerous gold smiths and food items such as papads, wadiyas and pickles.3

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IMG_2281When my shopping spree ended, I was loaded up to the brim with numerous types of shopping items and completely satiated with my wonderful Amritsar experience. When I reached the airport and boarded the flight back for Delhi, I realized that how this ‘Golden City is truly timeless.

(Note: I wrote this travelogue of the Golden City for GoNow Magazine (April 2013) before submitting it on Tripoto and posting it here).

Wanderlust : Goa

Hello!

I just returned from Goa and was going through the camera roll on my phone! I thought it would be fun to show you guys some of the pictures that I took throughout the trip! Be ready to expect a lot of selfies (haha)! Even though we went for five nights, time passed by in a blink. Whether it might be the commercial beach Clubs in Baga or finding a secluded shack in Candolim, there’s no way one cant find their own happy place in Goa.  Hope you enjoy the post 🙂

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The top 5 things I recommend to do in Goa in December :

1) Eat the yummiest Goan food at Calamari (Candolim) , Brittos , Zanzibar ,Martin’s Corner

Top picks : Pork Vindaloo with rice  , Goan Sausages with pav (slurp) , butter garlic calamari , golden fried prawn fitters.

2) Club hop at Titos lane atleast once. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea since Baga happens to be extremely crowded at any given time,  but its worth a shot!

Top places : Mambos, Capetown Cafe , Titos

3) Go to Club Cabana and Love, Passion , Karma

These two super-clubs as they claim to be are absolutely gorgeous. Club Cabana is right on a hill and from a certain point, open air jeeps take you all the way to the top. Once you enter the club which is on three levels, it really does feel like once has entered an enchanted forest.

Love Passion Karma or more commonly known as LPK is a club right on the water front. By water front i mean, a section of it is also on a deck on the water! I went on a Sunday night and the DJ played brilliant EDM!

Tip: Male stag is exorbitantly expensive. Go to any of these clubs as a couple.Oh, and there’s no dress code whatsoever! (I did spot a man in his pajamas)

4) Water and Adventure sports

There are literally innumerable options for an adrenaline junkie! One can try water skiing , jet skiing , parasailing , water skooter , Banana Boat rides or even Scuba diving!

Tip  : For most of the water posts I’d  Calangute and Candolim. Since end- December is a really peak period the prices can range from Rs.400 to Rs.2000 depending on the length of time!

5) Go for a music Festival!

I went for Sunburn this year and absolutely loved it! I also managed to go for the Super Sonic festival after party which was great as well. Sunburn this year occupied a hill at Vagator and as one can imagine, it was massive!

Tip : Buy early bird tickets for these festivals as the prices can really hike up if you wait till december. Infact, most hotels and guest houses are occupied too so if you do plan to attend these festivals , book in advance!

picture 2Casually Chillin’ at Baga

picture 3Golden Fried Prawns & Tartar Sauce at Zanzibar, Baga

Picture 4The piggie face selfies

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Picture 6 OOTD : Top – Forever 21 . denim shirt : H&M . Shorts – Forever 21 . Flats – River Island

picture 7Somya loving her Coconut Water 😀

picture 8Back to Zanzibar, Baga

picture 9Fort Aguada, Goa (Top: Forever 21)

picture 10Right off the Calamari Beach Shack, Candolim

picture 11The Neon Ferris Wheel, Sunburn Festival

picture 12Ummet Ozcan  at Sunburn Festival

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picture 14#Jacked @ Sunburn Festival

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IMG_9722Got to love the cray tee. In the Goa-mode.

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The Desert Photo Diary – Six things

Hello!

I went to this desert-state a few days ago for the holidays this winter. Even though Dubai is really newly developed with its tall buildings not more than a thirty years old, it’s definitely a must visit! I stayed at the Address Hotel, Downtown and its FABULOUS! This emirate has something to offer to everyone! Numerous restaurants from cuisines all over the world, cafes by Marina, the ginormous Dubai mall, water park and aquarium at the Atlantis, Dubai fountains, the desert safari , the Dubai creek , the gold and spice souks ;  the list is just ceaseless.

First , The Hotel
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          The View from the Address Hotel, Downtown – Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain &  The infinity pool at the Address Hotel.

Second,  The old town

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The spice  lanes in Diera, old Dubai.

Third, the Desert

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The desert at Sunset ( You must tick off the Desert Safari off your checklist!)

Fourth , The Top

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At the Top, Burj Khalifa (The tallest man-made building in the world)

Fifth, The FOOOOD

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From Sushi , Pizza to the perfect Mediterranean  breakfast, one can never have enough of the in numerous options of food in Dubai!

Sixth – The Selfie

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How can I forget the selfies with mom and dad 🙂

PS: I’ll be posting every week with travelogues, styling posts and of course, my personal favorite – food, so stay tuned 🙂

(The photographs are taken by an SLR 500D (18*200) and an iphone 5 camera )