Unleashing GOA With GOA UNLIMITED

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You can’t get enough of Goa ever. And I mean EVER…. After spending two years in Goa and exploring as much places as possible, I still feel something or the other have been missed out. Goa has always been my go to place to find some peace and serendipity.

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After staying here and at present visiting this place so often I am in quest of exploring each and every corner of it and making awesome memories with my Goan friends. There is so much to know and explore about Goa that you can’t get enough of it. It is more then those crowded tourist beaches, Tito’s lane, beer and tattoos. There is always something new to discover about it. The culture, traditions, food, language from four different corners of this place and unseen and unexplored destinations. 

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You cannot get tired of exploring Goa, and when you have experts who can guide you through the most unexplored parts of Goa, you simply can’t ask for more. I am talking about “Goa Unlimited” who can be your idle travel partners in Goa. Read the full story here

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Sikkim – Where Nature Smiles

My travel experience of Sikkim was quite mesmerizing serene. The more I explored the places and culture the more I fell in love with this state. Born in Northeast India myself, there is very special connection felt within every time I visit this part of the country. Truly said and absolutely perfect tag line given by the India Tourism. “NorthEast – A Paradise Unexplored” 

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Sikkim has been given many names. The Lepchas, original inhabitants of the land called it Nye-mae-el `paradise’. The Limbus named it Su Khim or `new house’ while to the Bhutias it was Beymul Demazong `the hidden valley of rice’ 

The panoramic perfection of the snow-capped Himalayas, the heady scent of flower-bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, the infinite variety of its flora and fauna makes it a holiday that is at once fascinating and challenging. 

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My Journey To Gangtok-

Took a flight from Delhi to ‘Bagdogra Airport’ in West Bengal. From there its a 5 hours [124kms] journey by road via NH10 enjoying the scenic beauty all through out the way as it passes by the river “Tista” and crossing places like Siliguri, Mangpu, Kalimpong, Rangpo and Rangpool.

Wanna save some time? You can take a helicopter ride from the Bagdogra Airport to reach Gangtok easily and comfortably. The helicopter service (known as Pawan Hans) is provided by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) which is a division of Sikkim State Govt. Timings – 10 AM to 5 PM

Sight scene 

Ban Jhakri Waterfall **  The 100-foot waterfall of Ban Jhakri is located near Gangtok. The park’s statuary and other displays document the Ban Jhakri, or traditional shamanic healer who worships spirits living in caves around the falls. Ban means “forest”, and jhakri means “healer”. Though it is just a tourist destination now, it is believed that hundreds of years ago the native people use to bring the ill members of the family to this place to heal. A priest community called jhakri [healer] would preform few rituals worshiping spirits living in the caves around the falls to cure the illness. Specifically at midnight. The family of the ill person would present ginger, fresh water, herbs, turmeric and a cock as offering to the spirits. 

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Deorali Monastery  **  One of the Monastery among many others in Gangtok and Sikkim. It is also nearby to the “Tibetology Institute”

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Tashi View Point **  [Bojoghori Village] This view point will keep you spellbound with its natural beauty. Apart from the beautiful hills and valleys of Gangtok, this view post will mesmerise you with by giving a spectacular look of the “Kanchenjunga Mountains” The crowning glory of Sikkim is Mt. Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. With magnificent snow and ice scenery it is often regarded as the undisputed monarch among the peaks of the world.

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But for the Sikkimese Khangchendzonga is much more than a mountain and is revered as the abode of their guardian deity Dzo-nga. Even today the mountain god is invoked and prayed to during Pang Lhabsol, a major Sikkimese festival, which also commemorates the blood brotherhood sworn between the Lepchas and the Bhutias at Kabi in the fifteenth century. The sacred mountain can be viewed from every corner of Sikkim.

Ganesh Tok **   Close to Tashi View point is Ganesh Tok, a temple of Lord Gansha. It’s located at an altitude of 6,500 ft. It is one of the most famous Lord Ganesh temple in Gangtok. This small temple can accommodate only few persons at a time.

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Plant Observatory **  There are various species of plants for observation. For. tourist this place is just for recreation purpose and for some perfect selfies. For a botanist, this place is heavenly. A very refreshing place with different plant species. Specially known for preservation of rhododendrons. 

Sikkimese Cuisine 

Momos ** Here comes the hometown  of our beloved “Momos” Yes! those sinful and indulging dumplings which we can’t live without. These guys are available in almost every corner in India and making all go gaga behind them. “Momos are most commonly available food in Sikkim. From roadside shacks to the most expensive restaurants, you will find Momos on every menu. Hot steamed flour dumplings filled with minced meat, cheese or vegetable, accompanied by home made chilli sauce and piping hot soup.

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Thukpa **  Another popular and easily available item is the Thukpa or Gya-thuk, a typical Tibetan style noodles in soup, based with vegetables or meat.

Saelroti ** The Nepalese prepare a special kind of bread, mostly during festivals called the Saelroti. This is prepared from fermented rice batter which is deep fried in a ring shape and eaten with potato curry or meat or simply by itself.

Fermented food ** In fact, is an important element of many Sikkimese dishes. Like Chhurpi, Kinema and Bamboo Shoot.

But my best experience of having a wholesome and home made meal was at “Aunty Lalmaya’s Kitchen. The cafe is next to “Ganesh Tok” She is running this small cafe since ages and serving home made food cooked all by herself to locals and tourists. She feeds more then 100 people a day. During peak season the count goes upto 200 to 300 customers a day. 

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Lalmaya Aunty in her kitchen.

People 

The People of Sikkim consist of three ethnic groups, that is, Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali. Sikkimese Nepali are mostly Buddhist comprising of cast like “Lepcha” and “Bhutia”. They are also  considered to be the upper class caste. Rest comprises of cast like “Rai” “Limbu” “Mukhia” etc. They are mostly Nepali Hindus. 

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P.S – The details are sticky based on my personal experience and references from locals and wiki.

 

** BUDGET 5 STAR STAYCATION ** ICANSTAY.COM

Every body seems to be really busy these days. Completing daily chores at home, accomplishing targets at work, getting those extra profit in business or getting those extra grades to get that dream job. In my case, trying to complete as much articles as possible on time. Its a continuous rat race we all are running. Meanwhile, we keep dreaming about that perfect holiday or a luxury vacation to unwind ourselves, de-stress and living the very moment.

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Well!! For most of us its not feasible due to  many reasons like time or money. Guys!! “ICANSTAY.COM” has made it all possible. 

At ICANSTAY, they believe in fulfilling your travel aspirations by making luxury accessible and affordable. For first-time travelers as well as seasoned globetrotters, the website allows you an opportunity to experience Luxury.

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In a matter of a few clicks you have an all-access pass to luxury. They offer one price, across India to stay in a Luxury Hotel when you purchase a voucher. And they go above and beyond to deliver and commit to their promise of making first-class experience a way of life for you!

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ICANSTAY>COM has handpicked Luxury Hotels at multiple locations and is expanding its list of destinations. ICANSTAY is an aspirational / one-of-a-kind product and is a 24-Hour stay in a Luxury Hotel. Stay for second night against another Voucher may or may not be available in the same Hotel.

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Registration and purchase of vouchers is done in easy few steps.

  • Guaranteed Luxury Stay

  • Easy Redemption

  • Validity for 11 months

  • One price across India which is just Rs 2999/-

  • Refundable and Extendable

  • Create you wishlist. Choose 5 options with the place (from the options provided) and tentative dates, week or month can be selected. Although you won’t be able to see the Hotel Name while booking. 

  • 1 voucher is worth a stay all over India for 2 adults and 1 child: family/friends

  • They would confirm the availability from the wish list within 48 hrs before the travel dates

  • Confirm within 2 hr of receiving the msg through SMS, else you may loose on the availability of the room

  • Contact to reach them – 9811902999

  • Once you confirm your stay, detailed email will be send to you with hotel details. Need to carry valid photo ID proof for the person accompanied. 

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Also, the voucher can be gifted someone you wish. In that case the person on whose name the voucher is not travelling along carry a proof or relation with the same. Food is not a part of the voucher, but they offer good discounts on food, like a breakfast buffet, is offered at Rs 800, once your booking is confirmed.

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I had a great time and enjoyed a luxury stay in my budget. So why can’t you? Try the ICANSTAY vouchers today and give yourself that pampering you need.

 

The Remote Life – Travel The World |Work Remotely

The Remote Life is a travel startup with a difference. It is a remote working program for entrepreneurs, freelancers & digital nomads to travel & work with interesting people.Remote Life Logo Transparent

I got the opportunity to have an interaction with the CEO Mr. Nishchal Dua and got him to answer more about this unique idea and got to know few interesting facts which I am sharing with you all.

Let me give you all a small introduction of the man behind this idea.

 Nishchal Dua – CEO “The Remote Life”

 – is a serial entrepreneur & traveler with deep experience in growth marketing. He is currently building a startup that travels & works at the same time. 

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Over the last few years, Nishchal Dua has built 2 companies and traveled 7 countries in a row. His mission is to help people in changing their work lifestyle. A few months back, he was at the Mt. Everest Base Camp and real inspiration for Remote Life came from there. With The Remote Life, he is aiming for a diverse, balanced group with people from different backgrounds, experiences and regions. In addition to it, he is a trekking freak. When he’s not working, he can be found climbing mountains or skydiving. He has traveled to almost every state of India and 11 countries in total. Nishchal Dua has completed his bachelors in Engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology and worked with the two of the biggest travel companies in the past – MakeMyTrip & Amadeus.

  • How did Remote Life came into existence? And the idea behind it?

Pursuit of happiness. All of us are looking for a happy and fulfilling life but very few are actually pursuing it. I wanted to build a lifestyle for myself where I earn time to do things I want to and that’s how Remote Life came into being. We are now helping people realize that they have everything they need to travel & experience things they always wanted to, only if they are willing to step out of their comfort zone and take their first step with us.

I started The Remote Life to help people build a better lifestyle for themselves by moving out of crowded cities and glass buildings & see the real world.  

  • How many countries has it covered so far? What’s the number of happy customers?

The Founders of Remote Life have traveled to 11 countries so far setting up dedicated partnerships and building the local community. And The Remote Life is on it’s maiden program right now covering Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia, having received nearly 800+ customers who are interested in joining the program.

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  • Why remote life? Why not any other travel website?

Experience. We focus a lot on making sure you immerse yourself in the local culture & languages. Also, we screen our applicants to ensure only a balanced & diverse group travels together. This coupled with plenty of workshops makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Remote Life program has a dedicated local ambassador at each location and in-house experts on marketing, technology and business. These people help you get better at your job, grow your company as well as learning and unlearning lot of new things.

  • What would be the selection criteria OR who can join the program? Is there a specific process one needs to go through?

The Remote Life builds a diverse, balanced group with people from different backgrounds, experiences and regions. There are no restrictions on who can or cannot join and we encourage everyone to apply. The application process includes a simple sign up form on the website followed by which our team does an initial screening to make sure there’s a fit between the group & the applicant. If the screening goes well, we personally call up the applicant to discuss their plans and invite them to join us.

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  • What kind of entrepreneurs or business would be there joining along?

We have had entrepreneurs, freelancers & consultants from different regions join us over time. There are founders building their startups remotely, UI/UX designers, financial and marketing consultants among others.

  • Would it be a kind of business get together ? If it is then what would be the niche ? Would it be the same niche which one individual deals in or different?

Remote Life is an experiential travel program which includes among other things, get-togethers, networking events, meetups, workshops and sessions on different personal & professional skill sets. We try to keep it balanced and holistic instead of focusing on a niche to give the participants a more broader view of the world outside of their office.

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  • Is someone has to stay for a month or can they opt for a smaller duration like one week or two weeks?

The whole purpose of the program is to spend at least 1 month at a location and travel like a local. However, in certain scenarios we allow people to join us for a week to be able to experience what it is like.

  • Are activities are included in the program?

The program ensures a soft landing spot by keeping the logistics in place and builds on that with the experiential part. The activities however are a group and an individual decision.

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  • Are there specific plans for tourist safety and emergencies? 

Top of our list. The Remote Life has a local ambassador at each location who stays with the group all the time. Each participant is provided with a city guide prior to arrival with safety measures, tips and emergency contact numbers of The Remote Life team, local partners, tourist police and their respective country embassies. A travel insurance policy is also included for everyone.

  • If duration is less then how would would it cost ?

For anything less than a month we prefer to work on an individual basis with each participant to understand their needs and provide  custom quote. 

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The Website – 

Apply Now – 

Address :

  • D-1005, Sispal Vihar AWHO, Sector 49, Gurugram, Haryana 122018
  • Phone : 098184 43399

Hours :

  • Open 24 hours

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Down The Memory Lane | United Kingdom

September, 2010 – A trip to cherish and remember for life.

My first trip abroad and wouldn’t have thought that it will be “United Kingdom”.

A nine hours and thirty minutes journey along with 2 hours each at both “Indira Gandhi International Airport. Delhi and Heathrow Airport, London. My longest and the most tiring travel by air. Two pecks of whiskey on the rocks and few episodes of “Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai was the only savior for me.

Reach Heathrow airport at night and from there I was suppose to take bus to Bournemouth. It was a two hours journey from the airport and the place where I was suppose to stay and my hotel [Russel Court Hotel] booking was done.

Bournemouth – It is a beautiful seaside destination with British Victorian architecture and buzzing night life along the beaches. Most beautiful beach I have seen till date. Its a place where you can get the best of both the world. Beauty of a hilly area and the sand and sea experience of a beach.

Situated at the southeast coast of England, it is famous for its never ending  7 miles long beach.

Best time to visit is from July till August. the weather is generally comprises of mild winters and long summers. However, for a person like me who comes from a place which is so humid and hot, even the summers seemed too cold.

Main Attractions –

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“Corfe Castle” – Purbeck , Dorset

This Castle was built by “William The Conqueror” in the early 11th century. Its on the Purbeck Hills on the way to Wareham and Swanage. No visit to Purbeck will be completed without seeing the picturesque village of Corfe Castle. Its rocky structure at the hill top and the greenery all around will surely take your breath away. The Cold wind and the bright sun surely added up to my visit. Was mesmerized to see the beauty.

 

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Swanage Railway Station

 

Swanage Railway Station is a beautiful station in Sawnage on the Isle Of Purbeck in the county of Dorset. The station was closed by British Govt in 1972. Later it was reopened as a heritage railway station which operates only from Corfe Castle to Swanage. Although it is just another railway station but there is certain beauty about it. the classic and heritage look of it makes it valuable and surely needs to be preserved. The long bells informing you about the arrival of the classic old train made me nostalgic and reminded me of the black and white movies era, only where I saw this kind of trains.

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LONDON BRIDGE

Feel fortunate to have visited LONDON. Just had a single day to cover the city which was next to impossible. Though I made my mind to cover as much as possible and not think too much about it. Wanted to soak it all in.

The historical London Bridge over the Themes River which flows through the city of London and Southwark in central London was very fascinating. After reading in the nursery poem [London bridge is falling down] finally I was standing tall on the bridge.

It has a great history of its own. Right from various wooden bridges over the river in (AD50–1176) then to the Stone Arch in the medieval period to today’s modern concrete bridge.

London Eye – Another tourist attraction. It really does stand by its name and acts as an eye to all, giving a spectacular view of London.

I was also fortunate to visit the —

Big Ban  |  Saint Cathedral  |  Trafalgar Square  |  Museum Of London  | Buckingham Palace

 

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Tired and feet swollen, I came back to my hotel late night and kept cherishing the moments I got to spent. And with a hope I will be back again someday 🙂

MAJNU-KA-TILLA (DELHI)

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The name itself sounds very historic and old. I have been breathing in Delhi (which is not at all pure now) from past 8 years and I kept hearing about this place. Several outings were discussed but couldn’t be executed. I kept creeping about it to my friends. My curiosity went to another level when people started talking about the mouthwatering and delicious cuisine sold by the local Tibetan People.

Finally the day arrived and we planned a day out to Majnu-Ka-Tilla.

I was super excited and couldn’t wait to try the delicious food. But to my

surprise it was not just the food I was fascinated about. The 

moment I reached the place my excitement began. You will feel 

you have reached another world altogether. 

Majnu-Ka-Tilla – The Main Entry

Majnu-Ka-Tilla is a Tibetan refugee colony in Delhi established in and around 1960. Officially its called New Aruna Nagar but famous as Majnu-Ka-Tilla because of its history. Its located between Yamuna river and Delhi’s outer ring road. According to history the literal meaning of Majnu-Ka-Tilla is ‘The Hillock of Majnu’ or ‘Tilla’ named after a Iranian Sufi “Abdulla” during Sikandar Lodhi era. It is said that he met the Sikh Guru Nanak during that era. He acted as ferryman and helped people cross Yamuna river for free. He regarded the act as service to God and mankind. Sikh Guru Nanak was totally mesmerized by his devotion and decided to stay at his mound for a longer period of time. Later a Sikh military leader constructed the Majnu-Ka-Tilla Gurudwara in honour of this incident.

Tibetan Settlement started way back from 1960 approx :p

Most residents from Majnu-ka-Tilla left Tibet at that time and resided at a small refugee camp near Yamuna river bank. The land was allotted to the Tibetan people by Govt. Today Majnu-Ka-Tilla can be called Mini Tibet.

Here the first language for the residents is still Tibetan. Its amazing to see monks passing by, new generation kids doing B Boying in front of the Monastery, foreigners taking pictures of the heritage buildings and handicrafts. AND THE FOOD Wow!!!

Wanna try authentic Tibetan and north east cuisine, this is the right place to hop in.

This place offer amazing authentic Tibetan, Northeastern and Chinese cuisine. You would find many restaurants by the roads and inside lanes. Street Food is a must, mainly do try “Laffing” 

Inside the small locality and many small lanes there are many handcraft and souvenir shop. Also high end fashionable clothes at a cheap price.

Lets sum it up by saying if you wanna explore Delhi from a different angle and a offbeat day out then Majnu-Ka-Tilla is the perfect place. The place is very light on the pocket and easy to explore.

Place – Majnu-Ka-Tilla, North Delhi

Reference – Locals and History

Camera – My Iphone 🙂

Escaping The Crowd ** Patong, Phuket

From the crowded and chaotic city Delhi my escape to Thailand seemed to be very fruitful. The moment I landed in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) I was skeptical and doubtful about the journey. From Bangkok to Phuket it was again 1 hour 30 minutes flight. I knew it would be a tiring journey. Anyways! I looked tired already.

As a common foreign holiday destination chosen by almost every Indian, I was no different. A budget travel with lots of fun and adventure. I was in immediate need of a vacation and things seemed to be perfectly fallen in place.

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Phi Phi Island

PATONG BEACH – From Phuket airport we headed straight to Patong Beach (1 hour trip) which was my destination. On the way to Patong Beach my excitement started to grow and I was fully prepared to live the moment. Somehow all my doubts vanished and I was sure it would be one of my best travel experience ever. The scenic beauty was superb. It felt like a genius photographer clicked the perfect pictures and pasted on my way.

Driver dropped me at the Patong Beach Resort booked for my stay and guess what, I was awestruck by the beauty of it. It was something unexpected. I could just stay at this hotel for the rest of my tour. It had the perfect blend of calm, relaxed and untroubled space. Rested early that evening as I was in need of tremendous energy for the next full day. A lot was coming my way.

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PHI PHI ISLANDOMG!! I am falling short of words to describe the beauty of it. From Patong Beach in a small boat they would take you through the most stunning and stupendous water journey ever. I was with my mouth open and stunned in the whole journey. I kept running like a kid all over the boat so that I don’t miss a single view from each corners. The blue and green clear water. The colourful boats and private yachts can be seen become the cherry on top.

In the Island you would see a lot of nomad travellers and explorers. Along the way inside the Island, there are flee markets everywhere with beach clothing, ornaments, souvenirs and street food. After lunch the group (incase I forgot to mention that I was included in a group Island tour) headed straight towards the water activities. Under Water walking, Banana Rides, Kayaking, Jetski and lots more.

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If I need to sum up my whole experience, I would say never seen such beautiful and never ending beach with lush blue water, polite and humble people and great street food.  Evenings at the beach were the best time to leave every oods, regrets, bad memories and tough time in life behind and just feel the calmness. My soul was at peace. Definitely going to visit again.

Few Opps and Gerrrrr!! – Although I couldn’t stay for longer and would love to explore more Islands in Phuket and dig deep down to the culture and their roots. And yes the scorching heat. I almost turned like a burned toast.

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