Breathless Himalayas: Crossing Chang La

As we climbed higher it became cooler passing through breathtaking Himalayan scenery. Pristine white snow-covered mountain roads are a sight to behold but they’re a tough climb. Riding in thin cold air through wet & slushy ice on the road was a challenge and the potholes added to the bumpy ride. Adding to the excitement one of our motorbikes broke down on the slippery road a few meters from Chang La pass!

Thai Fusion food at Wok Pagoda

I am not sure if it’s the love for seafood or the sea-view that lures me to Thailand from Singapore every few months, but it sure is great pigging out on all the mouth-watering Thai food with a view of the gorgeous blue sea, and the beaches are for real! 😉

Riding through the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Before we set out on our road trip through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, I was nervous about riding for the first time in a new country. It took me a while to get comfortable on the motorbike and let my eyes off the road to enjoy the scenic views. But after riding more than 1300 km through half of the country, I am convinced there is no better way to travel in Vietnam than on a motorbike! And the freedom of exploring a place riding on my own adds to the depth of my travel experiences.

Kashmir: A piece of Paradise!

I remember being overwhelmed by the exquisite beauty & scale of the Himalayas after my first trip to Ladakh, a Ride of a lifetime! Waking up to stunning views of Pir Panjal mountains on the historic Mughal road and Aharbal with gorgeous landscapes of pine-covered Himalayas, rivers gushing through the mountains, orchards laden with fruit and heart warming people, this was my first time in Kashmir. Already in awe of its beauty I was looking forward to less explored Lolab valley.

Old Mughal Road: A night to remember!

If it weren’t for the downpour that evening, we would’ve had a different experience riding through the road probably, maybe a more comfortable one. But I will always cherish our memories of that adventurous night on the historic Mughal road, where we not only got to ride on it we even slept on it for a night! 😉

Motorcycle Diaries: Offbeat Vietnam

Starting from bustling Ho Chi Minh City in the South to riding through the Vietnamese countryside with gorgeous landscapes of the Central highlands and paddy fields, rivers and emerald lakes, cruising through the misty cloud covered hills at Hai Van pass to the historic UNESCO cities of Hoi An & Hue in Central Vietnam, with excellent roads & amenities, delicious flavorful food, fresh Ca-Phe (coffee) and friendly Vietnamese people, it was an awesome experience to ride through half of Vietnam and experience the local way of life. The thrill of riding a motorbike and the freedom of going anywhere, was a dream realized… leaving me with yet another reverie, of the higher mountains of North Vietnam!

Rustic Kalaw, Myanmar

Surrounded by the misty blue Shan hills, Kalaw is a great place to relax, enjoy the view, other than cycling around exploring the town, to nearby monasteries, pagodas & the market. With beautiful views of the surrounding hills, it’s quite rewarding to spend time at the Buddhist monastery and see the daily life of young Buddhist monks who call it home.

Lotus weavers of Inle Lake, Myanmar

The most exceptional thing about the Intha people is the magic they weave with lotus fibers – Lotus textiles! A Buddhist symbol for purity the lotus flower is sacred in Buddhism and the textiles were first made for a Buddhist monk’s robe.

Magical Myanmar – Instagrammed

Did you know the Burmese use tea leaves as a food ingredient? Other than  brewing a tea, the leaves are fermented to make a special Burmese tea-leaf salad and its yum! Myanmar offered a varied set of experiences from historic temples to nature hikes in the hills and boat rides exploring life on a lake, but it was the delicious Burmese food, readily available salads (and avocado!) and the people who stole my heart!

Kumortuli: Where Goddesses are made

On the banks of Hooghly, in North Kolkata is a labyrinth of narrow lanes, older than the city and full of vibrant color and art, Kumortuli – the potter’s colony, where idols of Gods and Goddesses are made from scratch for the Hindu festival of Durga Puja. Various artists work on different stages of sculpting, painting & decorating the idol of Goddess Durga in the workshops here. Deeply engrossed in the making of the Goddess, they look meditative.

Blue Magic: Butterfly Pea flower Kheer

This post is to celebrate a decade of travelling and blogging; a visual treat for your eyes and taste buds, a creation inspired by my love for travel, food and photography – Blue Kheer – a sweet rice pudding from India! The beautiful blue color is from the petals of a Southeast Asian – Butterfly Pea Flower.

Charang Monastery: The most Holy temple of Kinnaur

Charang is a delightful little village near the Indo-Tibet border in Kinnaur – the less explored & non-touristy part of Himachal Pradesh in India. The Kinner Kailash Parikrama is considered incomplete without receiving blessings at the ancient 11th century Charang monastery also called the Rangrik Shungma – the most holy temple of Kinnaur.

Arunachal Pradesh: Land of the dawn-lit mountains

Two memorable weeks in the most remote parts of Arunachal Pradesh – Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains in North East India. Turquoise Lohit river flowing in all its glory, to the misty blue mountains of Walong in the Eastern Himalayas, wild jungles of Namdapha, tea gardens of Wakro, lush green rice fields of Miao, handmade bamboo houses on stilts, hanging bridges, cheerful happy people with a taste in music and the brilliant way locals sustain themselves on nature, liters of beer, bonfires and lots of memories…

Wild Ladakh

Other than mountain goats, sheep, horses and Yak that are commonly seen grazing around the pastures, the trans-Himalayan plateaus of Ladakh are home to several rare and endangered species of mammals and birds. The jaw-dropping scenery of Ladakh is mesmerizing enough and the exotic animals add magic (and perspective), to the scene!

Ladakh Blues – Enchanting Lakes of Ladakh

Countless shades of blue change with the falling light, turquoise blue waters merge into cobalt blue cloudless skies, reflecting in the ripples of water with a mosaic of colorful stones shining underneath; the Ladakh Blues!

Hidden treasure of Ladakh

Ladakh is famous for it’s stunning landscapes, peaceful & heartwarming people, dangerous mountain passes, extreme weather conditions, pristine high-altitude mountain lakes, unique wildlife and gorgeous ancient monasteries, but in this remote land there lies another hidden treasure thousands of years old…the prehistoric Rock Art paintings – some of the earliest expressions of our species, our artistic and cultural beginnings!

Delightful Charang

Kinnaur is the most beautiful and least explored part of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. Surrounded by harsh mountains, Charang Khas, a pretty little village at an altitude of 3500 meters in Morang, Kinnaur, is accessible only by foot, a trek through Thangi and Lambar.

Eternal Varanasi

River Ganges is the soul of Varanasi. The Ganges rises in the western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and is the longest river of India as well as the second greatest river in the world by water discharge. In Hinduism, river Ganges is considered sacred and personified as goddess Ganga. A boat ride over river Ganges at sunrise is the best way to experience the ghats.

Cooking for the soul

Cooking was not one of my favorite things to do, but eating authentic Thai food and watching it get cooked in front of me & plated in a matter of minutes, has changed that. The aroma and freshness of Thai food is both exhilarating and comforting to my senses! So this time in Phuket, while…

The Ramgarh Bungalows – Simple joys of Life

With a stunning view of the layered silhouetted mountains, fragrance of fresh flowers in the air, birds chirping, morning dew, a cup of chai and dreams still lingering in my mind, I wake up to a beautiful morning! A holiday in the hills is bliss, but a one at Ramgarh Bungalows is just short of…

Smiling faces of Ladakh

Mountains, monasteries, monks, memories…the magic of Ladakh! It’s difficult to take a bad photograph in a place like Ladakh. The light is so ethereal like in some dreams, and it’s not just the landscapes that are so hauntingly beautiful, but also the people of Ladakh who are always smiling 🙂 The smiles that tell the…

Ladakh – Ride of a lifetime!

Ladakh is ‘the land of high passes’, breath-taking landscapes, pristine lakes and gorgeous monasteries in the Himalayas. Travelling through this idyllic beauty of the mountains, peace & tranquility, warm-hearted people and the hair-raising adventure was the most unique, out of this world experience I’ve had – a dream trip to the roof of the world! 🙂

Kinner Kailash Parikrama Trek

Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama is one of the toughest treks in Himachal, around the holy Mount Kailash, also called Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur. It’s a 60 Km trek, which starts in Thangi through Charang, Lalan Ti, crossing Charang La pass (17,194 ft) and ends in Chitkul village – the last inhabited village accessible by road, near…

Coorg: Nature trails and a home-stay experience

Coorg or Kodagu in Karnataka, is a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, South India. A lush plantation wonderland infused with the intoxicating fragrance of coffee and spices, it’s a perfect get away from city life into the lap of nature. Much of Coorg is used for agriculture with coffee and pepper as the…

Untouched Kinnaur: Rusklang village, Ropa valley, Himachal

Kinnaur in northeast Himachal, surrounded by Tibet in the east, is the least explored and the second least populous district, after Lahaul & Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh, India. The old Hindustan-Tibet road, the ancient Silk Route, passes through Kinnaur along the banks of Sutlej River. Kinnaur Kailash is a peak (6500 meters) in Kinnaur, considered the…

Mt. Bromo : A volcanic vacation

One of the most awesome sunrises I saw was over the surreal, moon-like landscape of an active volcano – Mt. Bromo in East Java, near Surabaya, Indonesia. The name Bromo is from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation. It belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park named after the two mountains, Mount…

Enchanting streets of Pushkar

There is nothing like a walk on the street to experience the mood, culture and lifestyle of a place. And Pushkar is a town which is best seen on foot. It’s quite small and can be covered with in a few hours. The colorful little shops & cafes look fascinating against the backdrop of old buildings decorated with street art. The fresh…

Faces of India

“I would rather that my life remain a tear and a smile. A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence. “ From A tear and a smile by Khalil Gibran. Life is beautiful because of the deep and intense emotions we feel,…

Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama : Magnificent Desolation

I’ve always been awe-struck by the majestic Himalayas and wanted to explore them. Recently I got a chance to visit the Greater Himalayan belt for the Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama trek, and it was the most beautiful & unique travel experience I’ve had so far! It was difficult & demanding but it was truly a – once in a lifetime experience, as…

Food Photography : Chocolate

After shots of coffee and some fruits in my product food photography series, I decided to photograph chocolate, as it’s one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. So for all you chocolate lovers out there 🙂 The hand-made chocolate bars ( which are heavenly) are from the famous Italian pasticceria Brunetti from…

Bukit Brown Cemetery: A piece of Singapore’s history and heritage

In the midst of clean urban architecture and the beautifully maintained gardens of Singapore, one doesn’t expect to find any place that is totally wild, unkempt and peaceful. And yet such a place exists, right at the center of Singapore! Bukit Brown cemetery, in the heart of Singapore is an abandoned Chinese cemetery where the…

India Impressions : Corelle

World Kitchen LLC, a global leader in dinnerware, introduced the India Impressions series in August 2011. The dinnerware collection designed exclusively for the Indian market with modern Indian homes in mind, is available across all leading dinnerware stores in India. One of the designs – Melody, designed by Ritu Saini. (Read more) Melody : Inspired by Holi, the…

Happy New Year! :)

May you have good health, happiness, peace and prosperity throughout the New Year! Wishing you a joyful holiday season and great travels ahead! Cheers! 🙂

Go-Aaah! : Sunsets and Conversations

GOA is one of the most popular and peaceful states in India. Ranked on top for the best quality of life in India, Goa is renowned for beaches, parties, shopping, water sports, nature, history and food – a perfect travel destination for anyone! For me, it’s a place to relax and chill out with friends,…