Motorcycle Diaries: Cold desert of Hanle, Ladakh

To reach a place as isolated in the Himalayas on motorbikes requires a heart full of courage and a spirit of adventure, other than a map of course or you could end up in China! Crossing some of the highest mountains passes in the world on broken, sometimes non-existing roads or mere dirt tracks to lead the way, it’s a challenging bone-chilling ride.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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,…

Baan Rim Pa – Phuket’s finest in Royal Thai Cuisine

Dining by the sea is one of my favorites. The sound of waves and the rustling leaves from the trees make soothing music and the moist air is so refreshing. All of this with delicious Thai food is almost sinful! Thailand has some amazing restaurants with delicious food and stunning views. The people are warm,…

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

A landscape looks great in a ‘landscape’ or Horizontal format but sometimes looks much more interesting in a vertical or ‘portrait’ format. Here are a series of landscapes of River Yamuna shot from the new Naini bridge in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, in horizontal and vertical format for the Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways. And some useful…

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…

Weekly photo challenge: The golden hour

The most positive & reflective moments that I’ve spent with myself have been watching the beautiful hues of the sky as the sun sets or the early morning light – the golden hour. Some of the pictures from this hour of the day, when the light is most dramatic & moody, for the Weekly photo challenge:…

Pushkar Lake & the Ghats

Pushkar is a small town near Ajmer in Rajasthan, situated around the charming Pushkar Lake, sacred to the Hindus. Other than the famous Brahma temple, there are more than 500 other temples in Pushkar. A dip in the holy lake is considered auspicious. The ghats (steps) are used to do religious rituals & ceremonies and for…

Evening at Angkor

After the sunrise experience at Angkor Wat,it was a must to see the temple in the light of the setting sun. So, the next day at dusk we head to the temple on our tuk-tuk. The temple is much more crowded at this time. Everyone is eager to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Angkor…