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1. Lakshadweep

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Lakshadweep, India’s smallest Union Territory is an archipelago consisting of 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km forming 12 atolls three reefs, five submerged banks and ten inhabited islands known for its exotic beaches and lush green landscape. The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit means ‘a hundred thousand islands’.

All Islands are 220 to 440 km away from the coastal city Kochi in Kerala.

What are the main islands of Lakshadweep –Agatti, Amini, Andrott, Bangaram, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy (southern-most island of Lakshadweep). These are inhibited islands and based on the drinking water availability.

Telecommunication - Only BSNL and Airtel provides telecommunication services to Lakshadweep Islands. BSNL provides connectivity in all 10 inhabited islands whereas Airtel provides connectivity to Kavaratti and Agatti islands.

 

The amazing history of Lakshadweep full of stories

Early history of Lakshadweep is unwritten. Local traditions attribute the first settlement on these islands to the period of Cheraman Perumal, the last king of Kerala. It is believed that after his conversion to Islam, at the behest of some Arab merchants, he slipped out of his capital Cranganore, the present day Kodungallor – an old harbor town Kochi, for Mecca. When his disappearance was discovered, search parties went after him in sailing boats and left for the shores of Mecca, in search of the king from different places. It is believed that one of these sailing boats of Raja of Cannanore was struck by a fierce storm and they were shipwrecked on the island now known as Bangaram. From there they went to the nearby island of Agatti. Finally the weather improved and they returned to the mainland sighting other islands on their way. It is said that after their return another party of sailors and soldiers discovered the island of Amini and started living there. It is believed that the people sent there were Hindus. Even now unmistakable Hindu Social stratification exists in these islands despite Islam. Legends say that small settlements started in the Islands of Amini, Kavaratti, Andrott and Kalpeni first and later people from these islands moved to the other islands of Agatti, Kiltan, Chetlat and Kadmat.

 

Another story –

The advent of Islam dates back to the 7th century around the year 41 Hijra. It is universally believed that one St.Ubaidullah(r) while praying at Mecca fell asleep. He dreamt that Prophet Mohammed(s) wanted him to go to Jeddah and take a ship from there to go to distant places. Thus, he left Jeddah but after sailing for months, a storm wrecked his ship near these small Islands. Floating on a plank he was swept ashore on the island of Amini. He fell asleep there but again dreamt of the Prophet asking him to propagate Islam in that Island. Ubaidullah started doing so. But this enraged the headman of the island and he ordered his exit at once. St. Ubaidullah(r) stood firm. Meanwhile, a young woman fell in love with him. He gave her the name Hameedat Beebi and married her. This further offended the headman and he decided to kill him. It is said that the headman and his henchmen surrounded Ubaidullah(r) and his wife to kill them. At once St.Ubaidullah(r) called up on the Almighty and the people were struck blind. At this time St.Ubaidullah(r) and his wife disappeared and as soon as they left the island people regained their eye sight.From Amini St.Ubaidullah(r) arrived at Andrott where he met with similar opposition but he succeeded finally in converting the people to Islam. He next went to other islands and successfully propagated Islam and returned to Andrott where he died, and was buried. The grave of St.Ubaidullah(r) is today a sacred place. Preachers from Androttare respected deeply in far off lands like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma etc. It is a marabout or Mukbara.

 

Another story of Laccadives–

The Arrival of the Portuguese in India again made Laccadives an important place for seafarers. It was also the beginning of years of plunder for the islands. The finely spun coir was much sought after for ships. So the Portuguese started looting island vessels. They forcibly landed at Amini to procure coir sometime in the early 16th century, but it is said that the people killed all the invaders by poisoning, ending the Portuguese invasion.

Even after the conversion of the entire islands to Islam, sovereignty remained in the hands of the Hindu Rajah of Chirakkal for some years. From the hands of the Chirakkal Raja, the Administration of the island passed on to the Muslim house of Arakkal of Cannanore around the middle of the 16th century. The Arakkal rule was oppressive and unbearable. So sometime in the year 1783 some islanders from Amini took courage and went to Tipu Sultan at Mangalore and requested him to take over the Administration of Amini group of islands. Tipu Sultan at that time was on friendly terms with Beebi of Arakkel and after deliberations, the islands of Amini group were handed over to him. Thus the islands suzerainty came to be divided as five came under the rule of Tipu Sultan and the rest continued under Arakkal house. After the battle of Seringapattom in 1799 the islands were annexed to the British East India Company and were administered from Mangalore. In 1847, a severe cyclone hit the island of Andrott and Raja of Chirakkal decided to visit the island in order to assess the damages and for distributing relief. ANOTHER BRITISH GAME An officer of the East India Company Sir William Robinson volunteered to accompany him. On reaching Andrott, the Rajah found it difficult to meet all the demands of the people. Sir William then offered the Rajah help in the form of a loan. This was accepted. This arrangement continued for about four years but when the interest started mounting, the English asked the Rajah to repay them which he could not. In 1854 all the remaining islands were handed over to the East India Company for Administration. so, came the British rule.

 

The Union Territory was formed in 1956 and it was named Lakshadweep in 1973.

 

Lakshadweep Permit - The entry to Lakshadweep islands is restricted. One requires an entry permit issued by Lakshadweep Administration to visit these islands.

 

Foreigners are restricted to the islands of Agatti, Bangaram and Kadmat, plus transit only (maximum of 12 hours) in Kavaratti. Indians may visit the other islands as well, but accommodation is very limited

 

How to get around on Lakshadweep island

Boat and helicopter transfers are available from Agatti to Bangaram and Kadmat. The helicopter (USD 150 return) may be the only option in monsoon season from May to September.

By boats/ferries: These can be used for getting around from one island to the other but are very costly.

Once on an island, there aren't too many options as the islands themselves are very small: most of them are less than 10 km in length and less than a kilometer in breadth between their extremes. You can travel by foot or hire a bicycle.

 

Where to stay

There are three full-service resorts in Lakshadweep (though one of them, the Bangaram Island Resort, is currently not operating), which are also the only places where foreigners can stay. All prices listed below are for double rooms and include all meals.

  • Agatti Island Beach Resort Privately owned, but quite run down; although apparently new cottages are planned. The main attraction is diving, which is better than at Bangaram. 20 beds. edit
  • Kadmat Island Resort The choice of scuba divers, this is home to Lakshadweep's first scuba facility. 22 executive huts, 26 family huts. Government-run and basic.₹3000/4000 fan/air-con. edit

 

In addition, basic government resorts open to Indian citizens only are available at Minicoy, Kavaratti and Kalpeni. Some packages offered by sports include accommodation on board the ship, with only day visits to the islands.

How to reach Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep Island can be reached by ships and flights operated from Kochi. For all tourist purposes Kochi is the gate way to Lakshadweep. Agatti and Bangaram islands can be reached by flight from Kochi. Indian Airlines operate flights from Kochi. Onward flights from Kochi are available to most of the airports in India and abroad. Airstrip is there in Agatti island only. From Agatti boats are available to Kavaratti and Kadmat during fair season October to May. Helicopter transfer is available from Agatti to Bangaram Island Resort during monsoon and to Kavaratti throughout the year. The flight from Cochin to Agatti takes approximately one hour and thirty minutes.

 

Six passenger ships - MV Kavaratti, MV Arabian Sea, MV Lakshadweep Sea, MV Amindivi and MV Minicoy operate between Cochin and Lakshadweep. The passage takes 14 to 18 hours depending on island chosen for journey. The ships offer different classes of accommodation: A/C First Class with two berth cabins, A/C Second Class with four berth cabins and push back/Bunk Class with A/C seating. A doctor is available on call on board. MV Amindivi and MV Minicoy also offer comfortable A/C seating ideal for a night’s journey.

For Lakshadweep holiday call Navigers on +91-9880-240-988

or click this to see the holidays available https://www.navigers.com/package_trips/search_results?country=India&pickup_location=Lakshadweep&days=

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2. Visa Requirement For Myanmar

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Visa requirement for Myanmar

From December 2016, Singapore passport holders can visit Myanmar for 30 days without a visa. This
exemption is not applied for foreigners who live or work in Singapore. The mutual signed by Singapore
and Myanmar government also allows Burmese tourists to visit Singapore without a visa.

A similar agreement amongst Asian countries including Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Philippines, Thailand,
Cambodia and Myanmar indicates that the citizens of these countries can travel to Myanmar for 14 days
for purpose of tourism without a visa.

The restriction of the agreement shows that free visa is only for those who arrive by Yangon, Mandalay
or Naypyidaw international airport.

Accordingly, travellers from America, Europe, Africa and other countries in Asia need to obtain Myanmar
Visa.

From late 2014, Myanmar Government has created a new system which enables travellers to obtain
an electronic visa for Myanmar. This system supports citizens from more than 100 countries to obtain visa
easier for their travel to Myanmar. Please contact us if you want to apply for Myanmar visa

Myanmar e visa can be applied if you are entering from these airports / Ports / Checkpoints

  1. Yangoon
  2. Mandalay
  3. Nay Pyi Taw
  4. Tachileik Land Border checkpost
  5. Myawaddy Land border chekpost
  6. Kawthaung Land border chekpost

Visa Fee

The total Government fee is US $50/ person or application. There is no discount or a cheaper price if you
apply for a group. Navigers processing fee is $25 per visa forex and 5% government tax. Pls fill the visa
form or call us

The visa is single entry and you are not able to travel to Thailand then return without having a second
visa. We strongly advise you to study their website carefully before you apply since the visa fee is
nonrefundable.

Special notices


1. E-Visa is good for both tourist and business Myanmar Visa
2. This visa is not for all border gates or airports, please check the latest update Myanmar Visa News
3. Your passport must be valid for 6 months from the time you enter the country.
4. Tourist visa is valid for 28 days from the date of arrival, business visa is for 70 days
5. Payment should be done by credit, visa card, no cash or banking option.
6. Visa fee is non-refundable
7. Contact the government support team on phone if you need more information
8. You should apply for the visa at least 1 week before arrival and no sooner than 3 months prior to your
travel date.

Requirement


1. Your full name in the passport :
2. Your father`s full name:
3. Your date of birth and place of birth:
4. Passport number, issued date, expired date

5. Your address, telephone and email.
6. Your occupation:
7. Date of arrival and flight number:
8. Date of departure and flight number:
9. Your visiting plan: at least the name of the first hotel
10. Your photo in jpeg, pdf, word extension

E-visa is applicable for 100 countries including

1.    Albania         51. Kenya
2.    Algeria         52. Korea, DPR
3.    Argentina       53.  Korea, Republic
4.    Australia       54. Kuwait
5.    Austria         55.  Kyrgyzstan
6.    Bangladesh       56.  Laos
7.    Belarus         57. Latvia
8.    Belgium         58. Lithuania
9.    Bhutan           59. Luxembourg
10.    Bolivia         60. Malaysia
11.    Bosnia         61. Maldive
12.    Brazil         62. Malta
13.    Brunei         63. Mauritius
14.    Bulgaria       64. Mexico
15.    Cambodia       65. Monaco
16.    Cameroon       66. Mongolia
17.    Canada         67. Morocco
18.    Chile           68. Nepal
19.    China           69. Netherlands
20.    Colombia       70. New Zeland
21.    Costa Rica     71. Norway
22.    Côte d’Ivoire   72. Pakistan
23.    Croatia         73. Panama
24.    Cyprus         74. Peru
25.    CZECH           75. Philippines
26.    Denmark         76. Poland
27.    Ecuador         77. Portugal
28.    Egypt           78. Qatar
29.    Eritrea         79. Romania
30.    Estonia         80. Russia
31.    Fiji           81. Saudi Arabia
32.    Finland         82. Serbia
33.    France         83. Singapore
34.    Georgia         84. Slovakia
35.    Germany         85. Slovenia
36.    Ghana           86. South Africa
37.    Greece         87. Spain
38.    Guatemala       88.  Sri Lanka
39.    Guinea         89. Sweden
40.    Hungary         90. Switzerland
41.    Iceland         91. Thailand
42.    India           92. Turkey
43.    Indonesia       93. Uganda
44.    Ireland         94. Ukraine
45.    Israel         95. United Kingdom
46.    Italy           96.  United States of America
47.    Jamaica         97. Uruguay
48.    Japan           98. Uzbekistan
49.    Jordan         99. Venezuela
50.    Kazakhstan     100. Vietnam

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3. Myanmar Road Encounters

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According to Myanmar law, you are not allowed to rent the car without driver so it has to be the best invention ever – it’s a motorbike

The road should be kicked off from Mandalay, the biggest city in north Myanmar going down south to capital Yangon. It is more than just an ordinary sightseeing since you are not only to visit Myanmar Heritage sites but also see the different villages in the remote area. It usually takes 12 to 13 days depending how many days you are adding to explore Yangon and other major places like Inle lake
 

Mandalay - PyinOoLwin - Shwe Bo - Monywa - Bagan - Magwe - Pyu - Yangon - Naypyidaw - Inle Lake – Mandalay

  1. Mandalay to PyinOoLwin = 66 km
  2. PyinOoLwin to Shwe Bo = 167 km
  3. Shwebo to Monywa = 101 km
  4. Monywa to Bagan = 153 km
  5. Bagan to Magway = 152 km
  6. Magway to Phyu = 313 km
  7. Phyu to Yangon = 235 km
  8. Yangon to Naypyitaw = 367 km
  9. Naypyitaw to Inle Lake = 230 km
  10. Inle Lake to Mandalay = 261 km

 

Essential South Myanmar
Follow the ancient trail of Mon Kingdom, exploring the authenticity of Yangon, Hpa An, Golden Rock and Mawlamyine. The experience focuses on the cultural interaction which varies beautifully from vibrant cities to monasteries, Shampoo island to famous Golden Rock.  It usually takes 7 to 8 days depending how many days you are adding to explore Yangoon and other places


Brief itinerary: Yangon - Bago - Kyaikhtiyo - Mawlamyine - Hpa An - Yangon

  1. Yangon - Bago = 119 km
  2. Bago – Kyaikhtiyo = 107 km
  3. Kyaikhtiyo – Mawlamyine = 153 km
  4. Mawlamyine - Hpa An = 57 km
  5. Hpa An to Yangon = 287 km

 

Myanmar larger circuit –

Option 1 - Min. 15 days circuit

  1. Mandalay to PyinOoLwin = 66 km
  2. PyinOoLwin to Shwe Bo = 167 km
  3. Shwebo to Monywa = 101 km
  4. Monywa to Bagan = 153 km
  5. Bagan to Magway = 152 km
  6. Magway via Naypyitawto Phyu = 313 km
  7. Phyu to Yangon = 235 km
  8. Yangon - Bago = 119 km
  9. Bago – Kyaikhtiyo = 107 km
  10. Kyaikhtiyo – Mawlamyine = 153 km
  11. Mawlamyine - Hpa An = 57 km
  12. Hpa An to Taungoo = 383 km
  13. Taungooto Naypyitaw = 115 km
  14. Naypyitaw to Inle Lake = 230 km
  15. Inle Lake to Mandalay = 261 km

 

Option 2 – Min. 14 days circuit

  1. Mandalay to PyinOoLwin = 66 km
  2. PyinOoLwin to Shwe Bo = 167 km
  3. Shwebo to Monywa = 101 km
  4. Monywa to Bagan = 153 km
  5. Bagan to Magway = 152 km
  6. Magway via Naypyitawto Phyu = 313 km
  7. Phyu to Yangon = 235 km
  8. Yangon - Bago = 119 km
  9. Bago – Kyaikhtiyo = 107 km
  10. Kyaikhtiyo – Mawlamyine = 153 km
  11. Mawlamyine - Hpa An = 57 km
  12. Hpa An to Naypyitaw = 473 km
  13. Naypyitaw to Inle Lake = 230 km
  14. Inle Lake to Mandalay = 261 km

Happy BiKing.!!

For Any help on Myanmar Holiday, you can reach us @ travel@Navigers.com / navigers@gmail.com

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4. How To Cross India Myanmar Border

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How to cross India Myanmar border


Since Myanmar opens its door to the world, more official borders are opening for travellers who wish
to do overland journeys from neighbouring countries to Myanmar. At the present, you can travel from
Myanmar to Thailand, China and India with certain border gates. Up to 2016, there are no international
border checkpoints to enter Myanmar from Laos or Bangladesh.

India Myanmar Border


In the remote north west of Myanmar, a crossing exists between Moreh (India, Manipur state) and
Tamu (Myanmar, Sagaing Division). If you want to enter or leave Myanmar here, you will need to book a
special travel package by filling out this form (you must apply at least one month in advance of your
travel date).


Although permits are required for border crossing, foreigners can now travel in these parts of Sagaing
Division (Myanmar) and Manipur State (India) freely.
The India-Myanmar border in the far north of Kachin State at Pangsau Pass is currently shut to
foreigners.


We offer a range of overland tours to Myanmar, but please note that we are not able to issue border
crossing permits as a stand-alone item - if you book through us you must take a guided tour for at least
part of your journey; this is mandated for tour companies by the Myanmar government and we must
always ensure the safety of our clients.

How to cross-border from Thailand to Myanmar


Thailand Myanmar Borders
If you are planning to cross the border by land, to check that there have been no closures before
commencing your journey. Also, make sure that you have the relevant visas arranged (or are eligible for
a visa exemption if crossing from Myanmar into Thailand).
These are the crossing between Thailand and Myanmar:

1. Mae Sot / Myawaddy
One of the most popular crossing points, Mae Sot is located in the Thai province of Tak. It is
well-connected by bus on the Thai side, and onward transportation when in Myanmar is also
relatively straight-forward. Mawlamyine and Yangon are easy to reach, allowing you to connect
to other parts of the country.

2. Ranong / Kawthoung

This is the most convenient crossing for people who are continuing to Myanmar from Southern
Thailand. Ideal for beach lovers, you can catch onward boats to some of Myanmar’s dazzling
beaches and islands. The boat crossing between the two countries takes around 20 minutes, and
there are regular boat services.

3. Mae Sai / Tachilek
Mae Sai is within Thailand’s province of Chiang Rai. Whilst foreign tourists can easily cross the
border into Myanmar, there are still limitations as to onward transportation.


4. Phu Nam Ron / Htee Khee
Ban Nam Phu, located in Thailand’s province of Kanchanaburi, is a remote town with a border
crossing into Myanmar. Crossing to Htee Khee, the nearest major town on the Myanmar side is
Dawei, which is about a five-hour drive from the border. Arranging onward transportation may be difficult, particularly during the rainy season.

 

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5. Misty Munnar A Refreshing Weekend Getaway

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This is not my first backpacking “planned” trip away from bustling crowded namma Bengaluru but this time the word “planned” was missing and hence the adventure was at its peak.

Priyam again turned out to be a savior in this random trip and finally we boiled down to head to Munnar on a long weekend. After deciding on the place, problem was to find a good stay at Munnar during long weekend and again Navigers team was there to help us and they booked Estate residency at Munnar for us. Accompanied by friends from last trip to hampi, Manzil and Ankit also joined the party. Just to mention, Manzil started her journey from hyderbad to Munnar via Bengaluru. (Kitni velli h ye)

Navigers.com helped us in providing the cab at best prices and that too during peak demand season.

So the fun begins……

Started the journey on 26th early morning around 2am with AUX equipped cab, manzil carrying UNO cards, priyam with his acoustic guitar, ankit with his poker chips and obviously me to bakar around.

Singing, sleeping, playing, eating and repeating the same again, We first landed at grapevine yard Munnar on 26th morning 9am.

I have never seen before such huge quantity of free grapes, hanging at no cost, infront of my eyes and how can I miss the opportunity to grab few.


As we were approaching close to Munnar, roads seem to be unfriendly and treacherous. Every mile, there is a construction with narrow roads and blockheads.

10 hrs of seemingly smooth journey turned to 14 hrs hours of long tiring drive, but the hotel stay made our day worth spending with scenic view from my room.

Being dead hungry, we decided to munch at some goodrestaurant and that’s how we landed at forestglade.

We played poker, played guitar with songs(some mind blowing voices :P) and had some refreshing non alcoholic wine to conclude our day.

Next day, early morning.. Ahh gosh.. I still remember… it took mammoth efforts to dislodge these guys from the bed, but somehow all got ready in 1 hr and we started off our journey to Mattupetty Dam and Tea Museum.

Full road blocks due to long weekend, we decided to walk half a mile to reach matupetty dam and finally tried our hands on pedal boat.

After lunch at 3pm, driving way back to see Tea Museum and really bewildered to see the fermentation, drying and packaging happening on such a large scale at TATA tea museum.After reaching hotel at 5pm, but something keeps us buzzing and that was to see the traditional Indian martial arts show- PUNARJANI. I would say that 1 hour show was the showstopper of the trip, with some jaw dropping martial arts presentation by local boys and at the end of the show we dint miss the chance to take few clicks with skilled martial arts guys.

Again concluded our day with sumptuous dinner and with guitar being played by our music maestro priyam.

Last day we headed to Eravikulam national park, Lakkam waterfalls and finally drove back to Namma Bengaluru.

Yes, we do took munnar chips, home made chocolates for our hungry Bengaluru friends :)

 

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6. Get Australian Visa

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All you wanna know about Australian visa - Get Australian tourist visa quickly

If you want to go to Australia and you want Australian visa these are the conditions apply to an Australian eVisa (ETA)?

1. Tourism purposes only.

2. Valid for multiple visits within 12 months from the date of issue.

3. Maximum length of each visit is 3 months.

4. Your passport must have at least 6 months left before expiry from the date you wish to enter Australia.

5. Work is not allowed, you may however undertake business activities such as enquiries, contractual negotiations and attending conferences.

6. You must not study for more than 3 months.

7. You must be free from tuberculosis.

8. You must not have any criminal convictions for which you have been sentenced for a total combined period of 12 months or more, whether or not the sentence(s) were served.

9. Docuents - Passport copy, Pic, Air tickets, itinerary approx and first day hotel booking voucher

10 .Price - Australian visa will cost you around INR 10,000.

Pls contact Navigers.com to get Australia visa http://www.navigers.com/pages/contact_us

 

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7. How To Spend 5 Days In Singapore

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I loved my Singapore holiday and here is the snapshot of my 5 days in Singapore

Day 1 - On our first day in Singapore, I kept it low-key and was exploring the historical parts of the city. Travelling is exhausting even if you're only in the air for a few hours. A little jet-lagged and travel-weary. We went to Singapore Art Museum. Opened in 1996, the museum houses the largest collection of modern Southeast Asia artworks. From there, it's just a short walk to the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore's oldest and largest museum and the keeper of the 11 National Treasures.

 

Day 2 – We could have theoretically spent our entire Singapore vacation on Sentosa Island and never run out of things to do. Sentosa - crystal blue water lapping against the white sandy beach, while coconut trees sway in the gentle breeze. Tanjong beach on Sentosa is the best spot for relaxing "peace and tranquility"on Sentosa Island. We played volley ball there. 

Silosa Beach is for the sporty types who like to play beach volleyball, and Palawan Beach is great if you want to stay close to all the action. EAT "must-have" Black Pepper Crabs. And Hainanese Chicken Rice.

I took a tram to Siloso Point and walk into Sentosa Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon. "Meet the Dolphins and Fu Seals" show. We were a little adventurous type and spent the rest of the afternoon at the MegaZip Adventure Park, where I flew above the tree canopy on a zip line. I didn’t try Sentosa CineBlast. - virtual rollercoaster. Later We went for dinner at Silk Road on Palawan Beach. The neatest thing about this contemporary restaurant is that its menu is based on the places along Marco Polo's route from North and South China to Venice, back in the 13th century. I finished by 7:30pm, as I didn’t want to miss Wings of Time.

 

Day 3 – We went to Marina Bay for some popular tourist attractions and  a bit leisurely. I strolled along the Waterfront Promenade, I could see iconic Marina Bay Sands. I later went to Esplanade Theatres for a show and later went through the shops of the Esplanade Mall.

We went to The Banyan Tree Gallery and it is a neat store that sells handcrafted goods made by local artisans. Afternoon We went to Singapore Flyer. Although it’s known for being the world's largest observation wheel, there is so much more to do than just soar high above the city in one of their special capsules. I did fly a plane..na na not the real one but almost real, in an awesome flight simulator and zipped around the track used by drivers for the famous Singapore GP F1 Night Race in a super-classy, super-fast sports car.

Late evening, I spent at Merlion Park when the sun is about to sat. This is the best place to take a few shots of the beautiful Marina Bay with the iconic Merlion and Marina Bay Sands in the background.

I took Boat Quay, a historical strip along Singapore River. Clarke Quay, not far away, is typically more popular among tourists, but Boat Quay has just as much to offer. Its less noisy.

 

Day 4 - The Chinese Garden, also known as Jurong Gardens, provides a stunning array of traditional Chinese gardens set against the architectural beauty of a 7-storey Pagoda and a gorgeous arch bridge. In the Gardens of Abundance section, one of the newest gardens, you'll marvel at the 100-year old pomegranate trees nestled among statues representing the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals.

Admission to the main garden and Bonsai garden are free. However, ticket prices for entrance to the Garden of  Abundance and Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum are $2 for Adults, $1 for Children and $5 for Adult, $3 for Children respectively.

We went for Night Safari riding a tram through the Himalayan Foothills, Indian Subcontinent, the Burmese Hillside and more before getting out and walking along the interconnected trails under the moon light. You also won't want to miss the highlight of this tour - Creatures of the Night Show.

Day 5 - Singapore is a shopping paradise, from massive malls to open-air boutiques.

I headed to Orchard Road to empty our wallet. For full, cultural experience, head to Chinatown.

Little India – Just like India

I skipped the large common-goods shopping malls and went to Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium, just a block away from the heart of Chinatown, selling Chinese goods ranging from traditional medicine to porcelain figures. Visit the second floor lobby for an amazing selection of Chinese tea, from the inexpensive loose-leaf teas to costly teapots.

I picked up some bak kwa (barbecued meat). Wander along the vendor-packed Pagoda, Sago and Trengganu streets , and pick up some gorgeous fine silk, jade jewellery and Singapore souvenir t-shirts.

Departure :(

 

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8. Market On The Railway Tracks Experience Thailand Maeklong Railway Market

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Unique Markets - Maeklong Railway Market of Bangkok, Thailand

Maeklong Railway Market, is a unique market that is held every day literally on the rail tracks.

Maeklong Railway Market, nicknamed as Talat Rom Hup, meaning the "umbrella pulldown market".

 

It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, and is centred on the Maeklong Railway's track.

The action at this busy market begins few minutes before the train is due to pass through the market. As soon as the siren signals the arrival of the train, the shoppers will hop off the tracks, and vendors will quickly pack their goods and prepare to close/retract their awnings from the train track as the train passes by.

 

 

Once the train is gone, its business as usual as if nothing happened. 

 

This is a usual event for locals since 1905; but it is an out of the world experience for all the tourists come to this market, just to witness this.  

 

Train schedule:

These are the times the train is scheduled to pass through the market 6:20am, 9:45am, 10:20am, 1:45pm, 2:30pm, 6:22pm.

 

How to reach:

This famous Maeklong Railway Market is at a distance of 82 kms from Bangkok. 

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9. Thailand Visa

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Thailand is one of the favorite holiday destination for tourists from India.

You can avail 2 types of Visas for travelling to Thailand.
(1) Take Visa on Arrival on Thai airports
(2) Apply for Thailand Tourist Visa for stay more than 30 day

 

The VISA ON ARRIVAL allows passport holders of 19* countries to enter Thailand under this rule provided that they meet these requirements:

(1) The visit is strictly for tourism purposes.
(2) The passport must be genuine and should be valid for at least 30 days.
(3) You must have a valid address in Thailand whether a hotel or apartment that can be verified. (Atleast 1 day of hotel booking is mandatory)
(4) You must have a confirmed return ticket to show that they are flying out of Thailand within 15 days of entry
(5) It will also be necessary to prove that you have funds of at least 10,000 THB (250 USD) per person and 20,000 THB (500 USD) per family during your stay in Thailand.
(6) A fee of 1,000 THB (decreased from 2,000 Baht) is payable upon entry and is subject to change without notice. It must be paid in cash and Thai currency only.
(7) Submit one 4 x 6 cm. headshot photo taken no longer than 6 months.  

 


Apply For Visa before You Travel
If you’re in Thailand for longer than the 30 days, then you can pre-emptively apply for Visa to the Royal Thai Embassy. The regular tourist Visa can be obtained from the Royal Thai Consulate General present at New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

It takes 3 to 5 working days for visa processing.

 

Here is the list of Thailand's international airports were Visa on Arrival service is available:
• Don Muang Airport, Bangkok
• Phuket International Airport
• Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)
• Samui Airport, Surat Thani
• Chiangmai International Airport
• Hatyai International Airport, Songkla

 


And here is the list of countries eligible for the Thailand Visa on Arrival (VOA):
• Andorra
• Bulgaria
• Bhutan
• China
• Cyprus
• Ethiopia
• Fiji
• India
• Kazakhstan
• Latvia
• Lithuania
• Maldives
• Malta
• Mauritius
• Papua New Guinea
• Romania
• San Marino
• Saudi Arabia
• Taiwan
• Ukraine
• Uzbekistan

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10. Wanderlust Wayanad A Welcome Break

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The stage was set- hectic office hours with lot of messing around with data, chaotic atmosphere, stagnant numbers with no signs of growth, ball being passed from one court to another with no resolution around, extremely scorching weather acting as on add-on and thus that called for a much needed welcome break.

2 friends (me and my friend priyam) -No planning, just a thought to explore the weekend outside Bangalore on a Friday night where there is peace in nature, poised weather, great natural ambience to stay and no laptop buzzing around. A google search of 5 minutes landed us to unanimously unravel Wayanad.

With an object oriented approach in mind to explore Wayanad and thanks to Navigers for fulfilling the procedural operational issues in terms of cab booking and a driver guide familiar to Wayanad sightseeing for 3 days. A quick google search for the best places to see in wayand resulted in finalizing few places for 2N/3D wanderlust- eddakal caves, chembra peak, pookode lake, sochipara falls, kuruvadweep and Banasura sagar dam.

 

With basic travel toolkit in hand- a water bottle, set of clothes, dental kit, DSLR and shades complete our itinerary for the travel. Started at 2am in the morning, seemed to be an entire different Bangalore as against what it is supposed to be in the day, reached the first kaleidoscopic spot of Wayanad at around 9am – Eddakal caves. Fascinated with the reviews on various blogs about this place, we decided to have a glimpse of this artistic naturally carved beauty. Eddakal caves contains the ancient script of homo sapiens and we decided to sneak peak into the calligraphy carved out on the rocks, got to know how during those days homo sapiens used to protect themselves from harsh weather and animal danger.

Before check-in at Hotel Haritagiri, Kalpetta(Wayanad) we already ambushed ourselves in Eddakal caves and then after 2 hours of rest on the swimming pool couches at the hotel, we made our next move to the hysterically famous peak chembra peak. Broken roads, narrow creeks, whirling winds, cab running at 20Kmph, howling sounds and sun setting slowly resulted in creeping of some fear in our minds. So we decided not to spent much time on top of the chembra peak, with quick snaps taken on the top, we decided to retrace our footsteps back to hotel.

 

Next morning, Our schumacher ferrari driver decided to take us to man made island- Kuruvadweep. Lying on the outskirts of wayanad, close to 70kms from kalpetta, we reached in just 45 minutes and had a quick check-in with the tickets. We enjoyed the bamboo rafting at the island and took some snaps on the dangerous slippery man made carved rocks at the island to relinquish ourselves from the scorching heat. Sochipara falls was a failure as there was no water due to absence of monsoon.

2nd Day evening, we explored pookode lake with boating for an hour on a lotus filled marshy lake and then quickly made our way to Lakiddi view point which lies on the border of wayand and Cochin. An absolute mesmerizing beauty with breathtaking moving clouds touching the feet of Lakkidi mountains


3rd Morning was actually a showstopper of the trip with mind boggling scenic experience of Banasura Sagar Dam- a must see beauty before anyone concludes the Wayanand trip. Lying on the tributary of Kabini river, this largest earthern dam in India and proudly the second largest in Asia, gives an absolute awe-inspiring jitters to the mankind. Marshy mangroves with wild fauna staring at us from other corner of the dam enthralls both of us to take a speedy boat and have a walk the talk with the beauty of Banasura sagar dam. Banasura encompasses everything- a 1 km trek to reach the top of the dam, a mammoth solar panel to shade the customers from scorching heat, a speedy boat ride to explore the jungle area of Banasura dam plus warning signs at few places sighting the view of water floating snakes to be beware of. 

I forgot to tell that yes we did try some adventurous sports activity at Banasura sagar dam like dirt motor biking, archery and shooting which concluded our Banasura trip

Finally, A much needed welcome break with memories to cherish forever concluded with a wayanad trip. A highly recommended place to take a quick break from Bangalore rusty weather and of course a place away from the office mess. Thanks to Navigers for being with us throughout ..Memories :)

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