SOLO TRAVEL TO SOUTH AFRICA,ZIMBABWE AND ZAMBIA

From breathtaking scenery of coastal region to bustling city nightlife, from sun soaked white sand beach to famous national park full of magnificent big five, all of this makes south Africa a exotic travel destination. Here is my story of solo travelling along the country’s coastal region along with one of the spectacular attraction in the world, the Victoria falls located at Zimbabwe-Zambia border.

SOUTH AFRICA

CAPE PENINSULA

CAPE POINT

Located at the tip of cape peninsula in the table mountain national park,this is the most popular site to explore.The view of the horizon and the deep blue sea from the sheer cliffs towering over 200 mt. above the sea level is the real treat of eyes.Hiking the trail to iconic old light house and the new one are well worth.

CAPE OF GOOD HOPE

It is located just 2 km south-west of cape point and is the most south-western point of the African continent.Go for a hike from cape point to cape of good hope along the high cliff and make sure to make a stop at Dias beach.

DIAS BEACH

Spectacular beach surrounded by high cliffs located in between cape point and cape of good hope.Easily accessible from the cliff by a wooden stair.

The best way to explore the cape peninsula is by 2 days trek with night stay near cape point.You can book it through https://www.sanparks.org/

Only problem is that they don’t allow solo.You have to be in the group of atleast 2 pax.You can also explore it by self driving,biking and cycling.

For solo traveller one of the most convenient and cheapest option is Buzbus.They cover the hout bay,duiker island seal colony,cape peninsula,cycling and hiking in cape reserve and boulder’s beach penguin colony.

HOUT BAY -DUIKAR ISLAND SEAL COLONY

It is a fishing village surrounded by mountains from three side and atlantic ocean to the south.The main attraction is the boat ride to duiker island which is full of cape fur seals.

CHAPMAN’S PEAK DRIVE

This is a spectacular mountain cliff road on the vertical slope of chapman peak mountain overlooking the atlantic ocean connecting the hout bay and noordhock.The best way to appreciate the view is by cycling or biking.

CHAPMAN PEAK

The mountain is located in between hout bay and noordhock.There are many hiking trail surrounding the mountain area and to the peak.From the peak the view of the atlantic ocean,hout bay,fish hoek,gordon’s bay and the mountain range are breathtaking.

SIMON’S TOWN-BOULDER’S BEACH PENGUIN

It is located on the shores of false bay.Main attraction is the boulder’s beach.There are a colony of african penguins since 1985.

CAPE TOWN

Magnificent coastal city nestled in between mountains and atlantic ocean,one of the popular travel destination in south africa.

TABLE MOUNTAIN

This is the most iconic mountain of cape town.The view from the top is spectacular.There are a cable car to the top.But if you are a adventure lover then hiking is the best way to explore the mountain and spend your time on the lap of nature.

I spent a whole day in the mountain hiking and exploring the valleys and gorges.I took the pipe track trail and kasteelspoort trail to hike up the mountain.Then went to old cableway station,valley of the red gods,echo valley and then took the skeleton gorge to hike down the mountain to the kirstenbosch national botanical garden.

LION’S HEAD

Located just end of the atlantic ocean towering over 669mt above the sea level.The hiking to the top is very thrilling and the 360 degree view from the top is breathtaking.Highly recommended to go before sunset.

SIGNAL HILL AND NOON GUN

Flat topped hill beside the lion’s head.It also offer great view of capetown city,waterfront,robben island and atlantic ocean.Good for elderly people and who are not fit to hike the lion’s head for watching sunset.

Noon guns are situated on the signal hill.It has been a historic importance as a time signal since 1806.These are the oldest guns in daily use.They fire every day at 12 noon except sunday.

ROBBEN ISLAND

Island in atlantic ocean around 7 km offsore from capetown.It has historic importance.Former president of south africa,Nelson Mandela was imprisoned here for 18 yrs.

KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDEN

this is located at the eastern foot of table mountain.There are several walking and hiking trail.You can also hike up the table mountain through skeleton gorge hiking trail which start from the botanical garden.

EXPERIENCE GAME MEAT

One of the best place to satisfy your taste-buds and hungry soul.Experience game meat like springbok,kudu,venison,warthog,crocodile etc.Best place to taste these at mama africa restaurant.

GARDEN ROUTE

This is a 300 km stretch of diverse landscape and seascape along the south-eastern coast of south africa and extend from Mossel Bay to Stormsriver. From mountains to beaches and lush green forest to city nightlife,the garden route has everything to offer.Also adventure sports like bungee jumping,skydiving,surfing,kayaking,diving,snorkeling,whale watching,shark cage diving are popular here.The highest bridge bungee from Bloukrans bridge should be on the top of your bucket list.

KNYSNA

This is a small picturesque town beside the knysna lagoon.Best place to stroll around and dining is the knysna waterfront.A sunset cruise,testing oyster at waterfront,spectacular view from knysna heads,a trip to goldmine and leisure walk in the Hoekwil forest trail to see the big old yellowwood tree are the best way to spend few days in the knysna.

One of the best place to taste seafood is Freshline Fisheries.

MOSSEL BAY

This is a seaside town and one of the best place for beach holiday and adventure activities such as scuba diving,shark cage diving,whale and dolphin watching,sky diving and hiking the St. Blaize trail along the seaside cliff.Rock art at pinnacle point caves,cape st. blaize lighthouse and cave are some famous point to visit.

One of the best place to experience your stay in the train is santos express train lodge just beside the santos beach.

WILDERNESS

This is a seaside town known for long white sand beach and lagoons to spend few relax day.Also there are so much to do for adventure lovers like paragliding,mountain biking,hiking,dolphin and whale watching.

The famous “Map of Africa” view point gives a breathtaking view of mountain,forest and the cloud covered valley.

STORMSRIVER-TSITSIKAMMA NP

This is a coastal national park known for it’s beautiful landscape,magnificent coastline,indigenous forest and excellent coastal hiking trail,literally a paradise for backpackers,nature lovers and adventure lovers.The main two hiking trails are storms river mouth hiking trail and tsitsikamma waterfall hiking trail.The best adventure to experience are bloukrans bridge bungee and storms river kayaking and lilo.

TSITSIKAMMA WATERFALL HIKING TRAIL

beautiful hiking trail along the coast line,around 3 km and take almost 45 minutes,a must visit place in tsitsikamma national park.At the end,a spectacular waterfall with a deep pool is waiting for welcome you.

ZIMBABWE AND ZAMBIA

VICTORIA FALLS-DEVIL’S POOL

This is one of the largest waterfall on the zambezi river at the border of zambia and zimbabwe.It is also known as mosi-oa-tunya,that means “The Smoke That Thunders”.During march-april,after the rain,the falls is in it’s full glory.

This is an infinity pool on the edge of victoria falls.Only accessible during low water season,from mid august to mid january.Swiming in the pool is absolutely safe but not for the faint hearted.The view from the very edge is really exhilarating.

ZAMBEZI RIVER WHITE WATER RAFTING

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MALAYSIA:In search of street food

Malaysia is known for its beautiful islands,beaches,rainforests,iconic building -Petronas tower,street arts and street foods at george town,the Skycab and Skybridge at Langkawi island.

KUALA LUMPUR

  • PETRONAS TOWERS:The tallest twin towers in the world.Visitors are allowed to explore the observation deck and Skybridge by a guided tour.The view of the night cityscape from the top is spectacular.Prebook you tickets online in advance as tickets are limited.(www.petronastwintowers.com.my)DCIM101GOPROGOPR2479.JPG
  • BATU CAVE:This is a limestone hill consist of three major caves.The main one is cathedral cave which contains hindu and buddhist shrines.The others two are art gallery cave and museum cave.A 140 ft high statue of lord Murugan is located at the entry point of the cave.From here the entrance of cave is only 272 steep steps.IMG_20171122_073712
  • KL TOWER:This was built as a communication tower and also contains a revolving restaurant-Atmosphere 360*,sky deck,sky box and observation deck.At the premises,there are a rare Jelutong tree,mini zoo,upside down house,blue coral aquarium and kl forest ecopark.The dining experience with the panoramic view of kl city is a must do in Atmosphere 360*.
  • THEAN HOU TEMPLE:This is a chinese temple dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu.This is truly an architectural gem.
  • STREET FOOD AT JALAN ALOR:Situated in the heart of kl city,it was known as a red light district.Now it is the paradise for food lovers.The street comes alive at evening and the sidewalks become filled with hawker stalls.This is the place to satisfy you taste buds and also experience the unique culture of Malaysia in kl city.

    fried frog
    fried frog

     

  • EXOTIC FOOD:If you are looking for exotic meat in Malaysia then Restoran puchong lim is the destination you should go for.This is a street side small local chinese restaurent.The owner is a warm-hearted lady only who can speak english.We ordered flying fox,squirrel,deer and deep-sea turtle.All the preparation was very testy but the taste of flying fox was awesome.
  • ONE DAY PILOT:Amazing experience to do some manuever during the flight as a co-pilot and also have a bird-eye view of kl city.The cost is approx 15,000/- INR for a 30 minutes flight.The flight takes off from Subong airport,fly over city for 20 minutes,circle the Petronas towers and land at same airport.Take off and landing on the runway will be taken over by the pilot.But in the sky you can guide the plane direction and altitude under the guidance of the pilot.You can also experience the free fall as feel when the plane crash. 😉IMG_20171121_112343

PENANG

The best way to go Penang from kl is by train and ferry.Take a train from kl sentral to Butterworth and then a ferry from Butterworth to penang.

  • GEORGE TOWN:This is UNESCO world heritage site,known for its old colonial building,chinese street food,street arts and rich multiculture.
  1. STREET ART:In 2012,as a part of annual george town festival,artist Ernest Zacharevic created a series of wall murals.Now these are the most photographic spot.These murals are located in different street in the old part of george town.Take a free map from your hotel,rent a bicycle and explore the street arts.

     

  2. STREET FOOD:Penang has best street food in malaysia.Some must try local dishes are asam laksa,char kway teow,nasi kandar,chendol etc.The best places to have these are chulia street,kimberley street etc.
  3. KHOO KONGSI:This is a chinese clanhouse located in george town.The complex is richly decorated,an authentic historic chinese building.
  • PENANG HILL:This is a hill resort situated at 2733ft above sea level.The viewing deck gives a stunning view of Penang city and the sea.The best way up to the hill is by Penang funicular railway from Air Itam.
  • KEK LOK SI TEMPLE:This is a buddhist temple over the hill-top,situated in air itam.It is the largest buddhist temple in malaysia.The temple is highly decorated and truly an architectural marvel.

LANGKAWI

The best way to go Langkawi from Penang is by means of ferry.

  • EAGLE SQUARE:A large square hosted a sculpture of an eagle,located near the ferry.The place offers a beautiful view of kuah bay.Best time to visit during early in the morning or during the sunset.
  • SKY CAB AND SKY BRIDGE:This is one of the major attraction in Langkawi.The gondola system has three stations.The base station at oriental village,middle station at 650m above sea level and top station at 708m above sea level.There are one viewing deck at middle station and another two at top station.The view from the gondola and the deck is breathtaking.

    The skybridge is a 125m curved bridge suspended over the mountain peaks,located at 660m above sea level.The bridge is accessible from the top station via a funicular called skyglide and also a short walking trail through forest.

  • SKY REK:This is a simulator gives an adrenalin rush and breathe holding experience.In this 5 minutes ride you can feel the sense of physical drops,dynamic motions,blasts of air,water spray,vibrations,surrounded thrilling sound and 3D vision.
  • ART IN PARADISE-3D MUSEUM:Take a look after finishing the sky cab ride.There are more than hundred 3D interactive painting.

     

  • PANTAI CENANG BEACH:This is the most lively beach in langkawi and the nightlife is the liveliest.There are plenty of beachfront bars and restaurants with live music and seafood at its best.

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK:JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF SHERPAS

DAY 1

Once again a break from bustling city life.A peace of mind when I see the mountains and evergreen valley from the window of my flight to Kathmandu.Yessssss….Finally we are here for the long-awaited trek to Everest base camp.

DAY 2

I am very excited for the flight to Lukla,one of the dangerous airport in the world nestled

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Lukla

on the high mountain.The runway is only 527m and end with a sheer drop in deep gorge.

The weather was cloudy and then started getting bad when the flight was approaching the lukla.It was very scary as the turbulence was very high and the flight was shaking hard.Afterall the flight landed safely.We were the lucky persons as the airport remain shut down for rest of the day.

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Dhudh Kosi

After having lunch we started our trek to Phakding.The trail is through small villages and full of colourful rhododendrons.

After 3 hrs and 30 minutes of walking and crossing two suspension bridge,we reached our teahouse.It is on the bank of  Dhudh Kosi river and a perfect spot to relax rest of the day.

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DAY 3

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highest suspension bridge

The trail is along the Dhudh Kosi river through the pine forest and more or less gradual up and down.At the end of Monjo village,there is entry gate and check post for Sagarmatha national park.we crossed several small villages and lots of suspension bridges including the longest and highest one,enough to raise the heartbeat.

After the highest suspension bridge the trail is steep ascent up to Namche bazar.On the mid

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Namche bazar

way there are a view-point from where you can see first look of the mighty Everest.

After a long walk we finally reached Namche bazar.This is a happening place full of hotels,restaurants,bars,shops and art gallery.Literally everything you seek is available here.There are also few ATM here.

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DAY 4

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statue of Tenzing Norgay

Today is acclimatization day at Namche bazar.

At morning we went to view-point for sunrise.The sky was clear and when the sunrays gave morning kiss to the snow peaks that celestial beauty took my heart away.The peak of mighty Everest is well seen from here.

There are a statue of Tenzing Norgay,a monument contain the stone from dead sea and a small museum.

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stone from Dead sea

After having breakfast we went for a short walk to Thame valley.The trail is very beautiful and full of rhododendrons.

The view of Namche bazar from the top surrounded by the mountains is also breathtaking.

 

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DAY 5

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Namche bazar after snowfall

I wake up at 3:00 am by the loud sound of thunderstorm.At that time I had no idea about what was really happening outside.

At morning when I pulled away my window curtain,the view make me speechless.There are snow everywhere.And the happiness is having a cup of ginger lemon honey tea while enjoying the spectacular view of snow-capped mountains.

The mountain man
The mountain man

After breakfast we started our trek to Dibuche.The trail and the surrounding trees were covered with snow.The trail is very well maintained and it was made by a single man without support from the government.There are two stupa on the trail.One is for 50th anniversary of summit the Everest by Tenzing Norgay and the other is of the mountain man who built this road.

This trail is the most scenic one and almost level walk up to Sansa village.Then the trail divide-left one goes to Gokyo Ri and right one goes to EBC.The followig trail descent up to

Tengboche monastery
Tengboche monastery

Phungi Thenga then steep ascent up to Tengboche.

When I reached at Tengboche,the 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayan mountains and the famous monastery astonished me with its breathtaking beauty.The peaks of Everest,Lhotse,Nuptse,Tawache,Ama Dablam and Thamserku are well seen.Dibuche is only 15 minutes walk from here.

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DAY 6

Today we are going to dingboche.The trail is along the Imza Khola with gradual ascent.

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hats off to you sir

On the way i met a physically challenged guy who was crawling his way up from Lukla since last 21 days and will go to EBC.I don’t know how many days he’ll take to reach EBC but the courage and willpower he have really inspired me.

After a long walk we reached at Dingboche beside Imja Khola.Now we are above the tree line.The terrain is hostile due to cold weather along with dusty high wind.

DAY 7

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Mt. Ama Dablam

Today is acclimatization day.

After having breakfast we went to a short hike to a view point.The snow-capped peak of two eight thousanders Mt.Manlsu and Mt. Cho Oyu are seen from here.The trail is steep hike,too windy and full of dust.But the panoramic view of snow-capped peak is worth a lot more than that.

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DAY 8

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memorial of Rob Hall

Though the trail is difficult steep hike,too windy and through barren land but I didn’t feel tired as the panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks was accompanying and teasing me all the way.We crossed the khumbu khola and sherpa memorial on the way.

Now the trail is through khumbu glacier moraine.The khumbu glacier is not seen as lateral moraine is standing as high wall.After a strenuous hike we reached at Lobuche finally.

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DAY 9

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Gorak Shep

Today is the day what are we waiting for.We will go to EBC today.

The trail goes through lateral moraine of khumbu glacier.The 360* panoramic view of Mt. Pumori,Mt. Nuptse,Mt. Khumbutse with other snow-capped peaks is a surreal treat to eyes.On the way to Gorak Shep,we saw the first glimpse of Everest base camp and Kala Patthar.

Now we are at Gorak Shep,a small settlement of few tea houses beside the dried up gorak shep

IMG-20180516-WA0071
way to EBC

lake. From here the trail divides into two.The right one through the lake basin goes to EBC.The left one ascent up to Kala Patthar and Pumori lake.

After having lunch at Gorak Shep,we went out for EBC.As we advanced through the rocky trail,the EBC started reviling itself in its full glory.The view of mountaineer’s tents over the Khumbu glacier and the khumbu icefalls send a chill down through my spine.on the way,view of the tip of Mt. Everest took my breath away.

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Tip of Mt. Everest behind Mt. Nuptse

Finally we are at the EBC,standing over the Khumbu glacier and in front of us the dangerous but beautiful khumbu icefalls surrounded by Mt. Pumori,Mt. Nuptse and Mt. Khumbutse.My heart is pounding due to adrenalin rush and a pleasurey wind of achievement is blowing in my mind.I am in peace and this is the happiness to me.IMG-20180516-WA0048IMG-20180516-WA0056

CAMBODIA:THE LAND OF KHMER

I did my first solo backpacking international trip to explore the land of Khmer and here is my one week trip itinerary.

SIEM REAP(2 DAYS):

This is the nearest city from where you can explore the Angkor archaeological site.The best way to explore is by bicycle or hiring a tuk-tuk.

  • ANGKOR WATThis is the largest temple complex in the world,a UNESCO world heritage site.It was originally constructed as a hindu temple by the Khmer empire in the early 12th century,then gradually transformed into a buddhist temple.This is truly an architectural marvel.angkor....

     

  • ANGKOR THOMIt was the last capital city of the Khmer empire,full of ancient temples and monument.
  1. BAYON: This temple was built-in the late 12th century,very richly decorated with the smiling stone faces.bayon

     

  2. BAPHUON: This is a three-tiered temple mountain,was built-in the mid 11th century,dedicated to hindu god SHIVA.In the late 15th century,it was converted to a buddhist temple.

     

  3. PHIMEANAKAS: This is a 10th century hindu temple.phimeanakas
  4. THE TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING:
  5. THE TERRACE OF THE ELEPHANTS:
  6. CITY GATE: city gate
  • TA PROHMThis temple was built-in late 12th century as a buddhist monastery and university.It is situated inside the forest and very picturesque as the big trees growing out from the temple ruins.The conservation and restoration was made by archaeological survey of india.The temple was used as a location in the famous movie ‘LARA CROFT:TOMB RAIDER’.ta prohm...

     

  • PREAH KHANThis is a 12th century temple,also left unrestored, making it a perfect picturesque ruins.

     

  • TA SOMThis temple was built-in the late 12th century,also left unrestored and overgrown by sacred fig.

     

  • PRE RUPThis is a 10th century temple,was dedicated to the hindu god Shiva.pre rup
  • NEAK PEANThis is a buddhist temple on an artificial island in jayatataka baray.The temple was designed for medical purpose based on the ancient hindu belief of balance.

     

  • BANTEAY KDEIThis is a buddhist temple built-in late 12th century.

     

SIHANOUKVILLE(1 DAY)

This is a coastal city on the gulf of Thailand and famous for beaches and nearby exotic islands.The best way to go from Siem Reap is by overnight sleeper bus.

  • OCHHEUTEAL BEACH

     

     

  • SERENDIPITY BEACH
  • SOKHA BEACH
  • OTRES BEACH
  • INDEPENDENCE BEACH

KOH RONG ISLAND(2 DAYS)

This island is famous for its long pristine white sand beaches,crystal clear turquoise sea and dense tropical forest.Regular ferry(2 hr 30 minutes) and high-speed boat(45 minutes) are available from Sihanoukville.IMG_20170113_134916775

The main tourist beach is kaoh touch near the ferry terminal and full of tourists.If you want to relax on a quite beach then Sok san beach(long beach/7k beach),Long set beach(4k beach),Lonely beach and Palm beach are the best.

 

The options to go to Sok San beach is by hiking through the dense forest(45 minutes-1 hr) or by hiring a local fishing boat.The trail is marked with red paint and signs.

 

I choose to go through the jungle all alone.The trek was very easy until I reached a place where the jungle burnt down and no sign of road ahead.IMG_20170113_105833216

I thought that after crossing this part I’ll find the trail again.But more I went through,the forest became more dense,no sign of any trail and already 1 hr passed.Now i am completely lost in the jungle.IMG_20170113_111500837

So I decided to follow the GPS on my phone and started walking through dense forest.The walk was adventurous but deep down in my heart I was little bit tensed.Another 40 minutes of walk then i found a trail and followed that one.The last part of the trail was steep down through rocky wall.Then i heard the sound of  engine of a fishing boat and felt relaxed.After 15 minutes of walk i reached at the end of Sok San beach where some construction was going on.The Sok San village was on the other end of the beach which was around 3-4 km far.Likely i found a construction worker who was going to the village and gave me a ride on his bike.

SOK SAN FISHING VILLAGE
SOK SAN FISHING VILLAGE

Other activities you can do is snorkeling,diving,fishing,trekking and explore high point rope adventure park.IMG_20170113_152759687

The main attraction in this island is the sparkling plankton.To see this otherworldly phenomenon,you need to go to the darkest side of the beach during night and stand into 4 feet deep water and shake it.I went on the full moon night and couldn’t see this beautiful thing but enjoyed the lonely moonlit beach.

PHNOM PENH(2 DAYS)

This is the capital of Cambodia,situated at the confluence of three river,the Mekong,the bassac and the tonle sap.Buses and shared cars are available from Sihanoukville.

  • ROYAL PALACE,SILVER PAGODA AND THE TEMPLE OF THE EMERALD BUDDHA:

     

  • ROYAL PALACE PARK:
  • SISOWATH QUAY(RIVERSIDE):riverside..
  • WAT OUNALOM:
  • WAT PHNOM:
  • NATIONAL MUSEUM:national museum
  • INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT:Independence monument
  • STATUE OF KING NORODOM SIHANOUK:
  • CAMBODIA VIETNAM FRIENDSHIP MONUMENT:cambodia-vietnam friendship monument
  • WAT LANGKA:wat langka
  • PREAH PUTH MEAN BON:preah puth mean bon
  • OLYMPIC STADIUM:olympic stadium
  • MOHA MONTREI PAGODA:moha montrei pagoda
  • GENOCIDE MUSEUM
  • THE KILLING FIELDS OF CHOEUNG EK

INDONESIA:THE LAND OF VOLCANOES

Indonesia is the world’s largest island country situated between the pacific and indian ocean.It has more than 13k islands.This is a volcanically active country.It has around 130 active volcanoes which are part of the pacific ring of fire.

This country is well-known for rich culture,spectacular beaches,volcanoes,tropical rainforest,exotic islands and specially komodo dragons in the komodo island,world’s largest flower rafflesia,world’s largest buddhist temple Borobudur and world’s largest volcanic lake – lake Toba.Simply one visit is not enough to explore the main attractions.We did a 12 days trip and merely explore the few of them.

LOMBOK(5 days)

  • MT. RINJANI VOLCANO TREK:This is an active volcano and the second highest(3726m) in indonesia.There are a crater lake on the top known as segara anak lake.The last eruption was on 27th sep,’16.We did the 3 days 2 night trek with green rinjani on july,’17 and cost us 245$/person.

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  • SENDANG GILE WATERFALL:Nice waterfall in the senaru village.We went for a late afternoon walk.At that time there were no tourist and also no one at the booking office.We only explored the first one as it was almost dark by that time.DCIM101GOPROG0021508.JPG

 

BALI(3 DAYS)

This is one of the most popular island destination in indonesia,popular for rich culture,volcanic mountains,cliffsides,coastlines,black sand beaches and lush green forest.

The nine directional temples are the largest and most popular,believed to build to protect the island from dark forces.The besakih on the slope of mt. agung is the main temple.But uluwatu and tanah lot are very popular for easy access.

We hired a taxi and did a day tour to the following:

  • TANAH LOT:This temple is on a rock few metres offsore.Very beautiful place to see the sunset.We visited the temple during tanah lot art and food festival.IMG_20170709_123458729_HDR

     

     

     

  • ULUWATU:This temple is at the edge of a high cliff.The view from here is very beautiful.A dance performance is performed every evening based on Ramayana.DCIM101GOPROGOPR1865.JPG
  • TESTING LUWAK COFFEE:We went to sari amerta luwak coffee cafe on the way to tanah lot.

     

  • BLACK SAND BEACH:Situated near tanah lot.

     

  • KEDONGANAN BEACH:A perfect sandy beach beside the airport to chill out.

     

  • DOUBLE SIX BEACH:We enjoyed a great nightlife at the beach.IMG_20170708_224313719_HDR

 

YOGAKARTA(3 DAYS)

  • BOROBUDUR:This is a 9th century buddhist temple,a UNESCO world heritage site and also the world’s largest one.Take a city bus to terminal jombor,from here the bus to borobudur leaves at regular interval.IMG_20170710_155212655_HDR

 

  • PRAMBANAN:This is a 9th century hindu temple,a UNESCO world heritage site, dedicated to the Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva.

    Don’t purchase separate tickets.A combo ticket for this two sites is 40$.

JAKARTA(1 DAY)

We had return flight from jakarta and had one evening to explore the city.IMG_20170711_212650046

  • MERDEKA SQUARE-NATIONAL MONUMENTIMG_20170711_194107298_HDR
  • ISTIQLAL MOSQUEIMG_20170711_212117387_HDR
  • JAKARTA CATHEDRAL
  • MERDEKA PALACE

If you have extra days in hand then try some exotic offbeat destination here.

THAILAND:THE LAND OF SMILES

Thailand is an amazing country with a tropical climate,bustling city life,unforgettable night life,finger licking street food,exotic islands,great beaches,picturesque mountains and thick green forest.You can find everything you want and Thailand will never let you down.

Here is my solo backpacking trip to Thailand for a week,mainly to explore the exotic islands and to check out the street food to satisfy my taste buds.

BANGKOK

This is the largest city as well as the capital of thailand.It is home of some magnificent buddhist temples and palaces.I had one day to explore the city so I visited only the main attractions.

  • WAT PHO: This is one of the oldest buddhist temple complex,also known as “temple of the reclining buddha”(reclining buddha live video).The temple complex is an architectural marvel and houses the largest collection of buddha statue along with a 46m long reclining buddha.

     

  • WAT ARUN: This is a beautiful buddhist temple also known as “temple of dawn”,located on the bank of the chao phraya river.

     

  • GRAND PALACE: This is a complex of buildings located beside the wat pho.The main attraction is the temple of the emerald buddha,is a royal chapel,built-in 1783 and the most sacred one in Thailand.

    P1080065
    taken from wat arun
  • SKY BAR: This is the world’s highest open air bar on the 64th floor of the state tower building.It was featured in the hangover part II movie.Though expensive but having a beer at the world’s highest open air bar while watching the Bangkok skyline is an excellent idea to spend the evening.

     

PHUKET:

Phuket is an island in the Andaman sea and also the largest one in Thailand,where you can enjoy the mountain and the sea side by side.Phuket has some finest beach like patong,kata and karon beach.Also you can go for a speedboat day trip to the nearby exotic islands like phi phi,james bond and similan island.I booked this three island trip through my hostel and cost me 7000 Thai baht.IMG_20170305_135142660

  • PHI PHI ISLAND: This is a group of 6 islands.The main islands are ko phi phi don and ko phi phi lee.Ko phi phi lee has the famous hidden beach which was used as the location for the famous movie “The Beach”.This island also has a viking cave.

    P1080161
    viking cave

     

     

  • JAMES BOND ISLAND: This is an island located in phang nga bay in the Ao phang nga national park.The original name of the island is khao phing kan.This island is famous for the james bond movie “The man with the golden gun“.

    This trip also includes a kayaking trip,visiting a floating village and monkey temple cave.

     

     

     

     

  • SIMILAN ISLAND: This is a group of 11 islands in the Andaman sea.This islands are famous for the crystal clear blue water,rich coral and exotic marine life.

     

  • PHUKET FOOD FESTIVAL:IMG_20170305_182733966_HDR

VIETNAM-THE LAND OF THE ‘ASCENDING DRAGON’

This is my story of solo backpacking trip to Vietnam with full of great memories,funny incidents,adventures and excitements.

For indian citizen,Vietnam has e-visa policy.Apply online and get an approved letter via mail,print out and show it on arrival and get your visa stamped.

click here for vietnam visa

HO CHI MINH CITY

  • CU CHI TUNNELS: This is a vast network of underground tunnels used by the Vietnam soldiers during the war.The tunnels are within the jungle.There are underground strategic room,meeting room,operation theater and jail to explore.It was a very adventurous activity to crawl through the narrow dark tunnels.If you are claustrophobic then don’t try to do it.There are a collection of huge unexploded bomb dropped by the american bomber US B-52 aircraft.There are a shooting range also where you can fire a AK-47 assault rifle as well as a machine gun.You can hire a cab or make your journey exciting by hiring a bike.There are local people around the corner outside the airport.Just make a deal,hop on the bike and join the race. 😉
  • INDEPENDENCE PALACE: This is the presidential palace also known as reunification palace,built on the site of the historic NORODOM PALACE.It had a significant role in Vietnam war. 

     

    HA LONG BAY

    Ha long is a UNESCO world heritage site.The bay is full of iconic limestone karst and isles and a must visit site.

    Ha long means “descending dragon”.According to local legend,god sent dragons to protect the country against foreign invaders.The dragons spitted out jewels which turned into limestone karst and isles and form the wall to protect the country.

    Nearest airport is Noi Bai International Airport,Hanoi.From hanoi regular bus available to ha long bay from Gia Lam bus station.

  • Sun world ha long park,Sun wheel,Bai Chay bridge: 

  • HA LONG BAY CRUISE(3 days/2 night): A 3 days/2 night cruise is a must do to explore the more of halong bay.It includes one night on the boat,one night at cat ba island,sung sot cave explore,kayaking in a secret lagoon,cat ba national park visit,monkey island explore.

In the cruise,i met a Vietnamese girl who was adopted by a european family at the age of 6 months.Now she came back to find her mother all alone.This sound like a movie and the happiest part is she found and met her mom. 🙂

 

  • MONKEY ISLAND: A small island surround by emerald crystal clear water.This island has a white sand beach,a limestone karst and thick green forest full of monkeys.At the end of the beach,a trekking path goes up to the top and then climb the limestone karst to the topmost point for a bird’s-eye view.The climbing is little difficult due to sharp,uneven rock edges but worth the panoramic view.

 

  • CAT BA ISLAND:
  1. CANNON FORT: This was a naval defence base at the top of the hill.Great place to view the bay and the sunset. 

  2. CAT BA NATIONAL PARK: The national park is the home of the endangered cat ba langur.There are a trail which goes to the top of the island.The last part of the trail is steep but worth the hike for a panoramic view of the mountain covered with thick green forest. 

     

  3. HOSPITAL CAVE:

PHONG NHA KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

  • PHONG NHA CAVE: It is located within the national park which is a UNESCO world heritage site.This is a very beautiful cave with full of rock formations,filled with stalactites and stalagmites.The cave has underground river and lots of passageways. 

     

  • PARADISE CAVE:
  • DARK CAVE:
  • BOMB CRATER BAR: It is located beside the son river,around 3km from phong nha village.During vietnam-america war this area was heavily bombed and made the bomb craters.I went out for local sightseeing on a cycle and was looking for a place to chill and I found this place perfect. 

SAPA

This is a charming small hill town with picturesque mountain,valley and rice terraces.

 

  • CAT CAT CULTURAL VILLAGE: I went for a morning walk away from the town and found this picturesque village in a beautiful valley.This old village has its own distinctive traditions and unique way of living. 

     

     

  • FANSIPAN MOUNTAIN: This is the highest mountain in the Indochinese peninsula also called “the roof of Indochina“.A unforgatable cable ride through the cloud overlooking the terraced field,valley and forest to the peak of fansipan is the best way to explore it.The cable car is in the muong hoa valley near sapa.It holds two Guinness world records as the longest non-stop three rope cable car(6292.5m) and the greatest elevation difference by a non-stop three roped cable car(1410m)