8 Reasons Why Chilli Crab Is My Favorite Singaporean Food

What you do in Singapore is eat. It’s a really food-crazy culture, where all of this great food is available in a kind of hawker-stand environment. ~ Anthony Bourdain (Quote Source)

Rightly said by America’s favorite Chef – Singapore is indeed a hot destination if you are looking to indulge in some scrumptious food to allure your taste buds! Though there are plenty of yummy Singaporean dishes, the one that truly makes me go Nom Nom is Singapore’s Signature Dish – Chilli Crab. Yes, the island has lots of seafood to relish including the luscious crustaceans!

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Here I shall tell you why Chilli Crab, one of the National Dishes of Singapore is my Favorite Singaporean Food –

1. Because Despite Its Name “Chilli Crab” It Is Not That Spicy

I cannot eat spicy things and anything that has the word chilli in it. However, I can relish Chilli Crab since the food consist not only chilli but tomato puree along with some sauces that gives the Chilli Crab a really amazing taste. Tangy, flavory, spicy, and tasty, this Singaporean food is something that makes me crave “it” every time I think of Seafood and Singapore.

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2. Because I can slurp the Mouthful Crabs and Relish Them Wholeheartedly

For all those who are in love with Seafood, knows what a pleasure it is, to slurp any sea food that has a shell over it. And every time I glug these tasty fried crabs dipped in this amazing mixture of sweet and savory sauce, it just makes me ask for some more…

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3. Because It is Tasty as well as Healthy

Crabs contain low calorie and unsaturated fats which is very friendly when it comes to the heath of one’s heart. Besides, it is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acid which not only helps in reducing the risk of cancer but also the chances of heart attack. So, every time I indulge into these tasty and heavenly creatures, I know I’m having a healthy as well as tasty treat!

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4. Because This Tasty Singaporean Dish Helps Me in Entering the Stress Free Zone

While certain foods can make you feel fat and sleepy, chilli crabs only refreshes you. The reason? Well, these heavenly crabs consists good amount of chromium is them. So, the moment I taste this tasty meat dipped in appetizing sauce, I forget all the stress, and depression that surrounds me.

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5. Chilli Crab Is A Gastronomic Delight

Not all that is sweet and savory tastes good. But, chili crab which has been founded in 1950 by chef Cher Yam Tian with the help of her husband Lim Choon Ngee is worth tasting. The reason? Well, it comes with a history. The couple used to sell fried crabs on their pushcart, but one fine day on the insistence of her husband, Cher Yam Tiam used bottled chilli sauce on these fried crabs. Soon, the dish was sold like hot cakes.

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Yes, yes, it is tried, tested and is a product of gastronomy. So, now you know why the food that has been admired from past 6 and a half decade all over the world has something distinctive to boast about. No wonder, I love the foods that are gastronomical delights!

6. The Food Looks Yummy When It is Served – It Is Simply Irresistible

The moment Chilli Crab appears on your table, your mouth starts watering automatically. Yes, the rich color, the luscious crabs and the entire garnishing makes it simply irresistible from the go. So, if you happen to visit Singapore anytime soon, don’t forget to taste my favorite Singaporean Chili Crab.

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7. Chilli Crab Is Available In Every Nook and Corner of Singapore

You won’t have any problem in tasting Chilli Crab because this signature dish of Singapore is available in each and every corner of the Singaporean Island. From the hawker stalls to the seafood restaurants, you’ll get chilli crab anywhere and everywhere at your service. Like they say in India – Kahin Bhi, Kabhi Bhi…

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8. And And And….I can Relish Chilli Crab from my Own Hands in the Desi Style…

Chilli Crab is eaten with bare hands to relish its taste – This makes me crave this food even more. Because while steak and other chicken/mutton dishes compel me to use fork and knife, I can simply relish the tasty chilli crab with my bare hand in a restaurant without gaining any unwanted attention.

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The last time I was having chicken steak with bare hands and everybody in the restaurant was looking at me. No wonder, my brother had a raised eyebrow …

Not just Chilli Crab there are plenty of tasty dishes waiting for you in Singapore. To discover all the yummy delicacies, and the hotels, check the official website of Far East Hospitality

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Also, check out their mouth-watering deals, if you are planning to visit Singapore any time of the year. Get the ‘Far More Singapore’ Experience with Far East Hospitality!

11 Reasons Why Melbourne Is the Most Liveable City in the World!

Melbourne this year was declared as the Most Liveable City in the World. Here are the reasons why:

1. Because It Is Artistic – Yes, the Gothic Laneways Is Highly Alluring!

Ever dreamt of a place where you stroll through lanes and arcades which flaunts colors and arts? While,you might witness in your dreams, but this is a reality for all the locals in Melbourne. A Look one of the most artistic street in Melbourne – the Hosier Lane!

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2. Because It Has One of the Best Transportation

With buses, trains and trams, one can easily Travel to and fro in Melbourne. In fact, Melbourne’s Tramway Network is the largest Tramway network in the world! These world famous Trams pick up and drop you to each and every corner of Melbourne.

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3. Because of Its Pleasant Weather Throughout the Year – Ah, that’s an added advantage!

Melbourne is neither very hot nor very cold. In simple terms, it has the best weather to live in. The average Temperature in summer is 25 degree Celsius, while 14 degree Celsius in winter. Whatever time of the year it maybe, Melbourne is the best destination for all the time.

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4. Because Melbourne Is a City Which Believe in Multikulti – Making It Very Easy to Adjust

A Multicultural City, Melbourne is a home to people across every nook and corner of the world. People of 140 cultures live here in harmony which includes Europeans, Asians, Africans and Americans. In fact, Chinese and Greek came to Melbourne during 1850s.

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5. Because It Has Many Beautiful Parks and Gardens

Melbourne is fully surrounded by gorgeous gardens and parks. The Royal Park of Melbourne covers around 181 hectares and is hub for various sports including Cricket, Hockey, Fotball, Soccer, Netball and other sports. A perfect place for your kids.

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6. It is a Musical City – Perfect For A Vibrant Lifestyle!

Melbourne Hosts Australia’s biggest Music Festival Big Day Out where both Local as well as International bands perform. An eclectic city, Melbourne has various types of night life options. In addition, you’ll find dance clubs, underground bars and even jazz cafe around the streets. Melbourne also has one of the biggest Casino which hosts around 500 tables.

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7. Because of Its Magnificent Victorian Architecture – Gorgeous City to Live in – Indeed!

Architecture and Infrastructure are the two things which instantly describes a city and Melbourne’s prime feature is its architecture. The Victorian Architecture of 1800 can be seen in Melbourne along with the new type of architecture.

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8. Queen Victoria Market 

A global city, Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market is a global shopping place where you get everything. A perfect place, for both the locals as well tourist to shop for the utilities.

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9. The Perfect Place For Children – Zoo, Acquarium, Water Sports etc

Melbourne has 3 Zoos, A large acquarium and a botanical garden. In addition, the vibrant city has several water sports and activities going in the Yarra river, which is undoubtedly the heart of the Melbourne City now.

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10. Because of Its Great Variety of Food, Restaurants, Cafe and Bars…..

From Italian, Chinese to Viatnemese and many other delicacies, you get to taste almost all the flavors. There are great number of restaurants in Melbourne.. Yes, yes, there are budget eatiers too.

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And Lastly,

11. Because It Has the Best Lot of Folks, check out here

And Yes Melbourne Welcomes you with Open Arms.

Not just these 11 Reasons, but there are plenty more reasons to stay in Melbourne, click the link to explore – Visit Melbourne

Check the link, know Melbourne better because I have a surprise for my readers –

Tell Me Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?”. In the Comment box

The best answer will win a gift voucher of Rs. 500. Hurry Up The contest ends on 3rd Jan 2015

For More Details Check here

Zindagi Ki Sunhare Pal in Nepal

Zindagi Ek Safar Yeh Suhana, isn’t it? Perhaps that is why travel brings happiness and big smile on our faces! In addition, don’t you think travel is about knowing different culture, religion, tasting new cuisine and also wearing an altogether different attire?

Exotic locations, stunning sights, good change of weather, breath-taking adventures – Oh, what a delight!

But when it is a family holiday, travelling can be a lot of chaos, cat-fights, disorder and blame-game.  Why not, after all what the nana-nani wants is seriously despised by the munna-munni and what the adolescent likes, the grown-up hates. Besides, the male crowd wants to have fun and adventure while their spouse, the aunties are in the mood of some pilgrimage. Then are the crazy folks who are ready to explore and flow in the mood whilst the quiet ones would insist sitting by the riverside and take the pleasure of the sunlight. Zindagi ke chotte motte nok jhok, hai na?
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Moreover, a NRI cousin wants to set his foot to capture exquisite landscapes behind the lenses of his DSLR whereas the chubby dur ki chacha ki betia gaon ki chhori is eager to indulge in the local market to gulp the food. And finally the Bachcha party…Oh my God!

Various folks with a wide range of taste, choice and preference, chances are some might enjoy and some might curse the holiday. Haven’t you come across such a situation before? Hmm, we all have sometime or the other. So, I wondered what could be the ideal place that would make every traveler happy? And at once, retorted Scenic NEPAL, what else!

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The gorgeous milieu, glorious monasteries, Jungle walks, Huge National Parks, breath taking Bungee jumping, grandeur art, craft and sculpture along with scenic falls and mysterious caves – Nepal indeed has the potential of attracting, both Travellers and tourists especially the ones looking out for some cross cultural studies.

Out for a family holiday in Nepal, our very first destination was Kathmandu. What else is the best place other than Pashupatinath temple to know the region better? Nothing can beat the experience of visiting the deities and feeling close to them.

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Besides, being adventure fanatics we also enjoyed our hands at trekking, rafting and of course, Bungee Jumping. Some of us were so busy praying inside the temple that time just went by and we couldn’t realize more. The locales all around Kathmandu are polite and “HAPPY TO HELP” who make sure your trip in their area is not only worth this visit but worth your memories! Not to forget the Kathmandu streets which are full of life, arts and culture.

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The Wildlife reserves of Koshi Tappu our next destination again delighted the thrillers, adventure fanatics and also the kids. The boat rides, jungle walks and pleasant view of the migratory birds was not only a delight to eyes but also to the lenses. Aunties and Grannies who were not interested spent some time inside the various nearby temple and monasteries without bothering the fervent while others can get in action to experience the enthralling part of Nepal.

Patan, the oldest city of Nepal then was our next destination. It amused the silent ones, the oldies, the art lovers, the spirituals and of course the photographers. Strolling down the streets, Patan made us roll out together in excitement. The art, the architecture, the museums and the stupas was a real delight. Sometimes, I wonder though Nepal and India are two different countries there is so much same about each of us.

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“You won’t experience the real Nepal if you won’t pay a visit to Pokhara” said my watchman who is a native of Nepal. The enthralling beauty, the mesmerizing scenery along with a chance to explore some amazing lakes and caves, Pokhara was ready to lure us with its captivating charisma. No wonder, we took solace in the pristine beauty away from the worldly chaos and mess.

To make sure the children of the family don’t complain, we made sure that we visit the Royal Chitwan National Park so that the kids celebrate a glorious time inside it – Glancing and discovering several species of animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. In addition, the Safari drives and elephant made them happy and content.

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Lastly, who would ever complain a view of striking sunrise and sunset by the mountains and peaks – No one, right? And so we finally concluded our Nepal Darshan at Nagarkot by screening the panoramic 360 degree view of the Himalayas! This reminded me of the sunset from Darjeeling hill post.

Nepal is not only exotic when it comes to natural beauty but also when it comes to its hospitality, food, arts and culture. A country close to my heart, the reminiscence still makes me nostalgic!

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Image Source: Wikipedia, Nepal Map, Nepali, Family Travel

This Post is written for an Indiblogger contest in association with Zindagi TV

Bagan: The Ancient Lost Temple City of Myanmar

“The finest things in Bagan are found when you are not looking for them at all. “

Across the world, there are many large places but with just one prominent monument. However, have you ever heard of a less traveled small place with more than 2000 temples in a given area? Well, that’s precisely Bagan, the heart and capital of the first Burmese Empire in the ancient Myanmar (earlier Burma).Home to around 2200 temples and pagodas (stupas), these temples were built by numerous kings and leaders in Burma from the 11th to 15th century. An ancient place with lots of remarkable archaeological sites and amazing pagodas, it not only lets one embark on a historical but also a spiritual voyage as one ventures from one temple to the other in the arid central parts of Myanmar situated on the eastern banks of river Ayeyarwady.

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Let’s have a look into this beautiful town and dig out some ancient temples here at Indiaopines

Humne bhi paise diye hain (We too have paid the money)…

On my way back from Bangalore to Mumbai (Oh ya, I’m back btw J) I had a privilege of travelling with the special lot of our society – The lot who calculates everything in terms of money. No, they are neither merchandisers nor your local baniyas but a bunch of women who have a tendency of talking money all the time. Yea, they will never let any moment go in haste without showing you how they have paid for every single thing. Besides, they will make you realize in intervals about the same. Not a single second passes when you won’t be made to think about the money they pay for each and every service.

10 pm was the time when I boarded the bus from Madiwala, the starting point after waving goodbye to my beloved friends and in an hour the bus was at the final stop in Bangalore to fetch all the passengers at the Anandrao Circle. Already missing Bangalore, I was busy recollecting the moments when suddenly a lady in her early forties bumped into me and my thoughts.

“Hello Miss, you are sitting on seat no. 1” she said arrogantly

I said yes, wondering why she has objections. Although my seat was already confirmed by the conductor even then I checked my printout and phone – Yes it reflected seat no. 1.

I soon went into my thoughts of the three amazing days, when all of a sudden I heard the commotion. The lady was fighting with the Bus Service people.

“Kaisi service hai aap logo ki. Hamari seat par koi ladki aaram se baithi hai..Humne paise diye hain aap log aisa kaise kar sakte hain.”

“Madam please relax hum dekhta” was the only thing the service guy from the bus stand could tell the howling lady who was ready to bump me with her fiery eyes and extra large body. 1 slap and I could sink in the seat.

“Jaldi dekho, who ladki toh mast baithi hai aaramse”said the lady ready to steal my comfort level and giving me that Lalita Pawar looks.

The conductor came in and asked for Deepti Verma and I shook my head, he then asked the lady for her name. The conductor then couldn’t stop his laughter but scared of the lady’s reaction he politely told her that her seat was “A1 AND NOT 1”

Now Seat A1, A2 was behind the driver whereas 1 and 2 was the opposite seat.

Realizing her mistake the lady gave me that “Oh bade-bade desho mai aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain” types look.” And I was even scared to give her “it’s okay” look”

***

Next day early morning at 6 am I woke up with the lady’s cry “When will this bus, stop. Bloody I have paid the amount..”

“Oye conductor, ye bus kab rukega?” she howled again pulling the curtain roughly.

“Madam Kolhapur ke baad, 7-7.30 baje”

“Aare tumlog sirf aadmi ka hi sochte ho jaara aurat logo ka bhi socho aur jaldi roko” She grinned not forgetting to mention her favorite line – “Hum bhi paise dete hain sirf aadmi log nahi”

At around 6.30 the female again jumped off her seat, looking at me angrily and warning the conductor that if they wouldn’t stop she could complain their main office and make sure they are fired for not stopping the bus. The driver and conductor requested her not to create a scene as the bus was almost reaching Kolhapur and soon they would stop that is within half an hour.

“My stomach is paining very badly, I need to urinate you bastards, better stop the bus or I will complain…I have paid the money and you can’t do this to me…You understand…I do not understand what the other ladies are made up of in this bus,,,,” she said looking at me.

There was no place where the driver could stop for the lady. However, what I thought that if the lady had requested the driver rather than cursing him or giving him dhamkis, he probably would made some arrangements for her to feel okay. But she continued to curse the driver and conducter for around 7.15 am till the bus was stopped at a good place for her to finally relax.

***

It was afternoon and we had crossed Pune only to reach New Mumbai, my destination in two hours but the bus stopped near Lonavala so that people could eat something as the last stop was another 5 hours. Now in Pune the sit next to me was occupied by a girl.

“Please evacuate the bus” the security guard at the petrol pump accompanied by a nice food court announced standing at the door of our Volvo.

The girl next to me protested that she did not want to get out. I was delighted that someone said precisely what I wanted to. However, the security guard requested her to get off since it would be a problem if anything goes missing she would be blamed.

The girl without letting the security guard complete his sentence shouted “Humne bhi paise diye hain”

I had no clue wherein the question of money popped in right here in this conversation. Although the girl appeared sophisticated while boarding the bus but by the way she went with her “paisa” and stuff, she only appeared moron not only to me but even the poor security guard who tried to request her.

***

While everyone boarded the bus and the conductor switched on the TV with Dabaang 2 another lady complained that she had already watched the film zillion times and had not given the money to watch the movie all over again in this bloody bus.

An hour later, I was at home still having the taste of the delicious vada-pav I had at the food court along with the amazing tale of “humne bhi paise diye hain” by my so called sophisticated female travelers and the plight of the poor bus conductor and driver of a very good bus travels.

Self-drive Expedition of the wild Road Geeks from Guwahati to Thailand via Myanmar

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference ~ Robert Frost

Everyone have an idea of fun and adventure, for me it’s driving all along that unknown route to reach the target. As an avid traveler, it has always been about the journey rather than the destination. Yes, the less travelled road has constantly acted like a magnet, pulling me towards it and enticing me with its mysterious unexplored pathway and places as I stumble upon my ultimate mark.

While tourist would prefer flying to Bangkok in less than 5 hours, we, travelers and road trip enthusiasts with a triggering travel bone would love to embark upon a road expedition. Yes, that’s exactly my idea of Perfect Road trip – Driving through Guwahati (India) to Mandalay (Myanmar) and then finally reaching Thailand and back again to India, enroute the ancient lost city of Bagan, which is home to around 2200 temples and pagodas (stupas). So, in my ideal road journey, the final destination will not be the end point but the starting point, from where we actually geared up for an astounding voyage!

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For my epic voyage, constituting about 6000 km which may take nearly about 23 days, my travel companion will be my usual 4 other zealous travelers/universal rovers in their twenties who believe that life is either a daring quest, thrill and adventure or simply nothing. Our wild cohort would be 7 seater Toyota Fortuner, helping us to cover and cross three countries as we venture out in the world for our once in a life time experience.

Driving through the hilly terrain, broken turmac and dusty road, the SUV with 80 litres tank would be a great companion to cross the 45 iron bridges from the north east to reach Kalay in Myanmar. Besides, it will not only give us an access to the DVD and music system but also a rearview camera while we reverse. Music and food are the two things that let us going all through. We all are big foodies and so we tend to carry a lot of eatables along with us to munch throughout. Moreover, we do not have to worry about the smell and dampness due to the eatables. Thanks, to Ambi Pur for taking care and maintaining the scent of the car through its freshness quotient.

From Guwahati we would drive to our next destination, Dimapura (271 km) and on our way we would visit the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Kaziranga National Park.’ From the vulnerable one horned rhino to wild water buffalo, elephants, bison and the swamp deer, we would be able to have the glimpse and experience of a remarkable National Park that covers around 850 sq. km area of wetlands, forest and grasslands along the Brahmaputra River situated at the foothills of Himalayas in the north. You never know we would be able to even get a glimpse of the tiger. Wild beast amidst the scenic beauty and beautiful fauna – Oh, truly a photographer’s delight!

Staying overnight at Dimapura, the day 3 would be our drive to Imphal (208 km). In Imphal, the boys definitely would be eager to visit the world renowned market of Khwairamband Bazar, where all the stalls are owned and run by women. While they enjoy the company of several women and capture in their lenses, we, the girls would certainly shop our best! Girls and shopping always go hand in hand, isn’t it?

Exploring the city of Imphal in day and its culture through night, we would stay overnight only to gear up for crossing the Indian borders. Day 4 would be the day of thrill, excitement and fun as we would move from Imphal to Kalay (239 km) and also enter Myanmar through the Tamu check point. After completing the border formalities there would be nothing to stop the fanatic five explorers from their quest. The journey ahead would be more thrilling and exhilarating as we will cross a whooping 45 iron bridges on our way to Kalay in Myanmar. I already hear my friend and fellow traveler Avi and Simmi roaring in excitement. Adventure indeed!

Discussing the day’s event and pulling each other’s leg, we would then snore our best only to wake up and get set for our next aim – that is Mandalay (360 km). Passing from hills and dusty roads and having our breakfast and lunch in the places between, we would then finally reach Mandalay. All tired from a long drive, we would slurp our dinner and get into our slumbers. Taking an off from driving, the next day would be spent in exploring the mesmerizing place. Yes, from travelers we will become tourist and indulge into sightseeing, shopping and experiencing the local cuisines. It is said that the night view of the Sagaing hill and Irrawaddy River is really a feast to eyes and we would certainly love to enlighten our eyes with its pleasure.

Day 7 and we refuel ourselves as well as our SUV to hit the 8 lane Yangon Mandalay arterial highway to NayPyiDaw (277 km) the brand new capital city of the old Myanmar. Till now, I have never experienced driving through a 8 lane highway so the very thought exhilarates me. No wonder, our handy cam will surely have an itchy feeling and it is quite plausible that we may post the video on Youtube as soon as we reach the capital. I doubt whether Vickrant would even have that much patience…

Next day, our journey would be to Hpa An (463 km) and Day 9 would be to Nakhon Sawan (457 km) in Thailand.  2 days, 16 hours drive and covering more than 900 km, whoa, that’s a perfect road trip! And of course we will take the local items of food to munch in our power-packed SUV which will be fresh in spite of the constant labor. Credits to the Mini Vent Clip of AmbiPur which would maintain the freshness inside and most importantly, keep us away from the farts of our silencer in the group unlike the one in 3 Idiots.

By completing the border formalities we will finally say Hello to Thailand via the Myawaddy border through Kyon Doe and Kaw Kareik. Day 10 and I hear everyone roaring at the top of their voices, “Bangkok Calling.” Aha, Bangkok ahead 253 km. Besides, the 6 hour journey would be mesmerizing as we pass through several scenic and historic places encompassing the renowned Kanchana Bridge over the Kwai river. Finally, reaching Bangkok in the evening!

Next day, surely we will hit the salon for the Thai massage. Yes, we do deserve that after a roaller coaster journey. Besides, while the guys get busy exploring what they want in Bangkok (Nah, I won’t reveal it here), me and Simmi get busy in our favorite interest – Shoppping!

Next day, after refueling, our target would be Pattaya, just 153 km away. Pattaya, mainly because of its tranquil beaches, water-sports and hippy city life. Paragliding, yes that’s on my wish list from quite some time now and I am sure to accomplish this in my perfect road trip crossing three countries.

After having our Wow’s, Aha’s and Awesome moments in Pattaya we would then move to our next target that is Uttaradit, roughly 644 km. On the way, we will even have the glimpse of the famous Phittsanulok Chinarat Buddha statue. The pleasure of driving through South East Asian countries is that you feel the air filled with peace, tranquil and spiritualism where people are bonded with common threads and teachings of Buddhism.

Day 14 would be our drive from Uttaradit to Chiang Mai (340 km) and here we will see yet another national park. Oh yes, the Chae Son National Park. Wow. A glimpse of the amazing waterfall and several caves that comprises the park – Wow! Besides, an experience of the hot springs in the attractive setting.

Next day, we would say Bye-Bye to Thailand and loose our shoes towards Myanmar again – From Chiang Mai to Mae Sot (395 km), the end of Thailand. Long drive, we would then relax and stay overnight. On Day 16, we would head to Hpa An (171 km) once again after completing the border formalities. Indulging in the local food and life, we will spend the night there because the next day would be the most awaiting day of our lives and especially mine. Mainly because I will enter the serene place which I always wanted to visit, the ancient lost city of Bagan!

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Image Source: Wikipedia

Bagan is 665 km and so it would take 12 hours of travelling. Once we reach Bagan, after watching the dawn, we would get into our slumbers so that the next day early morning we see the sunrise and set out to experience the ancient mesmerizing milieu of this glorious site built in between 11th to 15th century. I hope I get to capture all the 2200 (earlier 10,000) temples in my lenses. A spiritual paradise, my dream is to meditate there! The entire crew being spiritualist would really be lost in this ancient city which is not only influenced by Mahanaya and Tantric Buddhism but also diverse Hindu (Saivite and Vaishna) and other native animist traditions.

Day 19 after carrying with us the memories of Bagan, we will get ready to Gangaw (290 km) via Pa Kok Ku and Pauk. Following which, India will be calling us once again through the Tamu border (259 km). Tamu to Kalay and finally reaching Imphal on Day 21 after covering 112 km. Taking it easy and driving with leisure we will once again visit the beautiful city of Imphal in the heavens of North Eastern India.

Day 22 would again be scenic smooth and cozy as we travel from Imphal to Kohima (138 km) in three hours.  Day 23 will be the final leg of our exciting, adventurous, beautiful and remarkable journey as we will get set to reach Guwahati once again covering 344 km only to conclude the journey with a promise to have such a memorable road trip over and over again!
P.S : 

The total distance of My idea of Perfect Road Trip: Approximately 6000 km

The route: Guwahati – Dimapura – Imphal – Kalya – Mandalay – NayPyiDaw – Hpa An – Nakhon Sawan – Bangkok – Pattaya – Uttaradit – Chiang Mai – Mae Sot – Hpa An – Bagan – Gangaw – Tamu – Kohima – Guwahati.

Days: 23

Traveler’s element: Road trip capturing hilly terrains, scenic landscape, natural habitat of animals, tranquil seas, water-sports, ancient civilization, a taste of life of the people of three different countries and of course, a roller coaster ride through 45 iron bridges and smooth drive on the 8 lane express highway.

The vehicle: Toyota’s Fortuner including the Ambi Pur Mini Vent Clip for maintaining the freshness quotient.

The Utilities: A DSLR camera borrowed from a friend, a GPS navigation system or an Android phone with Google Map.

The Companion: My close friends and also avid traveler and road trip fanatics – Avi, Simmi, Vickrant and Sameer.

This post is a part of Indiblogger’s Ambi Pur The Perfect Road Trip Contest

Find more about Ambi Pur here – facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

A Lucid Dream

Marine Drive, the place which embraces both the losers and the winners…Come here to express your happiness or to share your grief. …

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Xtreme Drive with Xtreme Indibloggers (Man) and the Xtreme Tata Safari Storme (Machine)

Here it goes the Tata Safari Storme Sport Utility Vehicle (S.U.V.)

Like a beast in wilderness;

Driving us off the road in style

Like a Smart Utility Vehicle (S.U.V).

With a new generation 2.2L VARICOR engine

And a power of 140 PS and 320 Nm torque

It is like the man with the mask on,

Spinning, tiding and swirling like the gushy winds in cyclone.

Climbing through the see-saw,

Making its way through the rumblers,

Descending swiftly across the 45 degree incline,

The monster kicks off even in the dwindlers.

Without the push, without the bumps,

Like a machine on the humps,

Through the arid, across the road of strive,

Oh what an adventurous Xtreme Drive!

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Ready to have some thrills on the real SUV with the bloggers, I reached the venue, the Chitrakoot Grounds sharp at 5 pm. My second Indiblogger meet in a span of 3 days and I was more than excited to indulge in the activities once again. By now, I have realized what amazing fun the Indiblogger meets brings. Oh yes, I am looking forward for more….

Ok, coming back to the venue, me along with my blogger friends went inside to register ourselves for the event, the Tata Safari Storme Xtreme Indiblogger meet. Still wondering what the event may unveil, we began chattering among ourselves and greeting-meeting the newcomers. Then began a game of numbers where we had to think of a number and every number had a prize hidden in it. From sleeping bags to banana along with a swiss knife and a private lap dance, the mystery of the numbers came with all the fun and frills. Next, the 30 seconds of fame came into light and we began introducing ourselves. This time, even I got the chance to boast.

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All this while, the twitter contest was on, where we had to tweet our retort as a backseater in a car. All the humor rolled out on twitter as well as on the venue and the best tweets even had the privilege of Nikon Camera along with other amazing booties. The fun had begun and we were given the testaments to fill for the xtreme drive. The bloggers roared in delight anticipating what the subsequent agenda would be.

Next, we were exposed with the features, specifications and the beauty of the beast, the machine which we were looking forward to have a hand on. After a detailed session by the brand manager of the most awaited SUV of the Indian market, we were asked to split ourselves in 20 and name our team. We gave the sobriquet of “Storm Ryders” to our amazing team of 20 and started clicking a team photograph before avenging towards the grounds to meet the sexy machine in “person”. Thanks to the Indiblogger team who always ensure that the bloggers get a firsthand experience on the elite stuffs before its launch, all in advance.

Five teams out on the ground to experience the real fun in the real SUV. But, wait a minute, there was something unexpected here. The team of 20 had to indulge in a “Tug-O-War” with the rigid machine, the Tata Safari Storme. Here, began the man and the machine saga, with few falling, few screaming, few engulfed behind their cameras, but all immersed in the euphoria of enjoyment.

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The Storme Ryders

Once the thrill of the “Tug-O-WAR” was well accomplished, we, the proud bloggers started venturing towards the real adventure. Ah, we were waiting for the fun all this while, weren’t we? Based on the cards which were given to us individually (A, B or C) we started making our way into the machine for various activities – Off the road, Bumble Bee, See-Saw, Terra Pod activity, Rumblers, Dwindlers and Drift.

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Tug-O-War

The interior of the machine was class and so was the comfort inside. Although, the ride was supposed to involve a lot of twirls and jerks, it was quite amazing that we were stable and safe and could easily enjoy the climb on the inclined/suspended path as well as witness the excitement while ascending-descending on the 60 degree bridge. And personally, I was extremely happy to witness the tornado of dust, the Storme was creating on the ground.

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See – Saw Activity
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The Powerful Real SUV inclined at 45 degree

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A perfect piece of machine for all the enthusiasts, travelers, off-beat drivers and harsh roads, the new Tata Safari Storme has all the incredible features that a real SUV would serve and I was more than glad to get a taste of Xtreme drive on it, thanks the entire team and staff of the Tata Motors.

And finally, after the euphoric drive, we were served with some delicious vegetarian food along with luscious faloodas, icecreams and gulab jamuns. What more can I ask for – Xtreme drive with xtreme food and fun amidst the Xtreme bloggers. Not to forget the Xtreme Indibloggers tee too. Xtreme fun indeed!

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Shekhawati: Explore the Unexplored in This Glittering Province of Rajasthan!

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Talk about Rajasthan and the very first thing which creeps into our mind are the majestic monuments of the Pink City – Jaipur, the grandeur palaces of the Sun City – Jodhpur, the museums and deserts of the Golden City – Jaiselmar, the forts of Bikaner, lakes of Udaipur (Venice of India), shrine in Ajmer and the gorgeous Mount Abu. Mainly because, either we have read about them, visited these places or have seen the ads by travel agents/websites/travelers raving about Rajasthan’s royal and pride in these amazing places. However, the one place that everyone misses out is the glittering painted “Shekhawati” province.

Never heard about it, hmm? Well, even I was unaware of this beautiful dreamscape until one of the adventure site and my client, Shoes On Loose, introduced me to this magnificent region tucked in the lovely golden deserts of Rajasthan, sited right in the Jaipur-Bikaner-Delhi triangle.

Let’s take a look into this imperial town right here through my eyes. Ready? Here, we go!

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Visualize a semi parched dreamscape of dazzling fields as well as plethora of splendid Havelis wrapped up in authentic frescos (mural paintings on wall). Picture it to be so mesmerizing in fine art and culture that it can be given the sobriquet of world’s biggest open art gallery. That’s precisely “Shekhawati”, the land of the Havellis and the frescos.

Engulfed by the Aravalli mountain ranges, the allure of this rock-strewn barricade comes as a shocker in this plain and arid landscape which is sprinkled with picturesque dunes and vivacious magnificent Havelis constructed in a unique architectural style in between 18th and 19th century by the Marwaris, India’s rich mercantile community. The Shekhawati wall paintings and arts are influenced from the Persians, the Mughals and the local people. It exhibits collection of themes from everyday life to hunting and mythology. You’ll be delighted to explore such a wonderful place in the state of Rajasthan. No wonder, you’ll be glad to witness right in the front of your eyes. Simply mesmerizing! The radiance of this place can be witnessed by stopping over at the Morarka Haveli Museum, Dr. Ramnath A Podar Haveli Museum and the beautiful Haveli Nadine Prince.

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Not just man made wonders and beauty, in Shekhawati, you’ll also get to picture the Black Bucks at the Tal Chapar Sanctuary aka Black Bucks Park. Besides, black bucks there are many species to be looked at which you have never seen before or would like to witness such as the Eastern Imperial Eagle, Demoiselle Cranes and Desert Fox along with various other rare flora and fauna.

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Even those who aren’t a photo fanatic will like to go behind the lenses when then entire the premises of Shekhawati to catch a glimpse of both the natural as well as the man made beauty of this marvelous province.

Mandawa, the decorated town and tourist capital of Shekhawati made me fall in love with her. The organic royal lunch, the painted Havelis of Gulab Rai Ladia, Snehiram Ladia and Mohanlal Saraf along with a nice time in the colorful bazaars of the frescoed town, made me a traveler photographer by default. While wandering in the market I learnt their dialect, “Kai kar reya ho?” which means what are you doing J. Mandawa also gives you a camel ride, if you are interested. Not me, I have a phobia that perhaps I’ll fall down :O. Lately, Mandawa was in news for the shooting of Raj Kumar Hiran’s PK which stars Aamir Khan and Sanjay Dutt.

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Dundlod fort is surely not to be missed while venturing out in the province to witness the marvelous art and architecture of the royal Rajasthan and for some ancient monuments, the Ramgarh area is definitely a must visit.

With so many temples, havellis, forts wrapped up in mural paintings with amicable locals and exceptionally great rural Food, the dal batti churma (yummy), and a wildlife safari, Shekhawati was really a delight not only for photographers but also for travelers, explorers, architects, biologists, naturalist and to my surprise even the metropolitan lovers living in the Europe.

And why not…..

Because a trip to Shekhawati  (150 km from Jaipur) is ought to bowl you over with its long-gone era, terrific heritage of art, effervescent mansions and of course its untouched natural beauty, making you witness the marvelous canvas of the natural world through the lenses of this haven!