Ghumakkar Guide – San Francisco, California

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Fisherman’s Wharf is a true blue tourist joint, often called by many as a ‘tourist trap’ but I have always liked the energy at this place. To start with, spend some time at Ghirardelli square where the original factory used to be, and don’t forget to have those free samples of the world-famous chocolate. On a cold weather day, you would find a huge fire-place in open and you can have a relaxing coffee or hot chocolate to give you a good company. Once done, head all the way to Pier 39 and watch the “Sea Lions” on those old wooden decks. One can keep gazing at these big creatures for ever. Sample some fresh breads at Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe. Follow this with two rounds of the whole place and you would be amazed by the sheer color and vibrance, from the souvenir shops to street performances, to museums, the rides and swings, to food kiosks and of course a lot of tourists. On a good day, one can easily spend an entire evening at the Fisherman’s Wharf. And finally when you have nothing else left to explore then head to Alcatraz.

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Delhi – Patna road review

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Once you are out of Agra, the road gets a little better and traffic reduces. Press the pedal and hit Firozabad. This is the first city (after Agra) where you would start to feel the Mughal Era. Some of the old buildings could be still seen, the city is known for its bangles and glass work. There are these big tempting bangles showrooms which you need to pass quickly else a female fellow traveler’s urge makes you stop.

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Delhi – Moradabad – Sitapur – Lucknow : Road Review

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Anway, so about two weeks back, I drove till Maigalganj (40 odd KM ahead of Shahjahanpur) on the way to Lakhimpur. I didn’t intend to write this post since I have not really done the complete stretch but I met Aditya the other day and he convinced me that it still makes lot of sense to do a small review. For the remaining stretch, he promised me to get inputs from other people so here it is.

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Music by the ghats of Varanasi – The Mahindra Kabira Festival

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Mrs. Sucharita Gupta. While Harpreet sang some soulful self-composed pieces on Kabir, Mrs. Gupta worked her magic with thumris, bhajan and you-name-it on Kabir. It is another level of performance when the artist herself feels elated and wants to continue performing bringing out new stuff from the bag. And classical/semi-classical Indian Music works well with our taste and sensibilities. So it was, as they say, magical!

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Manikaran Sahib, Kullu – A short visit

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As heat in Delhi became unbearable, as we gave up on staying alive in the huge bar-be-que that seemed to follow us wherever one would go, and finally as our frustration psyched us out since we could not find an appropriate, worthy, exciting place for our holiday – along came Kasol. To make the deal more lucrative, it came across that Gurudwara Manikaran Saheb was close-by, hence a visit was warranted.

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Kushinagar – Where Buddha breathed last

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The actual cremation ground is a bit away and I didn’t go there this time. The area has lots of temples built by many countries which practice Buddhism. There are good hotels as well, including Taj and I clearly remember that there were internet kiosks five year back.

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Phnom Penh in Cambodia TO Can Tho in Vietnam by bus

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We called up our hotel in Phnom Penh as well as Can Tho, but no luck. Everyone shared the bus routes but all of them were going to Can Tho, via Saigon. It seemed so lame and dumb to do that. When everything fails, Internet comes as a savior so we started scavenging sites like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and what not. To our luck, we found one hard-to-believe post saying that

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Our Dubai Trip – Reaching the land of Skyscrapers

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So lets start from the Radio Taxi, Easycabs, which dropped us in-time. We were flying Emirates (23K odd per person return includes Visa and Insurance) since that meant that you get Visa easily. Also, with a small kid you tend to get a little more protective. There are other flights which would come out a little more economical and it can come down to as low as 15K per person return. Since its a short-haul, I would think that one should actively explore these other options and save some moolah for a good Himalayan-break after you are back from Dubai.

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Best place to stay at Angkor Vat Siem Reap, The Bayon Villa

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No one aspires to be in Siem Reap for the city. Everyone comes here to go and experience the Angkor Vat. The temple complex is a bit away from the main city (under 30 minutes TukTuk ride) but then the reality is that after you done with all the walking and awe-ing on the scale, the craftsmanship, the stories, you look forward to some un-wind time. And for that, the city has a great street, aptly called, ‘Pub Street’. Good news is that the ‘Pub Street, as well as the other city-city places like Siem Reap night market is just a walk-away.

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Delhi to Bhimtal by road, all routes explained

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Avoid early morning drives during full-moon days since Garh Mukhteshwar sees a lot of pilgrims. Karthik Purnima is biggest. There would be three Toll points, most of them decently managed. Pilakhua is a great place for a 30 minute shopping break for towels, bed-sheets, pillow-covers. Just shy of Garh Muketshwar, you can buy all the moodhas (functional ones as well as decorative/toy ones) you always wanted. Bargain hard.

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Ghumakkar Gadgets – Stay Charged via a ‘Power Bank’

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A portable power bank is a charger that can hold a lot of power and then can be used to energise your electronic devices. You can charge them before you leave from your home and then carry it in your bag. The best thing about a power bank is that it works on an interface (Mini USB) which is a standard for almost every device. So you do not need to carry an additional or extra battery-pack of each of your devices. These can be easily shared, are small enough to carry and are great savious, when you are least expecting it.

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