Asia

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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The Sunset on Mount Everest

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Into the thin air, I was struggling hard for a breath of air. I’ve not climbed above 5300m before and with only 50% oxygen in the air, was struggling even more walking across the ridge. I sat down on a boulder to rest, grasp more air and stop my heart pounding high. This morning, for the first time, oxygen saturation level in my blood dipped below 80 and the altitude began to take toll on me. But no way could I give it up. I was so close of my dream destination, Everest Base Camp! I climbed up this much and was only an hour walk away from it. “Come on Anupam, you can do it!” yelled my guide. I stood up again, mumbled under my breath “Slowly Slowly, Bistar Bistar”, the Nepalese Mantra I learned from my guide for climbing high altitudes. The sense of following the footsteps of many legendary Mountaineers who conquered Everest was boosting my morale and finally I reached the head of downward trail to the Base Camp. I could clearly see from there, the Base camp, Khumbu Ice fall and the Mt Everest. It was then a few minutes’ walking down to the base where rocks were piled up and covered with colourful prayer flags announcing the destination, Everest Base Camp at 5364m!

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Leaving Thimphu, on to Paro, Bhutan

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Paro is the most gorgeous city in the whole of Bhutan; and far more beautiful than Thimphu (wondering why the king does not stay here). It has the only International Airport in the country, and situated on the bank on Paro River, surrounded by hills. Before reaching to Paro city, we met Paro River on the way and fell in love with it. We immediately stopped the car, got down and went inside a downstream.

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To Thimphu, Bhutan by Road from India

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The international Boarder between India and Bhutan is shared by Jaigaon in India and Phuntsholing in Bhutan.

There is free access between these two places, however you are required to get permit to move beyond Phuntsholing. After an hour of journey, the view besides the road began to change and after crossing large fields, tea estates appeared. Total journey was about five hours and before we realized we reached Bhutan. It was a big gate, painted with colorful dragons and guarded by soldiers from Indian BSF and Royal Bhutan Army.

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Picture perfect beaches on Jolly Buoy

The Emerald Islands of Andaman and Nicobar

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The view from underwater is breathtaking. Corals, oysters, sea weeds, colored fish  and the surrounding blue water is mesmerizing. Touching endangered species such as corals are  not allowed. The best part of the sea walk actually came when we fed pieces of bread to the  fish. As soon as you hold up the bread pieces, fish of different colors gather around you and it does get a bit ticklish but it is definitely a wonderful experience.  After 20 minutes of  “seawalking”, the divers  escorted us back up to the pontoon. When you climb up, one is likely to experience  the pressure factor again . At the end of it, the whole experience leaves you spellbound and the sparkling blue water always tantalizes you to go back underwater.

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Land of Temples

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This was like a long long line of adjacent temples connected with each other, flanked by enormous ruins of even bigger structures now collapsed with a deserted, lonely and forested look. Each doorframe complete with a chandrashila ( decorative step before and after the stepping stone), leading into quadrangular enclosure with side wings opening into corridors leading to outside structures, the closed sanctums sometimes blessed with a Shiv ling, or an idol or just a block carved to hold an idol.

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Holiday in KL and Singapore

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You need to book tickets to Genting Highlands from KL Sentral (Genting ticket counter is clearly marked and visible – Level 1). Since it was Ramzan holiday the next day, most of the KL crowd would be at Genting and you need to book tickets soon.

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