Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thailand - Plan And Review Phuket City Tour

Rich, mystical and with a cultural heritage that spans eons, thailand opens its secrets to those who wish to leave behind the stresses and worries of everyday life. Hey All -> Photographers,seekers of the exotic, seekers of adventure, heritage fans, culture marvellers,  lovers, naturalists, luxury seekers and hedonists - Come to Thailand.

I am a Nature Lover . Any place which has Blue Sky , Crystal Clear Waters , Green Mountains and Jungle lures my Travel Lust . Phuket is a composition of all of the above and hence Ideal place for me . Phuket became my dream destination after watching two movies Partner and Man With The Golden Gun .

HOW TO REACH THERE : I started my Trip from Delhi Indra Gandhi International Airport .
There is no direct fligh to Phuket . All flights are routed to Phuket through Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bankok . Due to this reason , I had to book a connecting Flight to Phuket .All my booking were done through Renowned Travel Agent "SOTC" .
Note - Some of the airline websites have "Suvarnabhumi International Airport " as thier display options instead of Bankok .

HOW MUCH TIME WOULD IT TAKE : It took around 7.5 hrs to reach Phuket . This includes waiting time of 2hrs in between connecting flights .I started from Delhi at 12:05 a.m IST . I reached 5:35 a.m Thailand Time .The Flight duration was 4hrs . Then I had a connecting flight to Phuket at 7:50 a.m which lands there at 9:10 a.m .
Important Note - Thailand is 1hr 30 min ahead of India .

HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST :  The whole Trip would have Cost us around Rs. 1,10,000 for both of us . This includes some shopping as well :-
1) Delhi - Bankok - Phuket
    Phuket-Bankok-Bangalore         -      Rs. 54000
After the commencement of new Low Cost Airline Air Asia , India - Bankok sector has become quite cheap in 2010 .Even the Thai Airways fares have come down .

2) Deewana Patong Resort -              Rs. 12,800 for 3 nights and 3 days .
The resort was amazing . That resort is equivalent to a 5 star Indian Resort .
The package also includes airport to resort Transfers and vice- versa
Complementary American Breakfast .

3) Phuket City tour     - 40$ / Person
    One Full Day Phi Phi Island Tour through Cruise (Includes Lunch)- 40$/Person
    One Full DayJames Bond Island Tour through Cruise(Includes Lunch) - 40$/Person
   Total for both of us in 2009 would have been around Rs. 12000
4) Water Sports  :-
    We did Scuba Diving - around 1500 baht  or  Rs.2325 / person
    Under water Aquarium - around 500 baht or Rs. 775 / person
    Snorkelling - around 1200 baht or Rs. 1860 / person
5) Under Water Camera  - 600 baht or Rs. 930
6) Tourist Visa Stampings - Rs. 3400 for both of us .
Visa can be taken on arrival as well.It saves around Rs. 400. But Since we had less time between connecting flights , Its better to have visa stampings before travel .This saves time and you can plan your trip better .
In case you plan to take Visa On Arrival  . Please carry following Documents :-
(a) Passport or Travel Document with validity not less than 6 months .
(b) Visa Application Form Completely Filled out .
(c) Two recent photographs of the applicant (3.5 cm *  4.5 cm)
(d) Confirmed Plane tickets , paid in Full .
(e) Evidence of a adequate finance (20,000 baht per person or 40,000 baht per family )
(f) Chennai applicants in addition to the above mentioned documents have to carry self attested photocopy of application form and all other Originals .
7) Rest we spend on Shopping .

WHICH IS THE BEST TIME : Best time to visit this amazing country is Mid of December till 2nd week of Februaury .It is costliest at around last week of December to 18th January . The rates are sky high on 25th Dec and 31st december and 1st January night . Whoever opts for stay on 31st and 25tth December has to pay a mandatory fee of attending special events organised in the resorts .
Super Saver Advice - Travel after 18th January . This time around Weather is almost the same as on new year, but rates or tarrifs come down by 30% - 40% .


I had never seen Crystal Clear Waters or Green Sea before visiting Phuket .  We took off at around 12:05 a.m on 22nd jan 2009.We were served with 2 rounds of drinks followed by sumptous Indian dinner . I preffered white wine and a small Scotch .We landed at Bankok airport at around 5:35 a.m Thailand time . We had a connected flight to Phuket at around 7:50 a.m . Domestic Terminal is far far away from International . Though there are lots of automatic walkovers throughout the airport , yet it took us around 20 min - 25min to locate the Correct departure Gate .Its really a huge airport .

Again we took off for Phuket . Even the domestic travel had complementary beakfast which was good in taste .When we were about to land , we could see beautiful hills submerged in water . The feeling was great .
Landing was amazing . We felt as if we are about to land in water since the Airport is beside Sea .

My wife made a wish that some big car would come to recieve us. To our surprise a Big Black Nissan Sedane was there with a driver and guide .Guide was holding the display card of my name . It took us around 1 hr from airport to our Resort "Deewana Patong Resort" . We got freshened up and got ready for our city tour .

We started with the KATA beach , which was first active beach where i touched the crystal clear waters , took some snaps . Then we headed for Karon beach . The roads were neat and clean . Everything seemed to be perfect .

We saw some Pooja Samagri near some trees . This is a custom of thailand which symbolises , that they believe in Life after death . This offering of food and drinks is made in thier memory of thier loved ones who have departed .

Next Stop was Karon View Point - The view point is at some height and offers a beautiful view of all three beaches - Patong , Kata and Karon .We had a chilled and extremely sweet coconut worth Rs. 30 baht . It was worth it .

Then we mooved to our next destination RAWAI beach . Rawai beach is not an active beach . It is basically a way for Cruises and Ships .The beach is not accessible as well .

The next destination was Kinnary House . This is a place for some adventurous and entertaining sports activites . We rode 4 wheeler Short Scooter in Woods and through some steep topography .I forgot the cost , but the experience was amazing .I also did some shooting and scored  66% hits on Target .

The City tour ended with a wooden emporium PHUTHAI - The emporium is full of beautiful products made out of wood . We did some shopping for home and came back to resort .

After that we tried some street restaurants . Had our dinner , did some chotu motu shopping like 1 cut sleeves T-shirt , Beach Fotwears and came back to resort .

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Naukuchiatal, the nine cornered lake and a weekend getaway around Delhi is situated 25 kms from Nainital and 4 kms from Bhimtal. Naukuchiatal is known for its tranquility, orchards and dense jungles that surround it. This body of sparking water is 1220 mts above sea level, situated within an enchanting valley.

HOW TO REACH THERE : Delhi to Naukuchiatal is around 317 km .
The Best route from Delhi to Naukuchiatal 
Delhi -> Ghaziabad -> Hapur -> Muradabad -> Rampur -> Rudrapur -> Haldwani -> Kathgodam -> Ranibagh(2 KMs from Kathgodam) -> Bhimtal -> Naukuchiatal

Contact Number - : Club Mahindra Dancing Waters
Village : Bohra Gaon
Post: Naukuchiatal
Distt. Nainital –Pin - 263136
Tel: 05942 – 248105, 247408 – 409, 247507
Fax: 05942 – 247141

HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST : I went for a 3 days and 2 nights trip . Trip costed around Rs. 27,000 for 7 of us .Mode of Travel was Innova with Rs.10.50/km . Property : Club Mahindra Resorts  .Trip costs does not account for the Free Stay for 3 members .
Info : Club Mahindra also accommodate Non-Member .

Non- Members are accommodated in Junior Suite  - Rs 4000 / night .
Extra Adult - 1000 / night
Buffet Breakfast - Rs. 320 / Head
Buffet Meals - Rs. 420 / head

Reservation can be made from following Link : -
Reservation can also be through email :
Phone : 39880000*

Gad Ganga Dawns Gold
HOW MUCH TIME IT WOULD TAKE : Naukuchiatal is 7 hrs drive from Delhi .Since we halted for a number of times in between , it took us 8hrs to reach there .We started from Delhi at around 7:00 a.m . Halted in between for breakfast for about 45 minutes . Also we got some traffic jam near Rampur . We halted again in Haldwani for Lunch for about 1hr 15 min . We reached Club Mahindra Resorts at around 4:15 p.m .

Naukuchiatal Morning
Location of Resort - The resort is spread over 3.5 acres of land, facing the lake and surrounded by lush green mountains. You can access the lake through the resort . There is also a deck exclusively for the Club Mahindra Guests . This place offers one of the best views of Naukuchiatal . 
Studio Appartment
There are 2 types of rooms :-
1) Studio Rooms facing the Lake are available only for the Members .
2) Junior suite - available for Non-Members . they do not offer a Lake View 
There is a dormitory outside the resort for Drivers as well .Its Tarrif  is Rs.100 / night .
Other Details are available from the following Link :-

Property - Property Interiors and Furniture portrays a very Royal Look . It has ample amount of outdoor as well as Indoor activities . Other than Badminton all other Outdoor activities are charged. .The charges are quite handsome like -> Forest Horse Riding - Rs. 350  , Paragliding - rs. 1500 .

Best Part of the Resort and the Trip was their Evening Fun Activities which Includes Tambola , Snatch the partner etc. We celebrated my wife's birthday with all the guests of the resort .It was a nice surprise for her .
Resort has a beautiful bar room , but no Liquor is allowed .You must carry it with you . Even soft drinks are very costly .500 ml Limca was around Rs. 90 .

Food - Ala cart is Pathetic .Next day we got it packed from outside .Breakfast has a descent spread . Considering Club Mahindra to be Excellent Resort , breakfast was average .

Sight-Seeing - The first day travel was very tiring and hence we decided to stay and enjoy in the resort .In the evening we went to the Lake , Clicked some pics , Played badminton , and then started our drinks session .
Hanumanji temple
Next day we started the day by taking the blessings from a beautiful Hanumanji Temple .went to Sattal means 7 lakes . Some were as green as Jungles of Malaysia . Its worth watching . 
Nanital candles
Then we went to Nanital for purchasing some candles , buying cake for my wife , packed our dinner and came back to the resort .

Next day we started off for Delhi .On the way we stopped at Bhimtal  . I took some best shots of the trip at this place . I noticed a strange thing . Boats men catch big fishes here and keep it alive tied to a rope . If any tourist wishes to buy it , they pack it in some Plastic cover and give it Alive . Fresh Fish is a treat to tongue .  

Over all it was MAST FAMILY FUN ...........................

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Galibore Fishing Camp

The Galibore Fishing & Nature Camp Run by Jungle Lodges & Resorts, a unit of Karnataka Tourism, the Galibore Fishing and Nature Camp is tucked away literally far from the maddening crowd, deep in the deciduous forests about ten km from Sangam, on the banks of the River Cauvery .

HOW TO REACH THERE : We have to take the Kanakpura Road to reach Galibore .

One simple way of reaching Kanakpura road is to take the Bannergatta road  -> Reach the Shopper's Stop -> Go Another 8 km -> Take a right at the NICE ROAD (Toll Road)  -> Go on for some distance around 10 km -> You will see a big under pass -> You have to come down from right hand side and take a left -> This perpendicular road to NICE ROAD is Kanakpura Road -> Go straight for another 70 km -> Then you have to take 1 left turn (Ask Some Local at that point ) ->  Move on straight -> With few Turns down the Hill you will reach the end of Tarred Road -> Take a right from the Galibore's Board ->Last 8km is ravelly track (kacha Road).

PHONE : 91 - 80- 25597944 / 25584111 / 25559261
Email Address :
For Online Reservations :

It would Cost Rs. 3000 / Person for 1 night 2 days .
When I visited this place in 2009 , it cost  Rs.2220  / Person for the same package .
Day Trips would Cost around  Rs.1200 / Person  .

Overnight Stay would Include :
# Stay in Luxurious Tented  Cottages from 12.00 p.m to next day 10. a.m
# Lunch , Dinner , Breakfast
# Camp Fire
# Coracle Ride  (This would be from 1 bank to the other bank across the breadth of river Cauvery)
Try  taking Coracle Safari as complementary from the Manager over their . This would be Along the length of the river for some 2 km .
# Guided Trekking
# Fun Fishing 
Water Sports like kayaking  would cost Rs.250  / person
Mountain Riding Rs. 200 / Person

HOW MUCH TIME WOULD IT TAKE : About 2.5 hrs to 3 hrs from HSR Layout .

HOW ABOUT THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE : This place was the first Jungle Experience for me .
The place is just fabulous for the Bangalore crowd . With a Drive of just 120 km , you enjoy a pleasure of dense forests .
For the First Time in 2009 , I chose an Overnight Stay with the Family  :-
1. We checked in around 12.15  p.m
2. We got freshened up , tried to catch some fishes on the beach of Kaveri by our handkerchiefs , photographed some butterflies , and scorpions .
3. Went for lunch at 1.30 . Lunch is Average . Don't have high expectations .

4. Then we rested for some time in our Tents . The Tents are pretty safe with Wooden doors  and attached Bathrooms .

5. At 3:30 p.m we went for Coracle Ride  across the breadth of River Kaveri  and stopped for Fun Fishing .
 I caught a small Mahaseer . That was an Awsome feeling .We persuaded our coracle driver , to stay for some more time , but it was already dark . We came back around 6:30 .

7. We took a bath and started our drinks session . Only beer is available at the Camp , which costs around Rs. 140 per 650 ml bottle . Scotch and Whisky drinkers should carry it along from home .Soda is available .
Electricity is not available and the camp is powered by Generators . There could be a fight in getting the Ice cubes also .
8. We set off for the Campfire and Barbecue at around 7:45 p.m . Somehow at that time the Beer   
bought from the Camp was Chilled . Barbecued chicken was just awesome  .
9. Dinner started at 8:30 p.m . Again we found it Average .
10 . Night was little scary and adventurous with all the sound of Trees , Water , Pets . 
11. Next Morning my Parents got up early to enjoy the Sand Bank of the River  .They spotted a Crocodile very near to the Shore of the Camp . Being a crocodile i was immediately called .
With bare foot i came running . But some other guests at the came got excited and shouted .
This made it go away from the shore .

12. Then we went for trekking up the hill . This could be little tiring . Generally Trekking guide covers only 1 hill , but if you are enthusiastic Trekker you can even persuade  for trekking  to another hill as well .
13. The best part of the trip came after trekking . We just came to the sand bank to show my Sister in Law the point where Crocodile was spotted . To our surprise the Crock was still there . This could be our greatest Luck . By the time we could click it . It went far .
14.  Then we had breakfast , which was above average .
15 . We also did some kayaking , which was also awesome experience . Those air filled small kayaks were just awesome experience .  Rowing the Boat in the waters where we spotted a wild crocodile few minutes back was adventurous .

Overall the trip was awesome .  We also spotted some deers on the other side of the bank in the morning .

Great Place ...................
Average Food ....................
Great Hospitality......................
Great staff......................................
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Travel Living by Nitin Bhatnagar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License