Travel Tales


vakil mosque shiraz iran
My days of being a full-time wanderer, are behind me for now. Now that I am back in a corporate job, I try to find exciting vacations, while saving up for my next long travel. And one important factor when taking these vacations, is time. I do want to travel cheap, but I also want to maximise the time in any new place. So logically, the best option is to take a direct flight. Thus minimizing any transit time, and maximising your vacation period. Wondering where to go with an Indian passport? Click here to check out my list of […]

10 Direct flights from India, that you may not have known about!


lamp bear qatar doha airport
It has been an annual tradition for me to take atleast one or 2 trips to Europe every year. And from Singapore, the cheapest way to do that, is through the many middle-eastern airlines that make cheap connections possible with transit in their respective countries. Qatar Airways, Saudia airlines, Oman Air and Turkish airlines compete among each other to offer the cheapest fares from Asia to Europe. The price is usually very cheap, but the only problem with these airlines, is the long transit time. And one is often forced to spend a few hours (some unfortunate transit situations could go […]

8 Totally FREE things to do during a transit at Qatar’s Hamad International Airport


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This is a list of countries that do not require a visa, or offer a visa on arrival for Indians. If you are looking for countries that offer electronic visas (E-visas), click this list. There are plenty of countries which do not require an advance visa for Indian citizens. And if you are an Indian – or if you have interacted with an Indian – the chances are likely that you will believe/hear the most commonly stated reason why Indians dont travel much. “I need a visa for every fricking country that I want to go to!” Click here for […]

Top 10 countries where Indians can travel without an advance visa!



tough mudder bali indonesia
I was no stranger to Bali. But I knew this trip was going to be different. It was for the Toughmudder in Bali. Oh yeah. Waaaayyyy different! As I sat on the window seat of the Airasia flight, on a turbulent Friday night, it slowly dawned on me that the turbulence was more inside me, than outside. This was probably the 4th time that I was visiting Bali. I have rode a motorbike through the entire island in the past, and even stopped here on the way to my epic trip in East Timor. I had seen pretty much every […]

Getting muddy in the Island of Gods: Toughmudder in Bali


Yap airport micronesia
Manila It was an uneventful flight to Manila. I was no stranger to the Philippines. I lived here for 4 years. And even after I moved my base from the Philippines to the urbanscape that people called Singapore, I had visited Manila a couple of times. So, nothing exciting awaited me in Manila, save a couple of planned meetups with old friends. If you are looking for something interesting to do in Manila, go offbeat and check out the Ermita region for some amazing street photography opportunities. Owing to some confusion in my seat booking, Jetstar gave me a free upgrade to […]

Island-hopping on an airplane: Singapore to Palau


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2 minutes into this blog post, and you may begin to question whether I am a travel blogger or a financial management blogger. I wouldn’t blame you if you did. But I would subtly remind you that I am the worst person to be taking financial management lessons from, since my ideas mostly work only for myself. Yet they can be modified and used for your own travel plan. And I would even remind you – even more subtly – that continued and sustainable travel is only possible when there is strong financial management skills to back it up. Why do I even […]

How to get that bang for your travel buck!



Somewhere near Ruse, Bulgaria
9th June 2015 – Bucharest, Romania The coach hissed on the tracks, surprisingly reminiscent of India. And the open windows, took the eye to the distant edge of the world. Past a lengthy immigration stop, and a barrage of questions, The visions of yet another country – silently yet surely – was unfurled. It was a good run, Bucharest. But I am afraid we must finally part ways. I left the hostel in the morning, and headed to the train station. There was only one train everyday from Bucharest to Sofia, and that was at 12.50 PM. I had already bought the tickets […]

Project 365: Day 343 – The Bulgarian train odyssey


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Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: What connects these ‘locations’? Answer: Shooting locations for Game of thrones. Essaoira, morocco – Meereen Svinafellsjokull glacier, Iceland – The wall and beyond Meteora, Greece – Vale of Arryn Ballintoy harbour, Northern ireland – The iron islands Dubrovnik, Croatia – Kings landing Dark Hedges, ireland – Kingsroad Doune castle, Scotland – Winterfell Cracked by nobody. And I thought this was a sitter! Click here for the hall of fame of scores!

Been there, Learnt that! Quiz #25


Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary
2nd June 2015 – Budapest, Hungary The most eastern end of the Budapest railway, shone bright In the early sun rays, like a morning-eyed kitten. Thanks to old friends and new benefactors, The wanderlust still rages. I am ever so smitten. I should have have been on a flight to Dubai today, as per my original plan and budget when I first landed in Europe 3 months ago. But then, I had a masterstroke to try crowdfunding. To see if any of my friends hated me enough to keep me travelling longer and delay seeing my ugly face for a little longer. So, I created […]

Project 365: Day 336 – By rail through Romania



Mother Teresa 2
Submit your answer in the comments below. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: When it comes to travelling, what connects these famous peeps? Answer: All have airports named after them. Nikola Tesla: Belgrade Ian Fleming: Jamaica Indira Gandhi: New Delhi Alexander the great: Skopje Abraham Lincoln: Springfield, Illinois Mother Teresa: Tirana   Answered only by Ritwik Ghosh. Click here for the hall of fame!

Been there, Learnt that! Quiz #24


Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: The Marten has given its name to at least 2 important items. The Finnish company Nokia gets its name from the river Nokianvirta, a type of Marten locally known as ‘Nokia’. The other famous etymology is that of an international currency. The skin of the Marten was once highly-valued, and was used for collecting taxes in a particular country. In memory of this culture, the currency of the country is the local word for Marten. Which currency, which is at danger of being […]

Been there, Learnt that! Quiz #23


Lake bled in Slovenia
28th May 2015 – Bled, Slovenia Life is not spontaneity or coincidence, I’ve always been told. Its a matter of meticulous planning, and hard work. Maybe true, but not always, as I found out today. That fateful coincidence laughed at me again, and did his smirk. I am a huge fan of couchsurfing, and I have wrote about it multiple times before. But my faith in couchsurfing as a platform that connects humans, was restored once again today, because of 3 wonderful anecdotes with 3 beautiful people. One was a story of humanity, another of spontaneity and another of sheer coincidence. 1) Kashif Last night, me […]

Project 365: Day 331 – 3 stories of couchsurfing. And lake bled.



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Scroll down for the answers. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: What historic incident happened on 17th February 2008, when this monument was unveiled? Answer: The newborn monument was unveiled on the day when Kosovo declared its independence. Click here to check it out. Cracked only by Ritwik Ghosh, who now leads the hall of fame of scores! 

Been there, Learnt that! Quiz #22


confluence of 2 rivers
Scroll down for the answers. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: This is the confluence of 2 small rivers in a prominent capital city in Asia. The confluence has led to the naming of the capital city itself, which has a name that translates to ‘muddy confluence’. Which city? Answer: Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). At the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. Cracked by nobody. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Click here: to check out the Batu caves of Kuala Lumpur.

Been there, Learnt that! Quiz #21


Indonesian city 2
Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: Sir Stamford Raffles had a position as a Lieutenant Governor in this city on the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. In honour of him and his position, a famous street in Singapore has been named after this Indonesian city. Which street? Answer: Bengkulu, or Bencoolen. Bencoolen street in Bugis, Singapore, is named after this. Cracked only by Nicholas Lim. Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Click here: to check out the Sultan Mosque of Bugis.

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #20



Newborn monument in Pristina, Kosovo.
13th May 2015 – Pristina, Kosovo In a newborn country, I find myself today. So new, that youth oozes from its every pore. And a monument to herald it, stands proud. Carrying with it a story. The stuff of lore. I left Belgrade today morning for a new destination. I was about to type country, but then I am unsure about representing it. (Note: Calling Kosovo a country is only to make documentation easier on my blog. I am not endorsing the right of Kosovo as an independent nation, and neither am I against it. I do not take any sides. I […]

Project 365: Day 316 – In a newborn country


Kelani river 4
Scroll down for the answers. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: The Kelani river, is the fourth largest river in its country. The only claim-to-fame of this river is a city that lies on its shores. The city was originally called ‘kolon  Thota’ (Port on the river kelani), but the Portuguese renamed it to what we now know it as. Which capital city? Answer: Colombo Cracked by Ritwik and Stephanie! Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Click here: To check out my episode in Colombo.

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #19


Philippines wartime flag
Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: Look carefully at the military flag of the Philippines, and tell me why is it unique? Answer: The wartime flag of the Philippines is their national flag, only inverted. This is unique among world flags. Cracked by nobody, this one! Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Click here : to check out my Philippines episodes.

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #18



Katie Hopkins 2
Scroll down for the answer to the Quiz. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: Which country – or more specifically, the name of the country – connects these 4 celebrities? (Hint: Jhonty Rhodes was the latest)   Answer: India. They all named their daughters as ‘India’. Cracked by Ritwik Ghosh. Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Click here : to check out my India travels on a motorbike!

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #17


Land diving
Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores. Qn: The land diving of Pentecost Island, is an ancient ritual in which young men jump from tall wooden platforms with vines tied to their ankles as a test of their courage and passage into manhood. This is said to have inspired the modern sport of Bungee-jumping, but unlike in modern bungee-jumping, land-divers intentionally hit the ground, but the vines absorb sufficient force to make the impact non-lethal. Which country does Pentecost island belong to? Answer: Vanuatu Cracked only by Arpan Roy. Click here for […]

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #16


Quiz 15 2
Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Qn: The first major world fair was held in 1958 in this city. And in honour, the city built a giant model of a unit cell of an iron crystal, which they named ‘Atomium’. Which city?   Answer: Brussels. Cracked only by Stephanie. Click here for the hall of fame! Click here: To check out my visit to the Atomium.

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #15



Picture Z 2
Scroll down for the answer. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Qn: X is the Hotel Crown plaza in Prague, Czech Republic. Y is the Palace of culture and science in Warsaw, Poland. Z is the Latvian academy of Sciences in Riga, Latvia. There is a specific name given to architecture like this. What is such architecture called? Answer: Stalinist architecture, also called the Stalin Empire style, is used to describe the architecture of the soviet union under Joseph Stalin, between 1933 and 1955. Remnants of this architectural style are still found all […]

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #14


Qn 13 2
Scroll down for the answers. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Qn: The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchants and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland, flourishing during the late middle ages. The below pictures shows the map of their reach. The legacy of the league is now remembered in several names of European companies, but most importantly, in the name of an European airline carrier. Which airline? Answer: Lufthansa. The naming of the airline has two theories. The more famous of […]

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #13


Picture B
Scroll down for the answers. Click here for previous quizzes. Click here for the hall of fame of scores! Qn: This capital city was originally called just ‘town’, although in the local language. In 1967, the King (Picture A) abdicated his throne to his son, and took the title of ____ _____. The son (Picture B), who is also the current king, renamed the city and added his father’s title at the end of it, to give the city it’s current name. Identify the capital city, which has 3 words in its name. Answer: Bandar Seri Begawan. (Brunei) The original name for […]

Been there, learnt that! Quiz #12