Looking For A Peaceful Travel Destination? Then Say “Tashi Delek”, Ravangla!

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There are several perks of being an army wife. One of them is to be able to travel across the length and breadth of the country. There are several places in our country which are breathtakingly beautiful yet not very popular. One such place that I got to see recently is Ravangla. Ravangla or Rawangla or Ravongla is a very small town situated at an elevation of 7000 ft in South Sikkim.

A picturesque town with not too many commercial hangouts, Ravangla can be your ideal travel destination if you are looking for a peaceful time away from a busy corporate life.

Points of tourist interest in Ravangla

Everything! Just step out of your hotel room and breathe in the beauty of the place. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Kabru are just a few of the major peaks that are clearly visible from Ravangla.

You can also visit the Ralang Monastery, a Buddhist monastery located about 5 kilometers from Ravangla.

If you are a Tea person, a visit to Temi Tea Garden, about 16 kms from Ravangla would be a delight.

You can also go for some short treks and indulge in Bird  Watching in Ravangla.

Eating in Ravangla

Tibetan cuisine and Butter Tea are a must if you are going to Sikkim for the first time. This food is good for the weather as it will keep you warm in an otherwise freezing Ravangla.

The ideal season to visit Ravangla

The ideal time to visit Ravangla is February and March. Avoid the rainy season because there might be incidents of landslides. Avoid peak winter season from December to January if you can’t bear extreme cold.

Reaching Ravangla

Ravangla is situated between Pelling and Gangtok and has a connectivity to all major towns in Sikkim through the state highway.

The nearest airport is Bagdogra Aiport, which is about 130 kms.

The nearest railways station is New Jalpaiguri(NJP), which is about 120 kms.

You can hire taxis from the Bagdogra airport or the NJP railway station to go to Ravangla. You can also consider shared jeeps and SNT buses if you are on a tight budget.

On your way to Ravangla from NJP/Bagdogra, don’t forget to stop every 20-25 kms and get a feel of the landscape changing.

Happy holidays!

P.S.: Tashi Delek is a Tibetan greeting like ‘Hello!’. Tashi means auspicious and Delek (or Deleg, Deleh) means fine or well.

Published on Women’s web: http://www.womensweb.in/2016/03/tashi-delek-ravangla-in-sikkim/

Planning Your Vacation? A Step-By-Step Guide To Making The Most Of Travel

I am such an obsessive planner when it comes to traveling that my husband often wonders if I enjoy traveling or planning for traveling. By the time I actually board the flight, I practically have had a virtual tour of the place. Some people might call this process the murder of ‘spontaneous fun’ but, trust me, it’s not.

A decent planning ensures that you don’t land up in shady places, waste your time in unimportant (which may be famous) places, end up buying low quality local products for obnoxious prices and eat Chinese food in a Goan restaurant and vice versa.

What I leave for spontaneity is the experience that the destination offers. Whatever information I find out during my obsessive research-this-travel-destination phase, I use that only to plan my itinerary.

 

Read More @http://www.womensweb.in/2016/03/planning-your-vacation/

Review: The Blue Lagoon Resort, Goa

When I decided to travel to Goa this February, I was very clear about one thing: This trip was a vacation. I was not traveling; I was vacationing, relaxing, giving myself the much-deserved break after an extremely hectic year. Therefore, I was looking for a quiet place. Less of booze, less of party, less of chaos were my primary requirements. As I had been to Goa earlier, I had a fair idea that what I was looking for will take me towards South Goa. Distances in Goa are huge, so covering both on a short haul was not possible anyways. So, I zeroed my search to resorts in South Goa. Two years back, I had stayed in a resort near Varca beach and I had liked it. So, I was looking for a similar yet better experience. As I am a meticulous planner, I went through I-don’t-know-how-many customer reviews before I finally decided to go for The Blue Lagoon Resort on the Cola Beach.

The Blue Lagoon Resort promised what I was looking for: a private and quiet beach, decent accommodation, quality crowd and no chaos. After my trip, I can definitely tell you that it scores high on whatever it promises on its website.

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What worked for me?

The location

Trust me, there can’t be a better spot to stay in Goa. We had taken a sea-facing hut and the view it offered was out of this world. The high point of my vacation was sitting in my balcony at dusk and sipping my favorite cup of Tulsi tea.

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The lagoon

When I say I love water – I mean every bit of it. I can be in water whole day even when I can’t swim. The lagoon in the resort offers you that option. If you are scared of the sea, you have fresh water lagoon to rescue.

The crowd

Most of the people in the resort share your idea of vacation – quiet and peaceful. So, there is no noise, no drama, no loud music in your surroundings. During my stay, I did not come across many Indians. However, I met with some locals who were on a day’s trip to the resort and were surprised that we managed to reach this unexplored location in Goa from a remote city in East India. 🙂

The cab service 

The website of the resort clearly tells you that you can’t find out the resort on your own. Please trust them when they say that. The resort is about 40 kms from the airport and you have to drive about 3-4 kms on a dirt road and then walk a little with your luggage to get a glimpse of where you are going to stay. However, I did not really have to break my head too much because I had availed their cab services. The cab driver was right on time to pick me up and gave me free-of-cost advice on what I can explore near the resort. They also arranged for a paid cab when I wanted to explore nearby beaches Palolem and Agonda.

What did not work for me?

The restaurant 

The menu has almost all possible options that you will need on a 4-5 day’s break but nothing tastes good. I repeated toast and juice for breakfast and rice and curd for dinner for three consecutive days.

Poor room service

There is no intercom.  So, even if you have to a place an order just for a cup of tea, you have to come down to the restaurant.

Cleanliness 

While the beach and lagoon are awesomely clean, the rooms do not match up to the standards. For the hefty amount that you pay to stay in this resort, you will at least want cleaner bed-sheets and continuous water supply in the washroom. I was disappointed, the very first day, when I returned from the beach to find that there was no water supply in the bathroom.

Overall, my experience was good because I loved the location of the resort, I liked the crowd, I liked South Goa in general.

Travel quotes I love

I am a wanderer at heart. I hate to live in a city for more than 3-4 years. I am in constant search of new people, new culture, new language, new dialect and all the newness that this world can offer. I am not sure how much of the world will I see by the end of my life but when I look at these quotes I get inspired to pack my bags and head for a new destination again. After all, there is so much left to see and there is only little time left.

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The rebel in me loves the last one most:

Go see.

PS: These images have been sourced from various websites. I don’t own the copyrights of these images. If you are the owner of the image and want me to remove the image from my blog, please write to me at kashyap.richa1988@gmail.com.

 

 

 

How to plan your vacation

tour-calendar

I am such an obsessive planner when it comes to traveling that my husband often wonders if I enjoy traveling or planning for traveling. By the time I actually board the flight, I practically have had a virtual tour of the place. Some people might call this process the murder of ‘spontaneous fun’ but, trust me, it’s not. A decent planning ensures that you don’t land up in shady places, waste your time in unimportant (which may be famous) places, end up buying low quality local products for obnoxious price and eat Chinese food in a Goan restaurant and vice versa. 😀

What I leave for spontaneity is the experience that the destination offers. Whatever information I find out my during my obsessive research-this-travel-destination phase, I use that only to plan my itinerary. Once my itinerary is set, I let the travel take its own course. I never get into “Ah! this place had a bad review of blah site. I should have avoided it.” mode.  I then enjoy that “bad” experience and move on to the next item on my itinerary.

So, if you are someone like me, who likes to gather a lot of information before planning a trip, here are some quick and easy-to-follow tips for your research-this-travel-destination phase and plan-your-travel phase.

  1. Decide your budget. Once you decide your budget, break it into three parts: Travel mode budget, Stay and food budget and Shopping budget.
  2. Now, decide your mode of travel based on your Travel mode budget. Get done with the tickets before you move on to the next step.
  3. Choose where you plan to stay. This is one tricky part. So, let’s simplify it a little. Are you planning an adventurous trip or a luxurious trip? What do you have in mind a hotel, a resort or a homestay? Think! Think and focus your research on that particular kind of stay. You can check out different travel and holiday information portals to look for options. Don’t forget to read the detailed reviews before finalizing an option.
  4. Does your hotel/homestay/resort offer breakfast as a part of your package? If it does, opt for it. There are very rare chances you will go scouting for breakfast on a vacation.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the stay and the locality, book the place before you move on to the next step.
  6. Now, open the Wikipedia page and find out the popular tourist spots of the place. Make a list and checkout these places one by one. You can use “Tourist spot <Name> +experience” or “Tourist spot <Name>+reviews” as keywords on Google. You will get enough information to scrutinize what to see and what not. Do not just visit popular spots in the city, look for places of your interest in the city. For examples, I like churches and cathedrals, so even if they are not very popular, I make a point to see the ones which catch my interest.
  7. Make a list of the places that you want to visit. On an average, keep only 3-4 places on your list for one day. You should not be rushing from one place to another just to tick the items on your list.
  8. See the map of the city and spot the places that you have zeroed down to visit. Bunch the ones which fall in one route for one day. Take a print out of the map and mark the routes and places day-wise.
  9. If you can drive, I suggest you to rent a vehicle for the entire duration of your trip. Use GPS device to navigate in the city.
  10. If you can’t speak the local language, download a translation app and learn a few commonly used local words. It comes handy always!
  11. I am not someone who shops a lot during vacations.  I am good with good photos, good food and good time but if you like shopping, I would suggest you to check the prices of the items that you plan to buy on various online shopping portals beforehand. Keep a mental note of these prices so that you can negotiate if required. Please note that not all countries have the culture of negotiation.
  12. If you are planning to shop, travel light. You don’t want to be paying double the airfare just for carrying the stuff back home.
  13. Read about the culture of that place. Know the basic local etiquette so that you don’t end up offending the locals. Do you need to dress up conservatively? If yes, pack your clothes accordingly.
  14. If you are on any kind of medication, always carry your medication and prescription with you.
  15. Last but not the least, take your camera and leave your phone. Don’t you want to carry memories back home?

PS: “A management degree ruins your life”, says my adventurous husband after reading this draft! So, take your call! 😀

 

Tashi delek Ravangla!

There are several perks of being an army wife. One of them is to be able to travel across the length and breadth of the country. There are several places in our country which are breathtakingly beautiful yet not very popular. One such place that I got to see recently is Ravangla. Ravangla or Rawangla or Ravongla is a very small town situated at an elevation of 7000 ft in South Sikkim.

A picturesque town with not too many commercial hangouts, Ravangla can be your ideal travel destination if you are looking for a peaceful time away from a busy corporate life.

What to see in Ravangla?

Everything! Just step out of your hotel room and breathe in the beauty of the place. Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Sinialchu, Mt. Kabru are just a few of the major peaks that are clearly visible from Ravangla.

A must visit is the Buddha Park, also known as the known as Tathagata Tsal. It  features a 130-foot high statue of the Buddha at its centerpiece. Try to get the tickets for the mesmerizing light and music show here. You can also do some shopping inside the Buddha Park complex.

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You can also visit the Ralang Monastery, a Buddhist monastery located about 5 kilometers from Ravangla.

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If you are a Tea person, a visit to Temi Tea Garden, about 16 kms from Ravangla would be a delight.

temi_tea_garden

You can also go for some short treks and indulge in Bird  Watching in Ravangla.

What to eat in Ravangla?

Tibetan cuisine and Butter Tea are a must if you are going to Sikkim for the first time. This food is good for the weather as it will keep you warm in an otherwise freezing Ravangla.

butter-tea

What is the ideal season to visit Ravangla?

Avoid rainy season because there might be incidents of landslides. Avoid peak winter season from December to January if you can’t bear extreme cold. The ideal time to visit Ravangla is February and March.

How to reach Ravangla?

Ravangla is situated between Pelling and Gangtok and has a connectivity to all major towns in Sikkim through the state highway. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Aiport, which is about 130 kms. The nearest railways station is New Jalpaiguri(NJP), which is about 120 kms. You can hire taxis from the Bagdogra airport or the NJP railway station to go to Ravangla. You can also consider shared jeeps and SNT buses if you are on a tight budget.

On your way to Ravangla from NJP/Bagdogra, don’t forget to stop every 20-25 kms and get a feel of the landscape changing.

Happy holidays!  Continue reading “Tashi delek Ravangla!”