for fellow travellers

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Five amazing travel photographs

I was just going through my favorite blogs and found the mention of this Travel Photo contest on Blogadda in association with PringOO, in two of the blogs. That's how I got here.

This is  a photo which I took enroute to Fort Williams, Scotland. It was a breathtaking view to behold.

It was so cold when we reached Edinburgh and cloudy. The buildings looked lovely with the play of light on them

A memorable evening along the river Ness. It was so lovely. The light on the bridge and the tranquility.

This an almost postcard perfect view of the Uruqhart castle

We could have spent the whole day loitering around here. It was so picturesque.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Coral Island - Pattaya

The next day in Pattaya we had booked a tour to the Coral Island. While coming back from the Tiffany show we had booked this tour for 450 Baht per person. The taxi came to pick us up from the hotel at 10:30am.
We were taken to the beach and from there we went in a small boat and later on jumped into a larger boat on our way to the Coral Island. Enroute there was a stop for parasailing 500Baht per person and Ocean floor walking 2500 Baht per person and CD separately. We negotiated for the rate and got it for 6000 Baht for Ocean floor walking for the four of us with the CD included. 

Para Sailing
The ocean floor walking was a new experience. In this they put a helmet on our head which had  compressed air flowing into it through a tube which remains connected to the boat. Its a long tube and the helmet is very heavy and helps to keep us at the  ocean floor. They guide us to the place on the ocean floor where we can see the coral and fish. One by one we reached the ocean floor and spent an appreciable amount of time on the ocean floor. It was something new and novel and kept the adrenaline rushing. Once on the ocean floor which was hardly at  any depth after about five minutes the confidence returned and I became comfortable. Looked around there was some coral. They gave us bread to feed the fishes.

Ocean floor walking
We did some jet skiing as well. That was 1000Baht for 1 hour. It was fun. The sun was relentless and it was quite warm. We had lunch there, it was average stuff. Just relaxed on the beach and had a foot massage. Whilst on the return journey the boats which we used were glass bottomed though it was not possible to see anything very clearly through it. The water was crystal clear at the Coral Island and we had a fun day there.

returning back to Pattaya from the Coral Island. See the beach along the beach road, with all hotels lined up on the other side beyond the beach.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Pattaya, Thailand

We planned to attend the ASPIRE (Asia Pacific initiative on Reproduction) this year in Bangkok. At the last moment i.e. just three days before the conference the venue had to be changed to Pattaya because of the agitation caused by the red shirts.

Our initial plan of spending two days at Pattaya and then three days at Bangkok was canceled to all 5 days in Pattaya.
We reached Pattaya from the Suvarnabhoomi Airport on the 7th of April.  For the visa on arrival we had to pay a fees of 1000 Baht ( Rs. 1.4 = Baht 1) and needed one passport size photograph. Visa on arrival was a smooth process took hardly 20mins including immigration. Then we searched for the Aspire help desk at the airport. We found it easily and there was a shuttle taking us to Pattaya in half an hour.
 We bought a sim card from the airport for 99 Baht which was valid for 40 days only and had a talk value of 39 Baht. Later in the city we got another sim card from a Family Mart store for just 49 Bahts having a talk value of 15 Baht and one year validity. Later on we could top up these cards by buying top up value cards. To call India we had to add 009 before country code and phone number otherwise the talk value would disappear in one phone call to India. But adding 009 to the phone number led to a lag in the conversation while talking to India. Adding 009 before the country code made the sim card much more economical when calling India.
It took us around one and half hours to reach Pattaya the road was excellent, but once on reaching there, the driver could not locate our hotel Siam Bay-view. He took us around 2 to 3 times before finding it. Once inside the hotel we were served a welcome drink and wet cool perfumed napkins, which felt great in the heat. In the hotel we got the bay facing rooms. The view was great. The bathrooms were exceptionally small and so was the balcony.
 After resting we ventured out. Pattaya has a beach road along the beach and across the road are all the hotels. parallel to the beach road are road 2 and road 3 and then Sukhumvit road (the Highway). Beach road is a one way road from north to south, or towards the Walking street at one side. Many small roads connect these main parallel roads. Road 2 is one way to the other side.
We went for a walk on the the Walking street. It was amazingly crowded and bustling.


We decided to go to the Tiffany Show and walked down. It was a long walk. The Tiffany show cost us 800 Baht per person. The show was nothing great, except for the dresses. Neither the content nor the sets were anything great.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Blue Country resort, Panchgani - Club Mahindra affiliate

In October my parents had to go to Mumbai. We planned a short trip for them to Panchgani. The stay was at The Blue Country resort.

In my mother's words "Panchgani is a beautiful hill resort not far from Mumbai. The Pune expressway is the best route to take. Once you reach Panchgani the sign boards that you expect of the Blue Country resort are missing. One has to keep asking at the crossroads. A sign board at the crossroads would be very helpful. The steps down from the reception were cumbersome, esp for senior citizens. The swimming pool was great, accessible from all the rooms. The Gujarati food was good at the resort. In October we did not get strawberries but we got custard apples which were delicious. Mahableshwar is one hour from Panchgani. The tableland is a good place to visit."
My parents had a great time at the resort.


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