Friday, December 26, 2014

Reminiscences of 2014 - Friday Skywatch

Today my 3.9 yr old daughter was counting my travels. She almost covered all my international trips and certified that you are great  mamma.... he he…
That brought  reminiscence of  my 2014 travels. It’s been a great year in terms of travels. When counted,  I realized that I lived one third of the year away from home. 7 international trips with few local trips and one Himalayan travel. What else I could have asked for ?  Thanks to my man Hari and my little angel Viha for supporting and taking care of themselves in my absence. 

Sky pictures from the places I travelled  for this year’s last skywatch.

2014  started with Just Go to Shravanabelagola just for the heck of getting out of home after a dry travel year of 2013. Shravanabelgola is famous for its monolithic statue of Bahubali.This travel was  impulsive. This  opened up a good chapter of travels
Shravanabelagola hill view
Bhutan has been my favorite travel of this year as it gave me complete freedom being in such a safe country. Land of happiness really filled me with joy. I loved every second I spent in this land being with myself, and connecting with my soul.
Buddha point in Thimpu
Australia - Sydney
Twice I travelled to Sydney. Wandering through the streets of Sydney was awesome. Any day I like to explore any city by walk. Sydney being so pedestrian friendly allowed me to go around by walk and to experience the place more closely as if I am living there from years. I can’t wake up early in the morning  unless I have to catch a flight. In Sydney woke up  early in the morning and witnessed a spectacular sunrise in front of Opera . Pls see Sunrise at Opera

Sunrise near Opera
Banavasi –Karnataka untraveled
Banavasi is a quaint small town in Karnataka nestled in the western ghats . Here nature’s basket  is full of  greenery and natural beauty with sweet locals. This was mom daughter travel with my 3 year old. She enjoyed this travel as much as I was.

Banavasi pond
Spiti Jeep safari
I travel to Himalayas at least once a year. This year it was Kinnaur and Spiti jeep safari. Spiti is a land of blue sky and stark mountains. Every sight of the sky was at its best including night. Sky with studded milky way was a treat to eyes. But I couldn’t capture that in my camera.

Spiti Dhankar
Germany – Berlin
I visited Germany for a very short time. Berlin was enjoying its fall colors when I was there and celebrating 25 years of the fall of the Berlin wall. Berlin is a historical city filled with museums, art history and architecture.

Berlin - historical city
Singapore was really a quick one. I always wonder how Singapore attracts people with its man made wonders. It is entertainment, entertainment and entertainment everywhere.

Singapore at night
China – Beijing and Datong
Datong was the highlight of my China travel. Yungang Grottoes are the most ancient heritage site I visited so far. It is the land of Buddha.

Yungang Grottoes

 My last trip of the year was to Thailand –Bangkok and Chiang Mai.( I might be wrong when I say last trip. Still 6 days are there to go ). I liked  Chiang Mai for its charm. Its skyline is dominated by  temple structures.
Chiang Mai temple
I hope you enjoyed these pictures. I am praying good god to keep many more travels in store for 2015

For more sky watch picture, click here Friday Skywatch

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Shopping streets of ChiangMai,Thailand

ChaingMai in the north of Thailand is an historical place. If you decided to visit all the temples in Chinag Mai for which the place is famous for, I am sure you will be tired but it is hard to  complete all the temples. Chiang Mai is an old city with the remains of old city wall and a moat surrounding the city. It is the second largest city after Bangkok.

Moat around the city wall
Though it is famous for its temples and history, its shopping streets are equally famed for its array of street food, handicrafts, fake goods and many more items. It is such a pleasure to shop in Chiang Mai. Many  items are inexpensive which will fill your shopping bag with plenty of items. Shoppers are spoilt for choice for sure.
Buddha representing each day of a week
During my visit to Chiang Mai, I tried  3 famous shopping streets. Though there are plenty of markets and shopping places, 3 markets you shouldn’t miss are night bazaar, Saturday shopping street and Sunday walking street. More than shopping I loved the array of food available in these markets. Most of the hotels have free shuttle services for pick up and drop to all the three shopping streets 

Night bazzar

It has many shops which wake up only during night. You will find good restaurants to clothes to souvenirs to all that you want to buy in any other tourist markets. There are few dedicated buildings and on the footpath we can see vendors setting up their shops.
This innocent looking confectionery has minced pork. That is what name plate read!
There is a cabaret show in the Anusaran market by  ladyboys who look just like ladies. I was told  that it comedy show which they call as cabaret is  fun to watch. I couldn’t go there though. 

Found few good food joints here.There are photo studios who dress you up in Thai traditional attire and you get your portfolio done. I tried one…

Me getting ready to pose in Thai costume
Saturday shopping street
Starting from one of the old Chianag Mai gates all along Wua Lai road lies Saturday shopping street. It covers about 1 km. Road is small and literally you need to wade through the sea of people. 
Saturday market
Don’t eat anything before going there. You have plenty of veg and non veg options to try out. Shallow pocket is good enough to feed well. There are a lot of live music shows all along the road. It was a common sight to see people getting massages done. Mushroomy massage centres dominate most of the shopping streets
Mini donuts
Sunday walking street
I went to Sunday walking street. It is the best among all the markets. Again here what caught my eyes was food. Sleeping street in the morning was totally looking different in the evening. It opens up from 4 pm till mid night. Fried insects which I found in different markets was here as well. Fried gross hopper, cricket, silkworms are available for 20THB. Do you like to try one ?
Fried insects for sale

Some veg dish similar to our south Indian gundupongal
Found some veg restaurants as well along the road. I tried multiple varieties of street food. Rice cake, corn, waffle,ice cream, Thai desserts and couldn’t stop shopping until I realized I don’t have any more money left.

I wish I will go back to Chiang Mai again somebody to explore all the markets in leisure.

Which is your favorite street shopping experience? Pls share