Blog: TerraHopper

Blogger: Ajay Garg
Hawaii... the land of sun, sand and volcanoes....Here are some more visuals exclusively from the Island of Maui in Hawaii. Maui Island is also known as the Valley Isle, and it boasts of some lovely landscapes, fine sandy beaches, amazing lifestyle, fresh sea-food restaurants and charming people. The climate is pleasantly warm, and the overall feeling is really cool. As far as Hawaii is concerned, it is an archipelago comprising of volcanic islands in northern Pacific Ocean. The islands of Hawaii present some really amazing sights to their visitors. The eight islands at south-eastern end of the archipelago are the most frequently visited ones; and amongst them Maui (the Valley Isle), Kauai... Read more
clicks 292 View   Vote 0 Like   11:29am 3 Nov 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Having travelled a number of countries, some of those even more than thrice, I can safely say that Visa-on-Arrival system of Laos has been the smoothest one I have ever experienced. We had crossed into Laos from Thailand via Friendship Bridge, and came back via same route; although the modes of transportation were different in each instance. It was a shuttle train that took us to Laos, and a shuttle bus that deposited us back in Thailand eight days later. But, both the entry and exit procedures had been a cakewalk for us.Train from Bangkok to Nong KhaiNong Khai railway station is small but very neat and clean one with all possible amenitiesView of Nong Khai station and the road beyond from t... Read more
clicks 277 View   Vote 0 Like   12:46pm 31 Oct 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
The top of Rohtang pass is situated at an altitude of 13050 Feetabove the mean sea levelFor a biker, biking all the way to Ladakh is akin to visiting Mecca. An earlier wish to go around the world on a bicycle been nipped in the bud; dream to go biking to Ladakh was well nurtured. In my better-half Bhasha, I had an able partner to support and sustain my adventurous escapades. Months were spent in meticulous planning and preparations. Bikers on that way normally prefer a heavy-duty motorbike like Bullet, but I had a three-year old light bike in Hero Honda Ambition. But then I had numerous examples of lighter bikes and even scooters going through the treacherous mountain route quite successfull... Read more
clicks 269 View   Vote 0 Like   12:44pm 26 Oct 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
The Louvre Museum is famous all over the world for it enviable collection of exhibitsParis is an ever-happening city. Such sightings are not very uncommon in the streetsParis is often called ‘a filmmaker’s dream’ where at every step there is a readymade set. Hundreds of films made all over the world have been set in the City of Lights, such as ‘Paris Je t'aime’, ‘From Paris With Love’, ‘2 Days in Paris’, ‘Before Sunset’, and more recently, ‘Midnight in Paris’. So, I decided to take myself on a ‘filmi’ photographic journey of Paris’ popular tourist spots. Eiffel TowerThe Eiffel Tower is the biggest attraction for the tourists visiting the French CapitalThis maj... Read more
clicks 244 View   Vote 0 Like   7:19am 15 Aug 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Hawaii! A mere mention of this word is enough to generate a very warm and bright-as-sun feeling  inside anybody. Yes! The diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of long sandy beaches and oceanic surrounding... all these make Hawaii a popular destination for tourists and surfers. And to add to this list, some really active volcanoes enhance Hawaii's charm. An archipelago comprising of volcanic islands in northern Pacific Ocean, Hawaii presents some amazing sites to its visitors. The eight islands at south-eastern end of the archipelago are the most frequently visited ones; and amongst them Maui (the Valley Isle), Kauai (the Garden Isle), Oahu (the Gathering Place) and ... Read more
clicks 255 View   Vote 0 Like   3:42pm 7 Jul 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Once the summer capital of British India, Shimla- formerly known as Simla- has always been a star attraction for tourists from India and abroad alike. The city and its surrounding areas have amply been gifted with breathtaking views by nature and are draped in forests of pine, rhododendron and oak. Many parts of the city still retain the old colonial charm through the buildings styled in neo-Gothic architecture.Shimla is situated at an altitude of 2205 metres and boasts of a very pleasant weather in summer when most of the north India reels under scorching heat. It were its awe-inspiring views and refreshing climate, that the British coined the term 'Queen of the Hills' for this place. And t... Read more
clicks 432 View   Vote 0 Like   9:46pm 14 Jun 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
It was late afternoon when we reached Summer House. But the whole setting refreshed us How about staying at a place where only a two-foot high wall and a short length of stone platform separate you from the sea and salty droplets wet your face every half-minute or so? Sounds exciting, no? Well that was at Kollam where I had a cottage on the sea-shore for two days. In fact, Kollam is a place that offers one of the best backwater experiences in Kerala.The backwaters of Kerala indeed have a charm of their own. The narrow water-lanes meandering through villages; ethnic household situated on their banks; and finally those lanes emptying themselves into salty lakes! It is surely a not-to-be-missed... Read more
clicks 411 View   Vote 0 Like   6:32pm 12 Jun 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
View of the beach from the cliff; and view of the cliff from the beach at VarkalaIt was not very long after I had read Ken Follett’s novel ‘Eye of the Needle’ that I happened to visit the sleepy town of Varkala in Kerala. The story of this novel revolves around the activities of a Nazi spy during World War II, involved in espionage within Britain. A major part of the story happens on a rocky island near Scottish shore. Imagine a huge mass of rock standing vigilant in vast expanse of sea; and saline waves roaring against its bottom! This image had been imprinted somewhere deep in my mind by the time I finished reading the novel. And I had no idea that the image was about to be realized ... Read more
clicks 364 View   Vote 0 Like   8:33pm 2 Jun 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Gulmarg is a hill station and a popular skiing destination in Kashmir region of India. The name literally means 'Meadow of Flowers'. It was once described by CNN as 'the Heartland of Winter Sports in India', and was a candidate as venue for Commonwealth Winter Games in 2010. Here, the beauty of Gulmarg is depicted through pictures. These pictures are of two seasons. Savour the snow-clad mountains in winter and pleasant warmth and serenity of nature in late summers. It is just 52 kms from Srinagar and is situated at an average elevation of 2690 metres. The approach time from Srinagar by car or taxi is two hours.Mesmerizing WintersA plain mass of land flanked by mountain... Read more
clicks 390 View   Vote 0 Like   3:50pm 15 May 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Prayer flags adorn most of the buildings in the little town of McLeod GanjThe little town of McLeod Ganj may be a thriving tourist destination that lures in more foreigners than Indians, but to the many Tibetans who live here, it’s their home. Visit this unexpectedly charming town brimming with warm people, and indulge in the vibrant display of their rich culture.As an enthusiastic traveller, I’ve often wondered what the best way to explore a destination would be. Should I do detailed research about it so that I know what to expect once I reach there? Or should I just jump in headfirst and head there without a plan? Well, for McLeod Ganj, I chose the latter. So here I was, heading up the... Read more
clicks 672 View   Vote 0 Like   10:10pm 10 May 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
As seen from ITO bridge.. road towards AkshardhamLovely hues and colours at dawn at India GateA 15-second exposure shot at India GateA long shot of Akshardham at sun-setIndraprastha Park looks no less captivating than other sightsA closer view of Indraprstha Park from another angleThis is how the Cannaught Place looks at night timeThe Lotus Temple.... a meeting point for followers of Baha'i faithLotus temple at dawnA quite and religious morning at the Lotus TempleSunset time near a building inside Red FortThe golden look of Akshardham TempleAn all-illuminated India GateThese are the lights responsible for illuminating India Gate at nightFountain near India Gate.... It reminds of a settin... Read more
clicks 306 View   Vote 0 Like   2:58pm 9 May 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
To every comic lover the name Tintin brings an exciting feeling. Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Adventures of Tintin- The Secret of the Unicorn’ released last year might have renewed interest in Tintin’s country and even inspired a few to be there. Surely, whether you love comics or chocolates, Belgium is a traveller’s delight. And, it certainly has a lot more to offer.Belgium is the country which gave birth to Tintin. Capital Brussels is fondly called as capital of Tintin by comic lovers around the globe. No wonder, Tintin has the stature of the world’s best-known Brussels resident. But then, comics in Belgium is limited not just to Tintin, they also have stars like Smurfs and they hav... Read more
clicks 338 View   Vote 0 Like   3:13pm 2 May 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
A boat ride at night time in River Melaka can be very refreshing.360 degree view of Melaka from the rotating cabin of Menara Tamang SariThe Mosque in Harmony Street of Melaka. Its architecture is SumatranThe colourful trishaws are unique to MelakaChildren enjoying a ride in one of the trishaws on Jalan KotaThe foutain at Town Square...dedicated to Queen Victoria of BritainThe Town Square also known as the Dutch SquareMelaka River, which has been a backbone for Melakan economyA monument built on the banks of Melaka RiverThe famous red Christ Church situted at the Town SquareGraffiti on the rear walls of buildings situated on both sides of the riverA replica of Flor Do Mar ship. It houses ... Read more
clicks 372 View   Vote 0 Like   9:29pm 29 Apr 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
If you are in and around Mumbai and looking for a quick escape from the daily rut, Alibaug is the place for you! We had planned to go to Alibaug only for two days but then extended our stay with one more day since our entire journey was full of surprises with sparkling beaches and quaint villages and ancient architecture. Alibaug is a pristine, nicely hidden quite little place with beautiful beaches, just 130 kms away from Mumbai and 138 kms from Pune! The place itself gives you a feeling of being into the interiors of Kerala. Just imagine streets and beaches lined with hutments and coconut groves!The beauty of Alibaug lies in its clean and clear beaches, surrounded by beautiful forts like t... Read more
clicks 483 View   Vote 0 Like   9:46am 20 Apr 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
I didn’t know that train journeys in Thailand could be so much fun, until I had hopped on a passenger train going from Thonburi in downtown Bangkok to Nam Tok situated in the hilly north-western region along the border with Burma. Apart from the journey itself, it was the thrill of being on Death Railway that had sowed the seeds of excitement in the first place. The infamous Death Railway once connected Siam (Thailand) with Burma (Myanmar). But I was not going up to the last station; my destination was Kanchanaburi- a small town and a state capital situated on the banks of River Kwai- and it was three and a half hours away. Most of the travellers going to that part of Thailand make Kanchan... Read more
clicks 490 View   Vote 0 Like   10:39pm 18 Apr 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
My first impressions of this city were foggy. Literally; the city is filled with fearless smokers at its every nook and corner. It is a city that is known for its legal permissiveness of sex and drugs. A city that attracts millions of travellers every year; a city that lets you unleash that wild side you otherwise keep tamed for the real world. This is the city of freedom.In Amsterdam, you’re probably considered an outcast if you’re not looking for sex, drugs and crazy partying. I was one such outcast. In a bid to explore beyond the periphery of the usual suspects, I found some intriguing spots in a vast cobweb of canals. Aside from the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House and ... Read more
clicks 411 View   Vote 0 Like   9:03am 17 Apr 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
If you have heard enough stories about animosity between India and Pakistan, then I must tell you about a place where they actually see eye-to-eye. Well, when I say this I am putting it quite literally. It is Wagah Border (Indians now call it Attari Border) between the two countries where a retreat ceremony is held every evening. During the ceremony, Indian and Pakistani border guards make fierce eye-contact with each other while displaying equally aggressive body language. And screams and shouts filled with patriotism from both sides of the border filling the air!!! Don’t be amazed if you have to close your ears when somebody sitting near you shouts a slogan in such a high volume that sur... Read more
clicks 403 View   Vote 0 Like   8:39pm 5 Apr 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Suddenly in the middle of long, dreary and dark desert, you find millions of lights, fireworks and amazing buildings, a castle here and a Disneyland there, with a pyramid thrown in between. This is Las Vegas for you… famous for its booze, drugs and sex!! This surely was not my choice of a holiday destination when my hubby first suggested it. But a trip to this wonderful city eventually changed all the perception I had for it. Some call it the City of Dreams; some call it the City of Sin; but a city of unlimited fun it surely is if you know where to draw the line.The dancing fountains at the front portion of Bellagio'sWe drove to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and stayed there for five days. It... Read more
clicks 1495 View   Vote 0 Like   9:14pm 4 Apr 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
I still can’t understand why it felt the way I felt when I saw Ladakh for the first time. Suddenly, after travelling through various landscapes, we were amidst huge, rocky and barren mountains, which were sometimes yellow, sometimes red and sometimes white. For me it was a déjà vu, a strong sense of home-coming. The place was Upshi and it was a beauty beyond description. It felt as if I belonged to this marvelous place. I had fallen in love with Ladakh very long ago after watching a documentary on television. So, the moment my hubby told me about our still-undecided programme to go to Ladakh for a holiday, I was exhilarated. It was a childhood dream waiting to be realized. He had been s... Read more
clicks 435 View   Vote 0 Like   7:45am 13 Mar 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
If you are habitual of living in a place with wide roads and smooth traffic and are easily put off by narrow alleys, too much of traffic and all the construction work going on at every nook and corner, you will at once discard Amritsar as your destination. But, hold!! Are you really sure you would like to leave Amritsar out of your itinerary? My guess is that you would not. Who would want to miss on an opportunity to experience rich heritage and culture of this historical city while riding a rickshaw passing through narrow lanes of the old city and overtaking four-wheelers on a busy street! And the calm, pious and serene Golden Temple! And, then the world famous food of Amritsar! Ohh!! So th... Read more
clicks 2915 View   Vote 0 Like   6:30pm 8 Mar 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
While you are in Melaka, you always have something to do, see or experience. In nutshell, Melaka, sort of, gets on you. Even a leisure walk through clean and spotless lanes or sipping coffee or beer in one of those cafes in and around Jonker Street is refreshing and occupying. But there are some attractions, which a visitor must not miss. In my previous diaries, I have discussed in detail about many aspects of this quiet town and covered almost everything a traveller must see or do while being in Melaka. And, in this last diary of mine about Melaka, I am going to talk in brief about some of the tourist attractions or places that have yet not been covered.Heritage Trail and the New CityIt is ... Read more
clicks 418 View   Vote 0 Like   9:43am 8 Mar 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Chicken balls are not to be missed.Melaka can be a foodie’s paradise. It is home to some authentic Malaysian, Chinese and Nyonya food. Jonker Street and the areas around it offer many good outlets where you can enjoy almost every kind of food available in Melaka- be it sea food, cakes, shakes, white coffee, fried rice varieties or some good chicken. And especially on weekends, when Jonker Street is having night market, you can have very cheap but delicious food at stalls put up there. Such is the charm of these food stalls, the business elsewhere in Melaka gets on a slow track on weekend nights. Apart from food stalls in the night, there are some restaurants which are hugely popular among ... Read more
clicks 1351 View   Vote 0 Like   6:58am 9 Feb 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
A scene from one of the performances on first day of the festival Write something on a ping pong ball and tie it into this wish-tree. It was installed by organizers ‘So, you are here for the festival?’ This was the first question Raymond had asked me after filling in my personal details in guest logbook of Riverview Guesthouse in Melaka.‘What! What festival are you talking about? Is there a festival going on in here?’ I asked Raymond. I was both confused and curious at the same time.‘The Melakan Art and Performance Festival, of course! So, you are not aware of it,’ Raymond replied. He seemed to guess by now that it had just been a coincidence that I was there on a day when MAP (a... Read more
clicks 474 View   Vote 0 Like   11:14am 16 Jan 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
The exterior of Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum situated in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng LokThey have been the wealthiest of Melaka people. They make some of the most delicious dishes, especially cakes, in Malaysia. They have a unique cultural heritage and biological lineage. They can be of utmost interest to a geneticist. They can offer a prefect glimpse of the benefits cross-marriages can bring about in enhancement of characteristics. They are Straits-born Chinese. They are Baba Nyonyas. Baba is male and Nyonya is female. There were times in Melaka, when various cultures and ethnicities not merely co-existed like these do today, but also intermingled more frequently. This intermingling has resulted in ... Read more
clicks 3068 View   Vote 0 Like   3:00am 6 Jan 2012
Blogger: Ajay Garg
Kampung Kling mosque... Its design is based on Hindu Sumatran temple architectureIt can be a heartening observation that the oldest places of worship in Malaysia for various faiths and religions are in Melaka only. Be it Chinese temple, Hindu temple, mosque or churches. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it!!! This underlines the fact that Melaka is the place where the present Malaysian state originated. And what’s more interesting is that one will not find anywhere in the world a Hindu temple, a Muslim mosque and a Buddhist temple in same street. Well, Melaka can boast of this. The street is aptly named as Harmony Street, where Cheng Hoon Teng temple, Kampung Kling mosque and Sri Poyyatha Vina... Read more
clicks 472 View   Vote 0 Like   1:41pm 5 Jan 2012
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