Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My 3 travel secrets

There has been a travel tag going around and I have been tagged by Cate and Neha for it. The tripbase Blog Tag is to share my 3 travel secrets. Here they come!

The Armenian Church, Singapore-
It was a hot day. I was walking around the so called ‘civic district’, using a tripod to take photos of myself, (and yes, to timer pose is funny!). My friend had mentioned a big church in the center of Singapore, and I thought this one was it. It is a white building, and could easily have been a bungalow. The main room was circular broken by long rectangular windows with wooden shutters, revealing the hot day outside. A ceiling fan whirred slowly. A painting of Jesus was the only thing indicating that this indeed was a church. It was a place more for peace, silence and introspection if you will. A place one could contend time in…

Inside the Armenian church

The Armenian church

A secluded beach in Hvar-
Mustacho is a restaurant and a beach along Hvar’s coastline. It is less of a secret really, but is less frequented because it’s farther away from the Hvar town and people (tourists) are too lazy to walk up to this one. We decided to go in search of it on our first evening. The walk to the beach was very beautiful, as the houses thin away leaving behind the trees and natural greenery of the island. The first sight of the restaurant (at night) was a blaze of lights amidst a crescent of dark waters. We were its only dinner guests and it was gorgeous to sit by the open sea, hear the sound of the waves and dig into our food. The walk back was even better, as we stumbled our way through the dark, with nothing but the stars for some light.

The temptation in Hvar is to jump to the famous islands of Bol and Brac. But if you keep your eyes open, you will see smaller signs for not so popular beaches. I can't speak for all of them, but our gamble on one proved to be the best!

Another secluded beach in Hvar as I don't have photos of Mustacho

Lost in the smaller villages of Sikkim
Kewzing in Sikkim is just another small hill town. But go beyond the market area, and you’ll find that some locals have thrown their homes open to travellers to give u a taste of their lives. The homestay in Kewzing was the highlight of our trip to Sikkim a few years back. We went on hikes, sat amidst hidden stupa ruins, watched Mt.Narsingh as we sipped morning tea, ate wholesome healthy meals, sang in front of bon fires.

The house we stayed in, Kewzing

These homestays are a means for these villages to generate income to support themselves, but are still not mainstream tourists stop, making it an ideal off the beaten track stop. There are homestays in the area of Dzongu also in Sikkim.

Please dont forget to see Cate's 3 travel secrets and Neha's 3 travel secrets. Thank you guys for tagging me!


GMG said...

Hi Ms.N! Great treasures; well hidden... ;)

Blogtrotter misses you at the British Museum! Enjoy and have a great holiday season!

Meera said...

OMG... U actually moved your lazy bones & blogged... (thunderous applause).
Nice treasures and you are becoming a travel writer... keep it going.

Neeraj | www.bharari.net said...

Hi, can you give me an idea of how much the homestays cost - just a ballpark figure? Thanks!

Katie, Tripbase said...

Fab secrets thanks for sharing!

Could you forward me the bloggers you nominated next and your email? thanks!


Ms.N said...


I am not sure, it's been quite a while. It was INR800-1000 per person per night, i think. the cost for a guide for trekking is not included.

Sudeep said...

Could not help but add that I had a similar experience staying in Yuksom. Sikkim is one of the underexplored travel destinations in India and am glad that I went there,before it becomes mainstream!

Ms.N said...

@Sudeep. nice. we went to yuksom too, but we stayed in a regular hotel.

not surprisingly, kewzing was the highlight of our trip, although i am still embarassed at how i tried to bargain our prices down!!! sometimes, i shd try to leave behind my 'budget travelling' mind behind.

yes, sikkim is def underdeveloped and good that way. most people stop at gangtok and max, do the yumthang valley...

Sudeep said...

Oh hey, we bargained a lot too since it was the off season and most places were empty!

In keeping with the theme of travel secrets, we stumbled upon a monastery, while randomly trekking around Yuksom, which is supposedly the oldest in India!I was quite thrilled by that experience. Did you happen to visit that place?

Anu Karthik said...

i do love your pics Ms.N, great job!

Cate said...

Sorry I haven't been around to read this and comment. These are some great insights into your wrold of travel,love the church would never have thought of that as a special place but why not. It looks tranquil in the maddening world of Singapore.
And your shots are wonderful as usual.

Meena Venkataraman said...

Great blog.. loved reading this one.

neha said...

I'm not sure why, but I'm just seeing this now. Love the list. I can't wait to explore Sikkim someday soon!

Ms.N said...

@ cate...
I agree, I am sure a lot of people thought it was regular. It was a moment when time and place came together to make it special.

Isn't it that way for most experiences ? A gorgeous place is lost on you sometimes and a regular place feels right.

@neha, yes - sikkim is beautiful. Gangtok is regular, and straying away from the regular tourist trips to do your own thing is great!

@Sudeep - hmmm we saw so many monastries :) - i am not sure. We saw a big one on the way to kewzing, but not sure if it is the same one u are referring to. We saw the oldest 'Bon' monastery at Kewzing.

@Anu, Meena - thanks!