where to eat in mcleodganj

There used to be a Friend’s Corner
that served awesome momos
last time I was in Mcleodganj.

They were political with their
cups and plates and crossed out
“made in china” with bold red marks.

I thought it was revolutionary
and went looking for that corner
but that restaurant had closed down.

But mcleodganj would never run short of
a nice place to eat good Tibetan food.

For breakfast, we went to Cafe Tibet Cafe.
Their chicken thentuk was amazing and
I got to eat momos after a long
while so it was a win-win.

 

If you have walked to Bhagsu waterfall
and need a break, you can stop by Open heart cafe
for some fresh mango juice and a nice view of Mcleodganj.

 

Hills Book Cafe is a nice stop on the way back
(you need to eat some books too)
local-family run bookshop
so go support 🙂

 

Seven Hills of Do-Kkae-Bi is a nice cozy Korean restaurant.
Their portions are huge so don’t order too much
even if you are really hungry
coz I did that and eneded
wasting food.

 

 

 

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đối sách/ 43 Phan Bội Châu

i keep running into interesting bookstores in Vietnam.
Last time around was Boa Bookstore in Saigon.
This time, it was đối sách in Hội An.bookshop0
This bookstore looked more like a private collection
that has been made open to the public.
Of course it’s a great place
where book lovers can read, relax, buy, exchange and sell books.
There are apparently 5000 books in this shop
and is run by a retired teacher who also looks out for poor students. bookshop5hoian18bookshop3bookshop4hoian19

Top Reads for 2017

I have given up trying to read 51 books a year because firstly it is 2017,
I probably spend more time on my phone than with books (lame excuse I know)
but I still try to read and I do want to read more.

As for 2017, I could only read 16 books.
but I think there were some real good books this year.

My top three reads for 2017 were

 

The Great Derangement/ The Ministry of Utmost Happiness/ No Path in Darjeeling is Straight

The other books included:

  1. Son of the Thundercloud by Eastern Kire
  2. The Artist of Disappearance by Anita Desai
  3. The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh
  4. Thamel: Dark Star of Kathmandu by Rabi Thapa
  5. Bicycle Dreaming by Mridula Koshy
  6. Into the Hidden Valley by Stuart Blackburn
  7. The Thing around your Neck by Chimammanda Ngozi Adichie
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
  10. Landour Days -a writer’s journal by Ruskin Bond
  11. The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith
  12. The Nine Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat
  13. The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
  14. There’s a Carnival Today by I.B. Rai (Manjushree Thapa)
  15. No Path in Darjeeling is Straight by Parimal Bhattacharya
  16. Mad Country by Samrat Upadhyaya

Regardless of how many books we read,
the point is to keep reading…

Ekmara Book Festival

bbsbookfair
I like visiting book fairs/ festivals.
I’ve been to a few local, regional ones
but not the kinds where authors are rockstars
Ekmara Book festival was a treat for simple readers like myself.

It felt almost nostalgic to find old books that I loved while growing up.
Hardy Boys was my all time favorite.
I used to ask for Hardy Boys for Christmas,
for my birthday and any pocket money I had,
it went for buying Hardy Boys.
I had an almost full collection of Hardy Boys case files too.bbsbookfair2
bbsbookfair5
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It was nice to see some tribal tales as children’s books.
Ended up buying ten books
for extra luggage on the plane 😉

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72 hours in Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark

When you decide to extend your layover and hop cities to make the most of your weekend you experience more than what your in-flight magazine says.

Day 1: Woke up to a bright and sunny Bhubaneswar. So we stepped outside for breakfast and what better way to start the day than idli, vada, chop mix and some fresh coconut water.

 

 

 

Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts, Bhubaneswar was the top choice (thanks to lonely planet ) and it did not disappoint us. The past few weeks, I had been learning about tribes in Orissa so I was already familiar with the tribes of the region, and to see their material culture was an added bonus to my understanding of these tribes. We started with the tribal huts and moved from one hut to another as we could notice the variation between the architecture, art and artefacts. One of the interesting bit was the totem pole in front of the Saora hut.

 

 

 

 

 

Dalama, Bhubaneswar was our destination for lunch because it served traditional Oriya thali.

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Centre of Advanced Study in Anthropology, Utkal University was our next destination and they had the most impressive cultural museum in any Indian university.

 

 

 

Surfing Yogis, Konark have been on my mind for a really long time because I have always wanted to surf and who would not want to camp by the beach? So we made way to their address on google map because the phone numbers were not working and we could not communicate before hand. But it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment as their camp site looked shady and the tents were dirty and they were charging very high for a night’s halt. So we made way to Puri instead.

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Jagannath Temple, Puri is one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. It is a sweet place -literally. There are varieties of sweet shops all over the streets and the shops nearby. Since it is a temple town, the priests need their cows, which means milk, which eventually becomes sweets (to shorten the long story). Unfortunately my sweet tooth disappeared for the evening so I opted for tea instead. The only thing I missed was the cheesecake mentioned by lonely planet (which I didn’t get to taste, and got made fun of by my friends).

 

 

 

Puri Beach was crowded but it was so good to hear the waves. It was equally fun to see people enjoying the activities on the beach. There were camels, sand artists, vendors, couples, families and just travellers by the beach. The best part however was the sea food bonanza that we devoured and savoured till we had to stop. If only we had access to all that sea food with that price on a daily basis 🙂

 

 

 

Day 2: Woke up feeling like we were on vacation. Because our mini detour from Surfing Yogis landed us at this place with a pool. The palm trees and the blue sky certainly had that holiday effect so we were only eager to start the day.

 

 

 

Model Beach, Puri had a very calm and soothing atmosphere. There were a few palm trees and camels making it seem like we were probably somewhere in Dubai or so. It was clean and quiet except for the crashing waves (and we did not mind that). Figures it is also part of the sustainable community-run beach tourism initiative.

 

 

 

Waterfront Grill Cafe, Konark was where we lunched and feasted on some wine and mullet fish. The chef  was a friendly fellow who would make his rounds to the different tables and asked people how they liked their food. This personal touch probably made the eating experience more enjoyable.

 

 

 

Ramachandi Beach, Konark was absolutely stunning. It was another of those hidden beaches where no one frequents. It is for the select few who have managed to venture to its shores and I could only be so very thankful for our time there. Swimming in the sea, jumping with the waves and witnessing the most humbling sunset as the fishermen wrapped their lucks for the day was sheer bliss.

 

 

 

Lobster was discussed during lunch and the chef prepared a lovely lobster dinner for us.

 

 

 

Day 3The plan was to go to Chandrabhaga beach for sunrise but we went back to Ramachandi beach and glorious would be an understatement to describe the morning beauty. With few people on the beach and waves that were softer than the previous evening, I had to do a cartwheel to celebrate the day 😉

 

 

 

Konark Sun Temple, Puri is an archaeological monument at its best. It is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites and has tourists thronging from all parts of the country. The stone structures and carvings tells stories of life, love, lifestyle, belief, death that Tagore even went on to say that the “language of stone surpasses the language of man” in this place.

 

 

 

Book Festival at Janata Maidan was waiting for us when we got back to Bhubaneswar. And we ended up buying about ten books to end our weekend affair.

 

 

bibliothèque

People have already visited, frequented and critiqued this cafe in g-town and I thought I should do my share of impressions as well.
I did not visit the first week nor the first month since its opening, but eventually made way to this place on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
It is a charming space with books and good food I suppose.
Although there are some who don’t seem to like the food there.
But that’s Gangtok -a new joint opens up, people flock to that place and nobody likes the food.
As for me, I eat what I get. Am not too fussy about food and I think this place has the best beef burger in town in recent days…
(although the last time I was there, they said no beef burgers today)
Hopefully they are not taking the present government’s beef ban too seriously.

bibliothequebibliotheque2bibliotheque3bibliotheque4bibliotheque5bibliotheque6And one thing I liked
is how your check comes in
Shakespeare’s Sonnets…