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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Street Art in Mcleodganj

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always fascinated by the amazing street art of places i visit
small town mcleodganj didn’t disappoint me either
i’d like to call the first one “queen of exile”
(though it is not my work)

kudos to the artists
who bring alive
dead walls and
empty spaces

shimla snapshots

It’s been two months since I moved to Shimla
and this place is teeming with colonial leftovers.
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this post is an ode to some landmarks in Mall Road area…

Christ Church 1857

 

Old Railway Board Building 1896

 

Post Office 1910

 

Central Telegraph Office 1922

 

Indian CoffeeHouse 1957

But these are beautiful reminders
and Shimla has done well in preserving
and promoting these heritage buildings.

 

 

 

12-hrs in Pattaya

We took a morning bus from Bangkok to Pattaya
and the first stop was for food -padthai and iced coffee

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It was good to be back
amidst sunny palm trees teal blue beaches
Pattaya is still very touristy but it has that vibe
which will make you want to keep returning to it.

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This time, I got to go to Pattaya view point
from where we could see the Pattaya cityscape.
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pattaya10Later in the day,
we took tuktuk to Jomtien beach
It is the less touristy -local hangout
and the beaches are not as picturesque
but I like it here better than Pattaya beach.

We even managed to go to a flea market
drink coconut water eat the freshly baked donut.

The best part was the sunset
before catching our ride back to Bangkok.
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Lào Cai Ladies

The next day in Sapa was a longer hike to Lào Cai village near China border. Apparently, it used to be a key trading post and when my google maps showed how close we were to China, I only wanted to hike till the border but that is only wishful thinking.

The beautiful ladies of Lào Cai rule rural Vietnam. From tour guides to vendors to shopkeepers of various kind, it was the women who ran the show.

They would walk alongside the hikers with their basket full of goodies and as we ended our tour, they would try to sell their items to us. Shawls, scarves, table mats, head bands etc. would be displayed and I too bought a long indigo scarf as she tied one of the friendship bands in my wrist which I still wear today.
laocai7laocai8The terraced fields would definitely look different in another season but as we left this border town that afternoon, it was shining under the sunny sky.

Seeing Sapa

sapaTook the night bus from Hanoi to Sapa
and arrived in this delightful mountain town.

One of its main attractions is this old church
where Hmong vendors sell little knick-knacks
although they have an allotted market
and they aren’t allowed to sell stuff on the streets
because of some code of conduct for visitors.

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There is a lake and a park
another of their public spaces,
that is well kept and tourist friendly
(reminded me of Boulder, Colorado).

 

Sapa is home to the Hmong community
and we found this grandma making clothes
I had to buy one for myself so I chose one
and gladly obliged from this local tribal designer.

 

Sapa had its leftover French architecture
and looked like there were new hotels coming up.sapa6
There was a square in the middle of the town
a picturesque setting
nice to just sit and watch people
playing football, volleyball and chilling
there were young kids
dressed in traditional attires
who would try sell little trinkets and braceletssapa7sapa12sapa13

Towards the end of the day
we also managed to visit the church
blessed bountifully to be in this beautiful town.

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kayaking in halong bay

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even if you have never kayaked in your life
do not say no to kayaking in halong bay.

firstly, it is part of the tour package
(you already paid for it)
secondly, the waters aren’t too wild
(no rapids or rocks to capsize your kayak)
thirdly, the caves are impressive
(you feel like you are in a movie)
fourthly and most importantly,
you just kayaked in halong bay.
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