Friday, December 21, 2012

Tel Baila


Tel Baila is an old watch tower which makes for a good 1-day trekking option. It consists of 2 sheer walls of rock separated by a column in the center. Climbing the walls would require a technical climb, but the climb to the column in the center also makes for a great experience. 

We took the Lonavala exit from the Mumbai-Pune Express way and proceeded along the road towards INS Shivaji. Because of earlier trek to Korigad, we were familiar with road. We stopped at the Lion's point for some photos and refreshments and made our way ahead. Telbaila is very well covered by GPS. We had enabled Google Navigation at the start of our journey to guide us to the fort. From Telbaila phata, the road started to worsen gradually. By the time we reached the Telbaila village we were worried if the i10 would be able to make its way back. 

We parked the car under the shade of a tree in the farm and started on our way up. We had some difficulty finding the way and almost gave up. But our perseverance paid off and we finally found a path going towards the top. 

The climb towards the column is fairly easy, though there were few spots that we amateurs felt were tricky. The climb provides some great views of the surrounding areas. 

 More Photos below..

Monday, December 17, 2012

Birding @ Bhandup Pumping Station

Birding @ Bhandup Pumping Station,

Just discovered another birding spot in Mumbai. Got my first spoonbill sighting in Mumbai here. It has a vast area through which you can walk around. Saw a number of birds and butterflies here.
mihir_joshi's Bhandup Birding album on Photobucket

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pangong Tso

Day 3,4,5 - Nubra Valley

Day 6: Leh - Pangong Tso

And here we were ready at 8 AM for the 170 km drive to Spangmik, a village on the banks of Pangong Tso. Apart from the final destination, crossing of Chang La, second highest motorable road, was another attraction which kept us excited. First 50 kms of journey towards south east of Leh is fast paced but then a steep ascent for Chang La starts.

Road to Chang La
Unlike the journey of Khardung La, the ascent is more steep and road is zig-zag crossing one mountain by another. At the top of Chang La, there are couple of army posts and a restaurant and you can take a comfortable break. May be we were well acclimatized to high altitude by now, we didn’t face any trouble due to oxygen deficiency. After Chang La, a descent starts crossing beautiful sceneries around till you reach the village of Tangste, a comparatively big town having shops and hotels. One can stop here for short tea break.

First Glimpse of Pangong Tso
From Tangste, Spangmik is around 30 kms. Just before reaching the shores of the lake, when we saw the first glimpse of the beautiful lake, we were amazed with its beauty. A deep blue spot amidst the barren mountains was something breathtaking and we couldn’t hold our excitement to reach as soon as we can. As one starts approaching the lake, colors and size of the lake goes on changing assuring you the wonderful time that lies ahead.

The very first corner of the lake was bit crowded but thankfully the camping site was much ahead of this crowd in calm place and very much on the banks of the lake. The splendid scenery of the lake and surrounding mountains was very much enjoyable from the windows. 

Pangong Tso


One good thing about seeing Pangong Tso is you don’t need to rush here and there but just to relax on its
shores, go wandering on the banks seeing beautiful birds and ever changing colors of the lake. We spent entire day just roaming around, Dorjee driving us to various places on the banks including the one where the movie 3 Idiot was shot. After 6 pm, it was difficult to sustain the cold and harsh wind and we have to rake shelter in tents.

Changing colors of lake in the evening

Day 7: Pangong Tso - Thiksey Gompa - Shey Palace - Leh 

Next day, too, we spend on relaxing on the shores of the lake. A early morning walk on the banks was a unforgettable experience. At around 12, we started our journey back to Leh. I wish I had planned one more day here.
Before reaching Leh, we had planned visiting Thiksey Gompa and Shey Palace which are very much near to Leh (within 20 kms).  Thiksey Gompa too is beautifully built like Diskit Gompa. This 15th Century Gompa complex houses various temples and shrines in it apart from the residence of monks. 

Thiksey Gompa

Shey Palace
Shey Palace, the earlier Summer Capital of Ladakh, is beautifully located on a hillock and near the lake in Shey village. The 3 storey palace is mostly in ruins now and its remains do show its importance as a strategic location. The view of the barren plains from the palace is very scenic. The palace has a giant statue of Shakyamuni Budhha (3 storeys tall) made of copper with gilded gold. This itself makes a visit worth. The palace badly needs restoration work but there weren’t signs any work planned for it. Hope it starts soon before the palace disintegrates further. 

After Shey palace, we headed towards Leh and retired for the day. On the way, came across this beautiful Gompa called Stakna Gompa on the bank of Indus, but didnt visit it.

Stakna Gompa

Link :
Day 8,9,10 - Tso Moriri, Tso Kar
Photo Gallery

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nubra Valley

Day 1 & 2 - Leh

Day 3:  Leh – Khardung La - Sumur

After 2 days of rest, we were all set for Nubra Valley expedition and were thrilled for crossing Khardung La.  Started at around 8 AM for Sumur, the village in Nubra Valley, about 120 kms from Leh. Right after you leave Leh, the uphill journey starts, just going up and up. Mountains of Karakoram range in the front, deep valley on one side and stunning landscapes of Leh behind, the 40 Kms stretch of the journey till Khardung La (also known as K Top) is experience in itself. And when you are nearing Khardung La, you will feel the altitude of 18380 ft. seeing everything beneath you.

The magnificient view on the way 
We were advised not to stop at the top of the pass while going and instead do so on the return journey, the rational behind it being, in case you seriously suffer due to oxygen deficiency, you cant go ahead to Nubra valley  and have to return to Leh.  But we did stop with moral support from Dorjee ! Hardly after 2-3 minutes after alighting, we felt the breathlessness, getting a feeling as if blood supply to brain was cut apart. It was too tiring to walk event to the nearby restaurant. Air was cold and mountain tops covered with snow. Hot Maggie and tea brought much of a relief.  After spending half an hour, we left the Top for Sumur.


The journey from Top towards Nubra Valley is a stiff descend. The road around the Top is not in a good condition due to frequent landslides. Once you are on top, you can see only three colours, blue sky, gray mountains and white snow. Absolutely no plantation on such high altitudes. But as you start descending, greenery start appearing slowly.  You can see the vast expanses of Nubra valley filled with patches of greenery and white sand and basin of Shyok river. The journey continues on the banks of Shyok river till Khalsar where it meets Nubra river. At Khalsar, one road goes to Hunder and the straight to Sumur. When at Khalsar, you are completely down in the valley and can feel the very pleasant  atmosphere of valley. From Khalsar, we drove northwards 20 kms to reach Sumur, road was really good on the banks of Nubra river.
Reached the camp (The Ladakh Camps) in Sumur at around 1 pm. The camp is at a very calms and nice location in Sumur village.

Pleasant Nubra Valley
We didn’t have any specific plan. So decided to go till Panamik, 28 kms from Sumur towards north. The journey along the banks of the river was memorable. Much fun was experiencing rain shower with clear skies due to water drops brought by the high speed wind.

Yarab Tso
We passed through lush green plantation, white basin of the river filled up with stones and water streams and surrounded by mountains. You don’t see any mountains facing the direction of the car but only the really wide basin of the river. Panamik is the last village beyond which only Army and locals are allowed. From here, the base camp of Siachen is hardly 80 kms. Wish some day, this road too would be opened for tourist. On the way back to Sumur, Dorjee gave an idea of small trek to Yarab Tso (lake) which is on small hill in the basin of the river. We drove right across the basin to the foot of the hill. Half an hour trek and you see this beautiful lake on the top of the hill. This is a sacred place for local people. The best thing was there was absolutely no one there and we could spend the time relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the lake. Before returning to the camp, we stopped at 2 places to see the hot water springs.

Day 4 : Sumur - Diskit - Hunder

We woke up early and wandered about the place to see the village life. Sun showering its first rays on the mountain tops, ambience filled with fresh n cold air and locals taking their herds for grazing, the morning two hours walk was all refreshing.

The road through the cold desert
We started our journey for Hunder, drove back 20 kms to Khalsar and then took right. The road passes through the white sand dunes, a thrilling experience like movie scenes.  This was a one of the very different vistas Ladakh offers. Driving through the lonely road, white stones and sand on both the sides amidst the mountains. After one hour or so, we drove uphill towards Diskit Monastery, the monastery famous for its mind blogging location. The monastery is picturesque of all the monasteries and you can see its beauty from different angels as you drove towards it. The view from the monastery was mind blowing show casing vast basins of Shyok river, mountains and green landscapes. We spend 2-3 hours in monastery visiting various temples, talking to monks and enjoying the beautiful views around. View of 106 feet statue of Lord Buddha on the backdrop of the valley is stunning. After visiting the monastery we went to the temple housing this mammoth statue.

Diskit Gompa

After Diskit we drove right to the camp (Nubra Sarai Camp) in Hunder village. This camping site is very much near to the Sand Dunes.  The garden around the tents was so beautiful, we decided to sit on the chairs and enjoy the surrounding. At 4 pm, we started for the Sand Dunes safari. Reached there just in 15 minutes.

Two humped camels
Two humped bactrian camels were waiting for us on the white sand dunes. One hour safari was a fun especially for kids. Unlike the usual camel safari, riding was much comfortable as you can sit at ease between the two humps . After the safari we spent time wandering here and there. A crystal clear water stream flows across the sand dunes. Though very chilled, it was fun playing in the water. After 6.30 pm, wind started showing its presence and it was difficult to stay there. We drove back to the camp to watch the evening symphony of colors.... the changing colors of sky, mountains partly lit with the setting sun, the rainbows and dark clouds and magical colors of twilight!

Day 5 : Hunder - Khardung La - Leh

After the deep sleep in the night, spend some time wandering around the village and left for the return journey to Leh. With full day in hand, there wasn’t any hurry to reach Leh. So we enjoyed every stop on the return journey, stopping for tea at every other restaurant we came across, seeing Yalks, walking into the river beds and all time pass we could do. Needless to mention the stop at K Top. This time we got stuck in traffic just before the top for half an hour. Thanks to the army men who cleared the mess soon. The experience at K Top was bit adventurous as we felt high altitude sickness much severe than the previous one. Dorjee told us it was due to sunny day. Still we made our expedition to the restaurant to have tea and left immediately for Leh. 40 kms downhill didn’t take much time to reach the hotel in Leh.
Rest of the day was at leisure which we spent in hotel resting and remembering the heavenly stay we had in Nubra valley and planning for the next expedition - the great Pangong Tso.

Links :
Day 6 & 7 - Pangong Tso
Photo Gallery

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Day 1: Leh 

Reached early morning in Leh at around 7.00 AM. Last half hour stretch of the flight was very exciting journey, flying very low over the dramatic regions of the Great Himalayas. This magnificent top view and the one while landing gives the glimpse of what we were going to enjoy. It was a fantastic welcome. Checked in into the hotel and had complete rest (sleeping/watching TV etc.). Tried roaming around near the hotel but was feeling very tiring even for a walk of 10 meters. Hotel Manager warned of AMS as such cases do happen on arrival in Leh. August being peak tourist season, Leh was flooded with tourist.


At 4 p.m., we started for local tour of Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa. The places are nearby for a car drive and not much walking in those places, so it was safe adventure ! Leh Palace, once a royal abode, is on Namagyal hill and considered to be a miniature version of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The nine storey, 17th century palace is no more in perfect shape and is now deserted. It offers a very spectacular panoramic view of the Leh city. You can walk inside the palace for a nominal fee. It is an interesting architecture worth a visit.

Shanti Stupa on fort road is another place one can visit on same day. This white domed structure is located on hilltop and was built by Japanese Budhist organization. It too offers stunning views of Leh city and surrounding mountain ranges on the backdrop of clear blue skies. Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa both can be covered easily in 3 hours time. After visiting these places, we took a time to stroll around Main Bazaar which was very much near to our stay, Pangong Hotel.

Day 2 Around Leh: 

After breakfast, we started for Alchi Gompa (Monastery) which is around 60 kms from Leh on Kargil road, west to Leh. The place is somewhat on lower altitude than Leh. So if one is suffering from High altitude sickness, this visit brings much relief to them. Alchi is probably only Gompa which is located on ground as against most of the gompas which are located on hilltop. The gompa is situated on the banks of Indus river and is considered to be thousand years old. It is famous of Buddha murals. There are few temples in the campus of gompa and few shops selling Tibetan arts.

While returning from Alchi Gompa, you come across The Confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers near the small town, Nimu. The confluence is a spectacular view and you can drove right upto the banks of the rivers. Kayaking and white river rafting facilities are available here.

From Alchi Gompa to Leh, we came across, the Magnetic Hill, a place supposed to have strong magnetic field sufficient enough to pull the idling car uphill. Our driver told us that you can enjoy the magic on a four wheel drive vehicle as it becomes difficult to control the two while drive vehicle once you are uphill. We couldn’t experience the magic !

Further on the way to Leh we stopped at Pathar Sahib Gurudwara which dates back to 16th Century. The monument was discovered by Indian Army during the road construction work. Needless to mention, the gurudwara was very clean, offering water, tea and prasad. You have to walk few steps uphill to reach the Gurudwara from base. We were totally exhausted with heavy breathing due to paucity of oxygen. But the efforts were worth as we could spend some time peacefully in the shrine.


Hall of Fame, the glorious war memorial museum is a must visit for every Indian citizen. Its very on the Kargil highway which we visited en route to Leh after Pathar Sahib Gurudwara. The museum houses pictures of wars, soldiers, short biographies of war heroes, weapons used in wars (notably those used in Kargil war), letters recovered from the martyrs. The section on Siachen is very interesting and informative giving details of the hardship our army has to go through, the extreme climate (-30 to -50 degree centigrade), highly specialized gear required etc. Most of the casualties in Siachen are due to extreme weather than the war !

In the evening we returned to the hotel and after rest went to the main bazaar again for some shopping for the onward journey. Strolling around main bazaar was very refreshing. You would get everything here right from groceries to woollen clothes, wind chitters etc. So if you have forgotten something to bring, this is the place where you need to spend some time. Tibetan market at the end of the Main Bazaar road is also worth visiting. For your initial stay in Leh, it helps if you have booked your hotel near the Main Bazaar area.

Links :
Day 3,4,5 - Nubra Valley
Photo Gallery

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Not seeing a thing is not the same as seeing its non-existence.... H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

Ladakh…a roof of the world that exhibits magnificent landscapes,.. diverse and extreme. Blue skies and blue lakes, burning sun and extreme cold, greenery and grayish decaying mountains, glaciers and sand dunes, high altitude dwellings and spiritual atmosphere, passes and snow and freezing winds …as diverse as this, is the land of Ladakh. No surprise one gets stunned by this spectacular vistas the land offers, as if He has manifested himself so that we can see His non-existence.

Prayer wheel in Diskit Gompa
Visited Ladakh in the month of August which is a summer time. Though Ladakh is popular known amongst tourist as adventure holiday, even for a leisure tourist bit of planning and preparation is required. As I spent considerable time planning for duration, places to see, things to carry, medical precaution etc. would like to share some highlights before starting the travelogue.

Places :

For the leisure travel, there were various options like 1. Leh and Monasteries 2. Lakes 3. Passes  4. Nubra Valley 5. Zanskar 6. Srinagar-Leh road journey 7. Manali-Leh road journey.  Considering the family holiday, for this trip I zeroed down on Leh, Lakes, Passes and Nubra Valley for a 12 day trip.

Duration and Itinerary:

Ladakh is not about just reaching the destinations but enjoying the journeys as well. Those journeys offer some exciting experience and you can enjoy it more by stopping the places en route to your destination. So giving sufficient duration for each place within our time constraint is the key to enjoy it.
One must keep aside 3 days in the tour plan: Initial 2 days of rest (including the day of landing in Leh) and last day of travel from Leh. First 2 days can be used for local sightseeing if one is not feeling sick due to AMS (Altitude Mountain Sickness). Keep at least 3 days and 2 nights for Nubra Valley. Most of the tour operators plan it for 2 days which is not sufficient for this place, I believe. Similarly, keep at least 2 days for Pangong Tso. Again, many people make it one day return from Leh which is un-justice to the awesome lake. Keep 3 days for Tso-Moriri and Tso-Kar lakes. As the travel time from Leh to Tso Moriri is 7 hours minimum, you can extend it to 4 days if possible.
Link for detailed day wise travelogue is given in the end of this article.

Managing the journeys :

All journeys from and to Leh generally start in the morning and reach the destinations by lunch time (1~2 pm). For Tso Moriri, the journey is bit long but the hotels do give packed lunch when you depart in the morning. So you need not worry much about the food. And you do come across restaurants on the way while going to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. The road from Tso Moriri to Tso Kar is almost deserted with no restaurants but the journey is hardly 4 hours. Dont forget to pack up things when you depart from Tso Moriri. Ensure that you have plenty of mineral water before starting any journey. Those are the only things you should take care of, rest leave it to the lovely Ladakhi drivers who manage the show very well.

Hotels :

Pangong Hotel, Leh – A good hotel near to Main Bazaar. Food was excellent. It helped to have hotel near to market at least for initial stay. So chose this one for first 2 days of stay.
The Druk, Leh – This is a good Luxury hotel with good view of the surrounding mountains but away from market. So not recommended for initial days. We used this for remaining stay in Leh.
The Ladakh Camps (Sumur village, Nubra Valley) – Tent camps right in the village. Location is awesome and veg. food was really very tasty.  Ideal for touring Sumur-Panamik area.
Nubra Sarai (Hunder village, Nubra Valley) – Tent camps. Very near to Sand Dunes. Ideal for touring Sand Dunes and Diskit Monastery.
The Nature’s Nest (Pangong Tso) – Tent camps, perfectly located on the banks of the lake. Very few other camps are so near to the lake. Food and service was nice.
The Nomadic Camps, Korzok – Tent Camps. Nice location facing Tso Moriri Lake. Food and service were excellent.
Camp Tso Kar (Tso Kar lake) – There are only 2 camping sites in Tso Kar. This one was near to the lake with good restaurant.
For all the tented accommodation mentioned above, tents were clean, spacious and comfortable for 2 adults and 1 kid with sufficient blankets (those were really needed for those chilly nights !). Except for tents in Korzok and Tso Kar, all tents have attached toilet/bathrooms.

IMG_0389 IMG_0911

Permits :

All places outside Leh we visited required inner line permits. Seems this is hassle free and our tour operator managed that. Bring some sort of ID proof along with you along with 4 passport size photographs.

Altitude Mountain Sickness :

Precaution against High altitude sickness is essential for those travelling to Ladakh especially those flying directly into Leh. Not all people show this symptom. To be on safer side, we (including kids of 3 and 5 years) had taken half a Diamox (i.e. 50 mg)2 days before the travel, on the day of landing and 2 days after that (total 5 days).  None of us had any sort of problem during the entire stay.

Things you must carry :

1. Cold crème, Sunscreen lotion, goggles, sun cap
2. Woolen caps, thermal wear/woolen sweaters, woolen socks, hand gloves
3. Torch
4. Shoes (open footware not recommended)
5. Generic Medicines
6. Stand by batteries for the camera (Tents do not have charging facility, one has to use the sockets available in common places like food tent in the camps)
7. Pen drives containing your favorite music

Precaution :

  • It is suggested not to indulge in any hectic activity on first 2 days to let your body acclimatized to high altitude. If you are feeling the sickness, take complete rest for first 2 days. 
  • Drink water in gallons to keep you away from dehydration, its really very dry place. Ensure water is at room temperature to avoid cough. Keep mineral water bottles in quantities before starting the long journeys outside Leh.
  • Ask your car driver to have Oxygen cylinders in the car. Though we didn’t need it, it can be useful when situation arises especially on Khardung La and Chang La.

Vote of Thanks :
Very thankful to Mr. Partha Mirani of Three Sixty Degree Himalaya for customizing and arranging the tour as per my requirement. These guys have on the ground presence in Ladakh unlike other tour operators most of whom just act as middleman. And this really helps you plan your tour with practical inputs from them. Also of great help was Mr. Dorjee, the chauffeur, who was very knowledgeable and nice person, he drove us to various unplanned spots en route to the destinations which added much of a fun to our tour.

Day 6 & 7 - Pangong Tso
Day 8,9,10 - Tso Moriri, Tso Kar

Photo Gallery

Saturday, September 1, 2012


This is an easy 1-day trekking option from Mumbai. This was a fort of strategic importance and was used by various rulers to control the surrounding areas. To get to this fort you can take the Mumbai-Pune expressway and take the Kusgaon exit. From there you can ask around to reach the fort. GPS navigation for the fort was working quite nicely. The climb is fairly easy, except the last stretch which has some were steep stairs. The climb takes around 1.5 hours. 

More photos below...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ngong Ping, Discover Hong Kong, Lantau Island

This was the second last day of our tour. For me, this was the highlight of our tour here. Ngong Ping is located on the Lantau Island. To get to Ngong Ping, you can take cable car (Ngong Ping 360). This covers a distance of more than 5 km and takes you to the Ngong Ping plateau at the top. The cable car ride is an experience in itself. You get great views of the mountains and the forest. One can get a bird's eye view of the Hong Kong airport as well.

When buying tickets for Ngong Ping 360 present your Ocean Park tickets. We got a 10% discount on the ticket price.

The things to see at Ngong Ping are the Po Lin monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha. You can also see the 'Walking with Buddha' and 'Monkey's Tale' shows there. Combination ticket can be bought while buying the cable car tickets. The Tian Tan Buddha is one of the tallest outdoor Buddha statues. A series of 240 steps takes one to the base of the statue.

There are a number of restaurants in Ngong Ping. Ebeneezer's serves delicious Indian food. Just loved it!!.

See photos below..

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ocean Park

Ocean Park, Discover Hong Kong

Other than the Disneyland, this is another location in Hong Kong that kids would love for sure. The Ocean Park has been built at 2 levels. To move between the levels you can either choose the Ocean Express or take the cable car. Try both. The ocean express gives you the feeling of travelling through water. It is the faster of the 2 options as well.  The cable car give you great views of the mountains and the seas. There are a number of shows that are held daily at the Ocean Park. Hence plan your visit for the attractions in advance. At the upper level, you have the dolphin show. At the lower level there is a bird show and the light and sound show late in the evening which marks the close of activities at the Ocean Park.

There are a number of restaurants at the Ocean Park. We had researched the restaurants at Ocean Park and had planned to have our lunch Bayview as that was the only restaurant advertising Indian meals. The Indian meal consisted of rice and curry. The curry was not something that you will generally see on Indian menus. :) The restaurant has great views of the bay and there was a long line to get tables here. There are a number of open places with sitting arrangements. You can carry your own food and have it in these areas.

Save your Ocean Park tickets if you are planning a trip to Lantau. They will fetch you a discount of 10% on the cable car ticket for Ngong Ping.

Some photos below..

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Zoological Park, The Peak and Night Market

The Peak, Peak Tram, Discover Hong Kong, Madam Tussads

Next on our itinerary was The Peak.

We started off the day with a visit to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Park. This is supposed to be one of the oldest zoological and botanical centers in the world. This is a nice patch of green among the tall sky scrapers of Hong Kong and one can spend some relaxing time over here. There are a number of plant, animal and birds species on view here. 

The peak is the tallest mountain on the island and offers great views of the city skyline and the harbor. The peak tram is the most popular option for reaching the top. The gradient of the route is so high that you actually feel the trees and buildings are inclined. Once at the top, there are a number of shops and restaurants. Make sure to visit the Sky Terrace 428, which is the highest 360 degree viewing gallery in Hong Kong. Tickets to the Sky Terrace can be bought as a combo ticket when buying your Peak Tram tickets. Madam Tussauds is another attraction at the top. The Lion's Pavilion is also a good view point.

Next stop was the Ladies market. There were rows and rows of shops selling all sorts of things like hand bags, T-shirts, watches, toys, footwear, etc. Bargaining is a must. We got a tip from a local that one generally bargain to get items at 50% of the quoted price.

More photos below...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hong Kong Disney Land

Discover Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland, Travel Tips,
Before travelling to Hong Kong we had read that June is one of the wettest months in Hong Kong. So we were a bit worried on how things would pan out during the stay. Disneyland was the one place that we all were looking forward to. When we saw that the weather forecast for the day was sunny, we changed our itinerary for the day and decided to do Disneyland.

To go to Disneyland, we went to Sunny Bay by Tung Chung line and caught the Disney train from there. We were staying near Tin Hau station on the Island line.

We had to change at Central for the Tung Chung line. Once you get off at Central, its a big distance to get to Tung Chung line. For us a better option was to change at Admiralty for the Tsuen Wan line. Then change at Lai King for the Tung Chung line to Sunny Bay. Though it may take slightly longer time, it reduces a lot of walking. Change of lines is achieved by walking across the platform.
Check MTR map

We bought the Disneyland tickets by paying with VISA card. This gave us a discount of 10% on our tickets. Prams are available on hire near the entrance. This is very useful if you have kids as they would get tired during the day as you move from one zone to another.

I have been to the Tokyo Disneyland and that had set expectations for me for the Hong Kong Disneyland. I would have to say that I was slightly disappointed. It is much smaller than Tokyo Disneyland. The star parade in the afternoon also felt shorter (fewer characters) as compared to what we had seen in Tokyo. The night parade did not happen at all. In its place was a fireworks show at the Disney palace. Having said this, it is still a great place to go. The kids thoroughly loved seeing the different characters, different shows, rides, etc. They particularly loved Philhar Magic which is a 4D show.

We had our dinner at River View Cafe which is in Adventure Land near Tarzan's Treehouse. We were pleased to see Indian fare on their menu. Set meals with Nan, Rice, Sabzi were available. The quality of food was really good. Availability of milk tea made it perfect :)

Some more photos below. Spotted some different birds within the Disneyland. Will love to know their ids.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Symphony of Lights, Discover Hong Kong, A Symphony of Lights

Prior to our trip to Hong Kong, the first thing that came to mind when one thought of Hong Kong, was tall sky scrapers. So Day 1 of the itinerary was planned to get a taste of the same.

Overnight flight into Hong Kong meant that the kids were tired and they slept out the entire morning. We had anyways planned a late start to the day as we knew that the Symphony of Lights show starts at 8:00 p.m.

First stop for the day was the sky100 observatory. This is an observatory on the 100th floor from where you get fantastic views of Hong Kong. If you are travelling by the MTR trains, then get off at Kowloon station. From there follow the signs to ICC building. We got ticket discount on showing our Cathay Pacific boarding passes. English audio guides are available for free in the observatory.

From here we went to the Avenue of Stars at Tsim Sha Sui to catch the Symphony of Lights show. The Symphony of Lights is said to be the biggest permanent light and sound show. The sound (narration) can be listened to from the Avenue of Stars. Nearly 50 building participate in this show with decorative lighting and lasers. The show can be seen from a number of places but, the Avenue of Stars is supposed to be the best location. The Avenue of Stars has been built on the lines of Hollywood Walk of Fame and honours stars in the Hong Kong film industry.

So a good option would be to reach the Avenue of Stars in the evening, see the place and enjoy your time there and catch a vantage point to see the Symphony of Lights. Star Ferry cruise is possible from Tsim Sha Sui which you can time in such a way that you can see the Symphony of Lights from the cruise.

After the show, we started to look around for an Indian restaurant for our Dinner. We had heard that Tsim Sha Sui has a number of quality Indian restaurants and had shortlisted a couple of restaurants. But the GPS on my prepaid SIM was not working and we were unable to locate them. We asked around and were guided to Palki which served some good Indian food.

Some more images below....
Discover Hongkong, Travel Tips,, sky100, A Symphony of LightsDiscover Hong Kong, Travel Tips, Sky100, A Symphony of Lights, thetravelinfo.netDiscover Hong Kong, Travel Tips, Sky100, A Symphony of Lights, thetravelinfo.netDiscover Hongkong, Travel Tips,, sky100, A Symphony of Lights
Discover Hongkong, Travel Tips,, sky100, A Symphony of LightsDiscover Hongkong, Travel Tips,, sky100, A Symphony of LightsDiscover Hongkong, Travel Tips,, sky100, A Symphony of Lights