PAYANIGA

Travel Blog by Prashanth M

Singapore: First Impressions

December 5, 2013 by Prashanth | 12 Comments

Just when I was thinking that I’m not getting chances to travel around, I had an opportunity to visit Singapore last week. Unfortunately my trip started on Monday morning and ended on Friday evening (yes, not the an ideal itinerary to explore the place). And on top of it since it was a business visit, I was confined till evening attending meetings & trainings. Even then after long hours at office, I somehow managed to sneak out of the four walls couple of evenings and roam around. Here are few observations/ impressions – (my observations are more or less like a blind man commenting on an elephant just by touching one part of it)

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

An isotope of the UK
The moment I got into the taxi at airport and started towards the hotel, I felt I was in the UK. You take a big bustling city from the UK, cut it out of the country and throw it away into the sea somewhere neat the Equator – that’s Singapore for you. Having spent some time in both England and Scotland, I couldn’t stop myself in comparing the two countries. I saw so many similarities – infrastructure, the tubes & buses, driving rules, unpredictable weather. and yet the place is so different in many ways – the culture, people, the languages.

World shrunk into an island
Talking about the people and culture, Singapore is a place where the world is shrunk into an island. You find people from all over the world, of different countries, races, and speaking various languages. I heard quite a few different languages from different parts of the world. And as with the world’s population ratio – it’s not surprising that there are more people of Chinese & Indian origin.

WiFi yes, Sim card no
Most of the roaming around on the evening of day one was spent in searching for a prepaid Sim card for me to use. But the search went in vain, maybe I was searching in wrong shopping malls since they were not in the regular tourist area and they were close to the hotel I was staying. Surprisingly, I was connected all through out thanks to WiFi networks – I could find WiFi networks almost everywhere I went, but not Sim. After looking out for the Sim for two days, I decided not to buy since I could live without one for next 3 days.

Architecture
One of the evenings, I found myself in front of Marina Bay Sands and then decided to roam around aimlessly. Perhaps the best thing I did during my stay there. The walking around went on for couple of hours, close to 10 KMs. I was left gaping at the buildings with amazing & wide variety of architecture – starting from the Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, many more buildings unknown to me.

It’s raining, no it’s not
Being closer to the Equator, Singapore doesn’t have distinct seasons – it rains, shines, thunders 365 days a year. On the first, I looked out the window to see dark clouds gathering and within no time it started pouring like I had never seen before. After 10 minutes, there you go, there was no sign of a single cloud and it was a clear sky. When I stepped out for lunch in another 30 minutes there was no sign of a single drop on the ground as if it had not rained for weeks!! And if you are not a sound sleeper, you are bound to get awakened by the loud thunders during night :)

That was Singapore through my eyes. I might be wrong here, but that’s how I got to see the island country.

Cycling from Bhagamandala to Bekal Fort

September 24, 2013 by Prashanth | 26 Comments

Around this time last year, I went on a weekend ride from Bhagamandala to Bekal fort along the green route of Western ghats. With rainy season around, we were in for a treat all along the ride. Here are few photos from the ride —

Green, rain and empty roads

Green, rain and empty roads

Only fellow riders and mountains for the company

Only fellow riders and mountains for the company

And water falls on the road side, and their ear soothing sound all along

And water falls on the road side, and their ear soothing sound all along

More falls, small and big

More falls, small and big

Some more, and I lost count of the falls I saw on the way

Some more, and I lost count of the falls I saw on the way

After all the down hill road, it is not fair if we don't have some climbing

After all the down hill road, it is not fair if we don’t have some climbing

Overcast and green at Bekal fort

Overcast and green at Bekal fort

A break on the banks of river Payaswini

A break on the banks of river Payaswini

A wobbly ride on hanging bridge across river Payaswini

A wobbly ride on hanging bridge across river Payaswini

Here is a short video I made while riding on the hanging bridge, check it out :)

My India Travel Bucket List

August 20, 2013 by Prashanth | 40 Comments

payaniga_bucket_listRecently while talking to fellow travel enthusiasts & discussing about some memorable trips done and the ones in to-do list, I realized that I had not prepared a proper travel bucket list. Though I’ve a long list of places to visit (that too lying around in multiple places), I thought of prioritizing and making a travel bucket list specific to India. I’m limiting myself to the boundaries of India and not thinking about ROW list at the moment. Here goes my list – some of them very simple, few added in a whim and quite a few of them are clich├ęd.

The list is pretty short and bound to grow as and when I get to know about interesting places around India. Drop me a line if you have any interesting places or things to do in India.

  1. Southern triangle motorbike ride – Bangalore – Chennai – Kanyakumari – Mangalore – Bangalore
  2. Cycling – Go on a month-long (at least) bike ride
  3. Visit all 29 World Heritage Sites in India recognized UNESCO – 1 down 28 to go
  4. The Hoysala trail – explore the Hoysala temples
  5. Backpack at least for couple of weeks exploring Karnataka
  6. Go on desert trek in Rajasthan
  7. Participate in Tiger/Elephant census
  8. Volunteer travel
  9. Summit a 6000m peak
  10. River rafting
  11. Visit all 28 states and 7 Union territories of India – 7 & 1 done respectively
  12. Visit at least 3 interesting places in each of 30 districts of Karnataka
  13. Zero travel for 15 days/a month – Start with 0 money. Earn, beg, barrow enroute
  14. Visit top 10 highest waterfalls of India
  15. Visit Lonar crater lake
  16. Go on a beach trek
  17. Visit the 4 extreme points of India
  18. Traverse along the river Kaveri, from source to the river mouth

Just to clarify, this is not the complete list of places that I would like to visit, but a short list of “must” do/go within India. Help me out extending this list. :)

Last updated on: 03-Dec-2013

Blueness of Ryde Beach

July 16, 2013 by Prashanth | 8 Comments

PAYANIGA - Blueness of Ryde Beach

Whenever there is a travel plan on the cards, it can be of any extreme – from ‘a completely planned one with attention to minute detail’ to ‘Heck! I’m going out, don’t where!’. Our trip to Isle of Wight on a long weekend was much more closer to the one with attention to details. And surprisingly, everyone in the group sort of adhered to the ground rules, and lo & behold! we were left with few hours to spare before we had our ferry back to the main land. So much for planning and having some buffer time!! But thanks to the ground work done, we had few places in our list for such instance. We chose to loiter around Ryde beach as we were closer to the beach (well every place is at a short distance in this small island :)

PAYANIGA - Blueness of Ryde Beach

The place where I almost got stranded :)

PAYANIGA - Blueness of Ryde Beach

It was around noon when we reached the beach. We were welcomed to a clear blue sky and it was a low tide the time we stepped on to the beach. The water was way behind with plenty of sand lying between us. After roaming around for a while and when everyone else got busy, I decided to take a walk all the way to the water edge and it was a long walk. At the edge, I found a dry elevated place to sit down and lost myself along the blueness everywhere around. A much-needed break after roaming around and travelling for two & half days. The receded water was slowly coming back, I moved a step backward along its pace & got lost. After spending close to an hour, I realised that I was stranded in a slightly elevated patch of land with water all over! But the place being bit shallow, I waded back unwillingly to the shore in knee-deep water.

PAYANIGA - Blueness of Ryde Beach

PAYANIGA - Blueness of Ryde Beach