What to do in Hong Kong or rather any place really depends on you, the traveler and your travel preferences. However, Hong Kong being a small city-state gives you so many options close by that you can explore different Hong Kong attractions even if you do not have too many days there to spend.
Places to See in Hong Kong
Sunset at Victoria Peak – Heritage Peak Train Ride
Sunset at Victoria Peak – Hong Kong
Victoria Peak is one of the most popular places to visit in Hong Kong. I took a bus from the star ferry terminal and reached Victoria Peak. On the way back, I took the heritage Peak train to come back to the base of the hill. I highly recommend that you try both the bus ride and the heritage peak train to visit Victoria Peak. Both the rides are an experience to take.
At the Victoria peak, walk the loop that takes you around the hill. You will get stunning views of the Victoria harbor. I suggest you go around sunset, so you can see the harbor in light, during sunset, and after sunset. All the three views are different and stunning in their own ways. Please note that Victoria peak is also notorious for its fog, so pray for a clear day before you head there.
Victoria Harbour – Star Ferry Ride
Star Ferry is a normal ferry that the local residents of Hong Kong use for their daily commute between the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Island – the two main landmasses of Hong Kong. It is one of the many ways to commute between the two islands – others being the Metro and a road bridge
Hong Kong Travel Attractions - Star Ferry Ride - YouTube
If you stay on the Hong Kong side, take the ferry around sunset to Kowloon. And watch the symphony of lights that happens every evening and ride back. If you are staying on Kowloon side take the ferry anytime to visit the Hong Kong Island.
Symphony of Lights
Symphony of Lights Show – Hong Kong
The Symphony of lights is a small 10 minute light and sound show that happens on the skyline of Hong Kong island around 8 PM. Not the greatest light show that you will ever see, but it is one of those experience that I would definitely put in the things to do in Hong Kong.
Museums of Hong Kong
Towers of Buns at Museum of History – Hong Kong
I am a museum person. Could not explore all the museums in Hong Kong that I wanted to, you never have enough time to explore all that you want. I explored The Hong Kong Museum of History in detail on the very first day of my Hong Kong trip. This gave me a good perspective of the history of the country and its journey to the present. It is a well-curated museum that lets you do activities like printing take away souvenirs based on Chinese signs.
Wan Chai Walk
Wan Chai is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Hong Kong, centered around an ancient temple. Walking through it is like walking through the history of the island. There are boards that guide you through the walk, but we have a detailed post for you to explore it on your own.
Walk through the remains of an old walled city that was notorious for being the most densely populated place on earth and for many other things. Today, it is a well-manicured garden and a kind of memorial that dark history of the island.
The Stanley Village is that corner of Hong Kong that is so unlike Hong Kong. It is nestled between the hills and ocean like the rest of the city but without its skyscrapers and overcrowded spaces. A small market bustles with the creative energy of its traditional as well as modern artisans. I loved both the ride to the Stanley village as well as a walk through it. Check out this video:
Hong Kong Road Trip in Time Lapse - YouTube
Hollywood Street Walk
Walk on the upmarket Hollywood Street that is home to one of the most popular temples in Hong Kong dedicated to the God of Literature. I loved the small cafes and street art that I discovered while walking around it.
Despite being the vertical city, Hong Kong has its own share of gardens. I walked through some of them, especially in the mornings. Some of the gardens you can explore are Victoria Peak Garden, Nan Lian Park, Kowloon Walled City Park, Sung Wong Toi Park, Sha Tin Park, Wan Chai Park.
Fun Things to Do in Hong Kong
Visit Ocean Park
You need at least one full day to explore the Ocean Park. If you are traveling with kids, this is one of the best things to do in Hong Kong. I was traveling alone and I am not too much of a theme park person, but I thoroughly enjoyed my day spent at the ocean park.
Adventures at Ocean Park - Hong Kong - YouTube
Loved all the rides I took, I even enjoyed watching the ones that I did not take. I enjoyed by food sitting next to penguins as they frolicked in the water next to my table. And I enjoyed riding the train up and down, walking in the old world charm of old Hong Kong recreated here. I had a fun time walking through the aquarium as much as I enjoyed watching the pandas roaming around, seals swimming around or the acrobats perform in the gardens. Visiting the South Pole and feel the freezing cold there surrounded by penguins is total fun.
Penguins at Ocean Park – Hong Kong
The whole atmosphere gears you to take part in the activities and somehow brings out the child in you. It is a great place to let go of your stress, the reason many of us take holidays.
An alternate to Ocean Park is to visit Disneyland. It is advisable to stay there for at least one night to explore it well. It is a bit away from the main city of Hong Kong. I am yet to explore it, hopefully, there would be another time to explore it.
Shopping in Hong Kong
Shopping is one of the big reasons why tourists love Hong Kong. However, if you think it is just the shining shopping malls where you can shop in Hong Kong. Street Markets top my personal list of Best places to visit in Hong Kong. You will fall in love with these markets.
Believe it or not, the densely populated city of Hong Kong on the hillside is connected via escalators that take you up and down the city. One way to look at them is that city is spread on an incline and these escalators are like vertical roads that take you up and down.
I am not aware of any other city that has a public facility to take you up and down. Go, experience them.
Ride the Trams
Not many cities in the world have an active tram network. Trams are slow and they are making way for the faster methods of the commute. Hong Kong still has lovely little colorful trams plying back and forth. Since they are slow, I recommend taking them once in a while for short commutes at times. You would experience Hong Kong of a different time.
Explore the local food
Vegetarian Dim Sums
Being a cosmopolitan city, there is no dearth of the cuisines that you can try in Hong Kong. In terms of price range, you have the street food that you get in busy streets to best of gourmet options. I am a vegetarian and I was happy to try Dim Sums at a Michelin Star restaurant. No, the Michelin star did not mean it was too expensive. It was easy on the pocket, on the tummy and fun to eat.
Iced Milk Tea – Nu Chai
Do try their cold milk tea called Nai Cha. You get it everywhere, you can even pick it up to go.
Attend a Hong Kong Festival
Like India, Hong Kong also has a string of festivals that it celebrates around the year. Check out by Hong Kong Blogger Friend Katy’s Hong Kong Festival Guide. She has listed the major festivals around the year that you can explore. Apart from this, check the local newspapers for smaller festivals that you can attend and enjoy the cultural richness of Hong Kong.
Macau is a just a small ferry ride away from Hong Kong and can be done as a quick day trip. I am yet to do this, so will share details as and when I do it.
Participate in Local Rituals
Chinese being an old civilization has a lot of living traditions that people follow till date. I saw under an overbridge a custom called ‘Petty Person Beating‘ where you can literally get an evil person in your life beaten with shoes. Watch this video to see this with your own eye:
Petty Person Beating - Hong Kong - YouTube
These are the kind of cultural things that you discover when you walk on the streets.
Hong Kong – Must See Places
Pro Tip – For walking trails, do not depend on Google Maps. The place is too congested and it can confuse you.
For me, Lucknow is the street food capital of India. The only other city that gives it a tough competition is Indore. However, Lucknow is better known for all the non-vegetarian street food with its world-famous Kebabs. Now, a vegetarian like me has nothing to with all that. So, step away from ever-crowded streets of Aminabad and walk around to discover some awesome Lucknow Street Food.
This time I decided to take a food walk curated by Tornos – a travel company that specializes in Lucknow itineraries. Earlier too I had explored Lucknow with them, and I admired their focus on research about the city. So, this time, Cyrus from Tornos and I set out on a vegetarian food trail in Lucknow.
Vegetarian Food Trail in Lucknow
We started our vegetarian food trail in the streets of Ameenabad in Lucknow.
Thali at Netram Ajay Kumar
At the ground floor, Netram Ajay Kumar is a usual sweetshop. On the first floor is it a basic eatery, but the magic is in its food.
Thali at Netram Ajay Kumar – Ameenabad, Lucknow
The Bedmi or stuffed puri that comes with Bundi Raita, a dry vegetable, and chana along with a tangy pickle is something one must eat at least once in the lifetime. I can go back and eat it any time. The thali costs you less than 100 Rs and it is unlimited, which means you can have as many Puris as you like. Of course, sharing is not allowed.
Lassi at Madhurima
Madhurima, right next to Netram Ajay Kumar shop is an equally good alternative to Thali. I had a similar Thali there during one of my earlier trips. Believe me, I can never decide which one is better between the two. Go for the one that is less crowded.
Kesar Lassi in a Kulhad – Lucknow
This time I stepped into Madhurima to have their famous Lassi that comes again in a Kulhad or clay pot. I shared a glass with Cyrus as it is heavy and filling and we still had a few more stops on this vegetarian food trail.
Let me share a fun fact about Madhurima, it is known as Kabal Wali Dukaan as at some point in time it used to be located close to a grave or Qabar. The shop dates back to 1825, and that is some food legacy in the city of Lucknow.
Our next stop should have been Prakash Kulfi but I let it go for another time.
Sri Kalika Chat House – Sonth Papdi
Sri Kalika Chaat House – Lucknow
Serving chat since 1880, Sri Kalika Chaat House is easy to miss though two prominent boards announce it one on top of other. Ask for their famous Sonth Papdi Chaat.
Papdi Chat with Sonth – Lucknow
Sonth is a chutney made with tamarind and jaggery – tampered with spices. On the crisp Papdi along with other ingredients, it gives you the crunchy bite that is sweet and spicy and tangy. A riot of flavors on the tongue.
Paan was the only thing that I could take after eating too much. A Paan, in fact, becomes a necessity to digest all the good food. There are many popular Panwalas in the old parts of Lucknow.
Paan ki Dukaan – Lucknow
With my stomach full, I was ready to hit the bed and sleep while my body digests all that my tongue has pushed inside.
Other days in Lucknow, I explored many more street food places. Here is a small list of must-have Lucknow street food for you.
Lucknow Street Food – Must Try Places
Ravi Gol Gappe Wala
Lucknow Ravi Gol Gappe Wala
Ravi is a star Gol Gappe Wala in Lucknow. He has been featured in almost all magazines and newspapers. He still sells only in the evenings on his cycle. What is his specialty? Well, he serves you as many as 16 varieties of Gol Gappa water. After you have had one round of all the waters, you can choose a combination of the ones you like too. For me, it is like a pilgrimage to visit Ravi and eat his Gol Gappas, exchange a few words with him. He is too busy for more than that, but he always wears a pleasant smile.
Ravi’s Gol Gappe in Lucknow would be my biggest recommendation for street food in Lucknow.
Ram Asrey Sweets
Paan Gilouri – the star sweet of Lucknow
This is an old sweet shop in Lucknow. In fact, now you can find their branches around the city. You must try their Malai Gilouri. Shaped like Paan Gilouri, it is a melt in the mouth kind of sweet made from the cream of the milk and stuffed with dry fruits. They also have a whole lot of other sweets but those you can get elsewhere too.
It is a Lucknow special sweet that you can even carry back home.
This small hole in the wall kind of shop is hardly visible from the roadside in the evenings. It is so crowded with the customers lining up to eat their favorite chaat.
Prakash Kulfi Wala
A box full of Kulfis – Lucknow
There are two popular Kulfi shops in Lucknow. One is Dayal Kulfi and the other is Prakash Kulfi. I did not have Kulfi as every time passed these shops my stomach was too full of all the other street food. However, I did have a look at the large clay pots full of Kulfi cones.
Sharma Chai – Lucknow
This is your typical roadside Chai shop but the one that comes with its own glow sign. Its signature Chai comes in the Kulhad that is shaped like a glass, remember the ones with vertical ribs in the glass. You actually pay extra to have Chai in this Kulhad, but it worth it for the earthy flavor it lends to the spices in the Chai.
Nimish or Makhan Malai at Chowk
Nimish or Makhan Malai – Lucknow
You can not cross the main Chowk in Lucknow without noticing these large glass and brass containers. They are temptingly covering a yellow delicacy called Nimish that is generously covered with silver foil or varq. What is inside is a unique dish that you probably get in parts of Uttar Pradesh Only. I have seen it only here in Lucknow and in Varanasi.
A cup full of Nimish, that is also called Makhan sometimes is a foam-like dish that probably defines what is melting in the mouth means. The tongue is in the whirlpool of soft butter like texture. You must try this in Lucknow, even if you just taste it.
Pt Raja Ki Thandai
Thandai – Lucknow
Thandai is a milk-based drink flavored using various dry fruits and spices. For me, his one glass of Thandai is as good as a meal. It is sweet, it is spicy and is heavenly. However, what many people come here for is a version of Thandai that comes laced with Bhang. I have not tried that, I am happy with the plain version of it.
Raja Ki Thandai is located in the Chowk in Lucknow.
Habshi Halwa and Jauzi Halwa are two different types of Halwas that you can have in Lucknow along with the halwa made from Kali Gajar or dark carrot. I do not eat too many sweets unless it is Jalebi or Imarti but I am sure those of you who have a sweet tooth would enjoy this exotic halwas.
Do you have any other recommendations for street food in Lucknow for vegetarians like me? Tell me in the comments below.
A traveling life means you end up spending a lot of time in the hotel rooms. To me, the hotel becomes my home in the destination that I am visiting. Initially, I used to treat them as parking spaces, where I park myself to sleep, to bath and to keep my luggage. As the number of days, I travel increased, I started getting more comfortable in my hotel rooms. Thankfully all my careers ensured that I mostly stay in the luxury hotels.
As I stayed in more and more luxury hotels around the country and the world, the inherent designs of hotel rooms started becoming evident. There were certain things that I wanted in my hotel rooms that almost every hotel room design missed. I smile when I see these elements taken care of.
One fine day, while sitting in one of the hotel rooms, I jotted down a list on my phone. Things that I want in my perfect hotel room, if possible, in every hotel but definitely in luxury hotels.
1. Enough Lighting in the Hotel Rooms
I understand that hotel rooms are designed to create a mood of luxury, romance or comfort. Yellow light definitely enhances these emotions. However, most hotel rooms are used by business travelers. As a business traveler, I end up using the room as my make-shift office. I need to work on my laptop or my mobile phone. The lack of ample light that fills the room equally bothers me at times. There should be an option to have my hotel room full of light if need be.
2. Intuitive Lighting
Do you remember figuring out where the light switches are in the room for the first few minutes in the hotel room? Or figuring out how to switch on the washroom lights at night? Or not managing to switch off that one last light somewhere in the hotel room, that stands bright and shining between you and your sleep, not letting the darkness engulf you.
Luxury hotels need to realize that we stay in a hotel for 2-3 nights and not here to get used to the switches.
It is embarrassing to call the reception to ask where can I switch off a particular light.
3. The Bright Shining Light of Television
My biggest barrier for a good sleep in a luxury hotel is the little red dot that remains lit on the Television or the Set Top Box eve after you have managed to switch off every possible light. At times I have put extra pillows to cover it, sometimes a sheet of paper and at times unsuccessfully tried to ignore it. Now people who are used to a television bang opposite their bed at home may not find it problematic, but this bothers me a lot. Invariably every hotel has a television bang opposite the bed, apart from the heritage hotels or tree houses where television is usually missing.
Dear Hotel Rooms designers can you do something about it? You will get my blessings forever.
4. Toiletry Labels
Those little bottles of toiletries in the washroom save me a lot of efforts to pack the essentials. However, I always struggle to read the labels. Now, I wear reading glasses, but I do not want to use them in the washroom. Even before I needed them, it used to be a struggle to figure which one is body lotion or shampoo or conditioner or hand wash.
Luxury hotels that use branded toiletries have the brand name proudly displayed and the content of the bottle is font size 3 or small. Believe me guys, it is a struggle. Make it easy for me to pick up the right bottle even when I am beneath the shower or cannot open my eyes properly. By all means, put the brand name, but as a user, the label is more important to me if I decide to use them.
5. One Person per Service
After checking in and getting my luggage in the room I usually have a couple of things to request like:
A scissors to cut the airline lock
RO water instead of bottled water
Iron board at times
Food if I need to eat in the room
Any repairs of things not working
For each service I need to call a different person and as many people knock the room to service. I understand that as an organization, you have your work organized in departments. However, to me as a traveler who can not wait to take some rest, it is a nuisance to open the door 5 times one after the other. The person getting the scissors can also get the water or a floor manager can help me with everything I need in one go.
I know this is not an easy demand looking at it from the business side of hotels. But, as a traveler, I would love this if you can somehow implement it.
6. Ample Charging Points
Every traveler and definitely a luxury traveler travels with at least 2 gadgets per person that need charging as soon as we check-in in the hotel. A lot of old luxury hotels still do not provide ample points for 4-5 gadgets to charge simultaneously.
I carry two cameras, a mobile phone, a Kindle and a laptop. Usually, I get up in the middle of the night to change the set of gadgets being charged.
However, my biggest problem is that after I have switched off all the lights using master switch (where available), the gadgets also stop charging. I have to either switch off each light one by one and then switch them on one by one in the morning or keep looking at the gadgets to ensure they are charging.
7. Air Conditioning Thermostat
More often than not the thermostat in the hotel rooms hardly works. I am always lost fiddling with the settings. Around the time I sleep, it is usually chilling in the room. Around 3 AM or so, suddenly the airconditioning is switched off and I am left sweating. Not to mention that precious sleep is lost for the night.
I am yet to figure out why this airconditioning switch off time is always in the middle of the night. Many of my friends in the hotel industry admit that this is done as a regular practice. Is it just me who has noticed it or no one has reported it as a problem?
8. Please Indicate the Hot & Cold Shower
Given that conventions differ around the world, it would really help if you can indicate which side of the water outlet is hot and which is cold. If you are located in a place with extreme weather destination, this should be a legal requirement. Imagine yourself in Ladakh in Winters and mistakenly opening the cold shower.
9. Channel List on TV
I usually do not watch TV while traveling, but sometimes you want to catch certain news or just relax while listening to some music. There are fancy televisions in hotel rooms of all luxury hotels. Remote comes with a guide but then there is no way for me to know which channels have the hotel subscribed to. So, I keep surfing hoping to reach the channel I need. Most of the times I give up generating no ROI on your investment in putting a nice TV in the room.
Life would be simple if you keep an available channel list nos in the hotel room. You can even message it to the customer number or make it available in any form.
10. Leave Some Space on the Side Tables
Now side tables are meant for keeping things that I, as the occupant of the hotel room want to keep accessible. This includes my spectacles, my mobile, my Kindle, my Hair clips, water bottle, medicines etc.
More often than not the side table is so full of hotel stuff that I have to remove them to use the side table. Half the table is taken by a phone on which sometimes you forget to mention the key numbers like front office, housekeeping. Rest half has hotel stationery which I really appreciate. However, it is the other things like slogan cards or discount deals that bother me.
11. Let’s Be Eco-Conscious Together
I appreciate your eco-conscious messages in the room. Let us follow them together. Please do not change my towels unless I ask you to. Please give me RO water instead of water in single-use plastic bottles.
I think sometimes you forget to tell your housekeeping staff that if my towels are not on the floor, they need not be replaced.
12. No Sugar In Cut fruits, Please!
Cut fruits in the breakfast spread come laced with sugar. While I understand the need for taste on the tongue, it is something I am scared of both as a diabetic as well as a trusting customer.
On a different note, please ask your chefs to create some non-alcoholic drinks without using sugar.
Fruits are the best thing that you can give me complimentary.
13. Replacing Tea/Coffee Bags
Housekeeping staff should look at my consumption and replace the items accordingly. If I am a tea drinker, they can leave a couple of more tea bags instead of going by the book and keeping the exact number of tea and coffee bags only. The same goes for low-calorie sugar or toiletries.
On a lighter note, tell me an easy well to pull out the duvets that you tuck in so well.
These observations have been collated over a period of time in hotel rooms as I said mostly in Luxury hotels. Most hotels would miss out on 4-5 points. I think I can think of one or two hotels where I could not find any of these problems. I hope the hotel industry would treat this as a constructive feedback.
Do you have any other points to add to this list that the hotels can take as feedback?
Anjuna is a small beach village in North Goa. Despite its fame and popularity with the tourists, it still remains a village minus the usual quaintness we associate with villages. It is as cosmopolitan as it gets with a flea market that sees sellers and buyers from around the world. I always visit Anjuna during the season time in Goa which is October to March. It gives me a vibe of being in a distant land despite being in my backyard.
Anjuna – the Hippie Village of Goa
Sunset at Anjuna Beach, Goa
History would remember Anjuna for being at the heart of Hippie Trail. This is what some of the Hippies who landed in Anjuna has to say about it:
This had to be the best place on the planet… What a life in Anjuna Beach! Warm, salty, sandy, swimming, sunning, dancing, lazy and stoned. Weeks went by like one long day. No one possessed a clock. The only schedule was that of the moon… No day had a name, though once I accidentally discovered it was a Sunday.
Anjuna beach briefly became the world’s largest international nudist colony.
Goa was special to Hippies as this is the only place, they thought of making home after traveling through many lands. You can still find traces of that in Anjuna though it is more of a family destination where everyone comes to the party.
Anjuna village is in the Bardez Taluka of North Goa district of Goa State. Bardez Taluka has the Mandovi River on the southern side and the Chapora River on the northern side, and the Arabian Sea on the west demarcating the boundary. Anjuna area is further separated by the Baga river on the south separating the equally popular Calangute, Candolim and Sinquerim beaches which fall on the southern side. Thus the Anjuna village area has Chapora river estuary to the north and Baga river estuary to the south and the sea on the west, a popular tourist destination.
Things to See in and Around Anjuna
Anjuna Flea market
Jewelry on sale at Anjuna Flea Market
From October to April or so, every Wednesday next to the Anjuna beach in Goa you have a colorful market come up. From morning to evening you can find people selling all kinds of clothes, jewelry, tea, spices, old Saris and handmade items. If bargaining is new to you, Anjuna Flea market is a great place to hone your skills.
Do remember that Anjuna Flea Market is a market only in name. There is hardly any Flea part left in it. It did start way back in Hippie days as a Flea market when travelers used to sell anything they had before leaving Goa or country. The tradition of the market though was started by them and still carries a bohemian vibe to it.
Shopping in Flea Market, look for unique stuff
Landscape view of north from Chapora Fort
Not too far from Anjuna is Chapora Fort – one of the many forts that exist on the Konkan coast or west coast of India. There is nothing much that is left of the fort except its photogenic entry gate. However, being surrounded by water on almost all sides, Chapora Fort gives you the vantage point to admire the true wealth of Goa – its waterbodies.
Before you enter the fort, on your right you see the backwater that looks more like a mountain lake, surrounded by greenery on all sides. You step inside and see the ruins all around, with the crumbling walls still defining its boundaries. We saw the people sitting on these walls all around and started moving towards the periphery.
Chapora Fort inside view
We moved from left to right. At first, we saw the beach below and a fancy new hotel without which it would be all natural. Moving along as the sun we moved downwards.
Sunset view enthusiasts waiting atop Chapora Fort Walls
We came on the right side of the fort and the view from there took our breath away. The river Chapora flows with an abandon towards the sea. The sea comes forward with all its enthusiasm to receive it. Nested between a hill and a beach, one can never get tired looking at this confluence. No wonder our ancient scriptures say so much about these places.
Sunset view from the walls of Chapora Fort
The small hike to Chapora fort is not very friendly. Avoid it if it is raining.
Chapora Fort wall, sea in the background
If you look at the northern side from atop the Chapora Fort you can see the Morjim Beach, a protected nesting site for the Olive Ridley Sea turtles. Further north to the Morjim beach is the Ashvem Beach and the Mandrem Beach, again among the popular North Goa Beaches.
Morjim Beach, Goa
Anjuna Beach is quite a popular beach in Goa. It is lined with shacks that Goan beaches are so well known for. You can do all the beachy things at Anjuna beach – sunbathing, swimming in the sea, sitting on the beach, enjoy seafood and water sports. My favorite activity though is walking on the beach listening to the waves as they passionately meet the shore.
Anjuna Beach, Goa
Popular water sports include Parasailing, Banana Ride and Jet Ski.
Be aware that the beach is rocky at Anjuna and that makes it very pretty to photograph. Take care not to venture onto slippery rocks and heed the advice of the beach lifeguards. During the day, it is like any other beach but come evening, it gets into a party mode.
The rocky terrain of Anjuna Beach
You can also visit the other beaches close to Anjuna beach like Vagator beach, Baga Beach and Calangute beach.
As most people know, Anjuna is home to many popular clubs, but we have not visited any of them. For me, it is always the village life that makes the Goan villages special for me.
Fishing boats by the Anjuna Beach
Landscape view of Vagator Beach
The Vagator Beach is about 3 KMs from Anjuna village.
To the north of Anjuna Beach is the Vagator beach. It is right below the Chapora Fort and hill. Vagator Beach in Goa is also a popular tourist destination.
Vagator Beach view from Chapora Fort
Popular Goa Beaches like Vagator Beach is unique with the Chapora hill and fort on one side and the Sea on the other side.
Vagator Beach view from Chapora Fort
And the Chapora river estuary nearby Vagator beach has its own charm and opportunities to explore.
Chapora river estuary
Museums near Anjuna
Daytimes particularly around the noon it is hot and humid around this region. It is better to either rest, head for restaurants, swimming pools in the resorts or explore indoor activities like visiting the museums.
Museum of Goa
A modern art Museum located at Pilerne, about 13 KMs from Anjuna village. If you are an art/museum lover, visit the museum.
Anjuna village and the nearby beach sides are over a cliff compared to the near sea level beaches of Calangute, Candolim, Miramar and the south Goa beaches. Anjuna area, therefore, gives you an opportunity to watch the sunset sitting in a restaurant or resort enjoying food and watch the beautiful sunsets from a different angle/perspective. Try if you are visiting Anjuna. Of course, the best of sunset sky colors are during the winters and summers.
Sunset view from atop Chapora Fort
Eat at Anjuna Village
While the Goan Fish Curry Rice Thali and the Punjabi Food restaurants are popular, you can also get to taste authentic Mediterranean Food, Continental Food in Anjuna. Being a vegetarian recommend you read my post on Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Goa.
Artjuna Garden Cafe
Artjuna is an experience café in an old Goan house. It has a Yoga studio, a curated gift or souvenir shop, and a lovely open-air restaurant. The hippie style yoga posters juxtapose with the giant Nataraja in brass. The recycled tyres make a good decoration next to the copper vessel for drinking water.
Mediterranean Food Falafel at Artjuna, Anjuna
Lined up books create an inviting library and then there are interesting bookshelves at the Artjuna store. We love eating Mediterranean food here as much as we love chatting with the Israeli turned Goan owner of the café.
You can also Visit Rose Garden – the oldest Café in Anjuna. If the history of Anjuna intrigues you, visit the oldest café in Anjuna village – Rose Garden. It is an old-style restaurant perfect for tourists. It is located close to the football ground that is at the heart of Anjuna Village.
There is a German bakery for those who find comfort in familiar food.
Stay at Anjuna
Anjuna is also home to many old styled as well as new age hostels, villa properties, heritage properties, and usual hotels. You can choose your kind of property to stay.
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal has seen a huge rise in visitors over the last few years. Located in this coastal country, that is tucked into the western border of Spain, it is famous for its food, beaches, and rich cultural traditions. Although Lisbon is becoming quite touristy, there are still many well-kept secrets and hidden cultural gems in and just outside this amazing city. Soak up Portuguese culture in Lisbon with these nine unique activities.
Palm Trees Lisbon
Go on a Cork Tour
A what? Did you know that Portugal is the top producer of cork in the world? Their cork forests and factories produce more than just wine bottle plugs. The Portuguese use the environmentally friendly cork to produce fabrics, shoes, accessories, and construction items. You can take a day tour directly from Lisbon to see a cork forest and factory and learn about the rich history of cork production in Portugal. Many tours even pair it with a wine tasting, so you can see one of the most common uses of cork in action!
A landscape of Lisbon, Portugal
Visit One Of Lisbon’s Unique Markets
Market Square Lisbon at Sunset image
Lisbon is famous for its huge variety of markets. Visiting one or a few of these markets is a great way to get a feel for how locals shop.
• The Campo Do Ourique Market may be a bit off the beaten path, but it is worth the trek. This is a great place to try artisanal food and cocktails.
• Mercado de Santa Clara is a huge antique and flea market open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. They sell everything you can imagine from old furniture to handmade jewelry. Even if you aren’t a big shopper. it’s an interesting place to walk around and have a look at some interesting wares.
• The Time Out Market is well trafficked and for good reason – it has some of the best food in Lisbon. It may not be so off the beaten path, giving off a modern hipster vibe, but you will eat well if you check out this very selective market.
Museu de Azulejos
When many people think about Portugal, they think about those beautiful old blue and white tiles – Azulejos – that adorn many old buildings and archways. The city Porto is quite famous for these tiles, but you can enjoy their beauty around Lisbon as well. In fact, you probably can’t walk down one street in Lisbon without seeing some beautiful tilework along the way.
If you love these tiles as much as we do, consider a trip to the Museu de Azulejos. They have an app that serves as an audio guide around the museum, so make sure your phone is charged!
Check out Lisbon’s Iconic Street Art
It’s not just tilework adorning Lisbon’s streets and alleyways – Lisbon is becoming extremely famous for its amazing street art culture. You will definitely enjoy the street art around Lisbon as you meander around.
There are some pretty cool on the ground street art walking tours that explain the artistic, cultural, or political meaning behind some of the city’s most iconic pieces.
Party in The Pink District
Pedestrian Pink Street Lisbon Rua Nova do Carvalho image
Rua Nova do Carvalho is famous for its pink-painted path running through the street. It used to be one of the city’s shadiest areas to hang out. Think dirty dive bars, brothels, and drug dealers. Not a place we would recommend if it was still a shady destination, but the neighborhood has worked to change its image and is now one of the best areas to rub elbows with trendy locals. The vibe in Rua Nova Nova do Carvalho is an interesting mix of old and new and should be on your itinerary if you are looking for some interesting nightlife.
Get Outside The City
If you are spending more than a few days in Lisbon, it is worth taking a day trip just outside the city to see a bit of the countryside and see one or two of the beautiful villages nearby.
This trip will be an amazing architectural experience from the moment you set foot in Rossio train station in Lisbon, an ornate and extravagant building designed by the famous architect José Luís Monteiro. The beautiful town of Sintra is just 45 minutes away from Lisbon and will take you back in time with its beautiful palaces and ancient streets.
Quinta da Regaleira Palace one of the many palaces in Sintra image
You can walk around most of the city, and ambitious travelers can hike up to the castles and estates. There are regular buses available to get you up to the various castles in Sintra if you prefer not to hoof it by foot.
National Palace Sintra image
Azenhas do Mar village on the edge of a cliff near Sintra, Lisbon image
• Go to a Feira in Óbidos
There are many companies offering tours to Óbidos from Lisbon, but the town is so close and so small, you can really go and explore on your own by taking one of the many buses leaving from Lisbon. This picturesque walled town is the original home of Ginjinha, so make sure to sample it while you are here. Óbidos is famous for its festival or feiras. The most famous feira is the Medieval Fair, running Thursday to Sunday from mid-July to early August and is a great way to step back in time into Portugal’s Medieval times.
Drink Like a Local
Portugal is famous for wine, coffee, and Gijinhia — a cherry liquor. You must try a small glass a Gijinhia during a sightseeing day in Lisbon. There are many tiny street stalls that serve up this local drink, expect to pay between 1-2 euros for a glass. A little bar named A Ginjiha is one of the most popular places you’ll find in guidebooks, but there are plenty of other tiny, old-world shops serving up this treat. Check out Ginjinha Espinheira or Ginjinha Sem Rival.
Learn to Make Portugal’s #1 Culinary Dish
Traditional Portuguese Egg Tart, Pasteis de Nata image
Lisbon is a foodie’s paradise, and you will have no problem eating your way through this city. Pastéis de Nata, or Egg Tarts, are one of Portugals most iconic treats. You can find them everywhere in the city, you can even find these custard tarts in Portuguese colonial ports like Macau, Goa and southwestern Taiwan. There are many pastearias in Lisbon fighting for the title of best Pastéis de Nata.
We suggest trying them in a few different places so you can make your own decision! Pastéis De Belém and Manteigaria are two amazing places to start your egg tart adventure. After having these for a breakfast a few days in a row, and realizing you’ll never be able to live without them, try your hands at one of the baking classes offered in the city, so you can make them for your friends and family when you get home from your trip!
This is a guest post by Karolina Klesta.
Karolina Klesta is living out of a suitcase, making money online and running a Lazy Travel Blog. She and her husband Patryk have been traveling the world since 2013. At the beginning of this year, they welcomed the new member of their family in this world- baby girl Mia. The three of them are visiting new countries every few months. Their definition of adventure is to see as much as possible without getting too tired.
Lucknow souvenirs must be special. After all, the city of Lucknow stands for delicacies that range from its world-famous Tehzeeb or etiquette to its delicate embroidery called Chikankari or its tender kebabs called Tunde Kebab. The souvenirs from Lucknow city are bound to be elegant and delicate.
I combed the markets of Lucknow and spoke to many people who know the city well to help me create this list of souvenirs from Lucknow.
Lucknow Souvenirs – Shopping in Lucknow
Lucknow is the city that gives you things to enjoy a good life – be it its garments, its jewelry or its food.
Chikankari or Chikan Embroidery
Lucknow Chikan Kari Workshop
Chikankari has to be the top must-buy thing in Lucknow. The delicate embroidery done on delicate white muslin is just perfect to wear on sunny summers of North India. In my student days, I wore a lot of Chikankari suits in all possible pastel colors. In those days Lucknavi Chikankari was synonymous with pastel shades on organza or Stiff muslin. These days you get it on all kinds of fabrics and in all possible colors.
There are fancy Sewa shops all over the city but I find them too expensive. Walk in the lanes of Aminabad and Chowk area and you can get a good bargain.
I also advise visiting a Chikankari workshop and see how the designs are made in ink with blocks and then embroidered by hand, typically by women.
If Chikankari is the all about elegance and delicacy, Zardozi is all about sophistication and celebration with threadwork. This time I happened to visit the workshop pf Muzzafar Ali at his home in Lucknow. It was a pleasure to see the artisans painstakingly working on a delicate fabric to create magic by putting shining crystals on them.
Zardozi Work from Lucknow
There are various nuances in the Zardozi work that literally means embroidery with gold threads. You also get Salma Sitara work where the sequins are arranged on the fabric or stitches like Aari work that looks like the teeth of a saw.
Zardozi is for your special days.
Dupalli Topi – Lucknow Souvenirs
This is a white muslin cap, usually with some Chikankari on it, that you get only in Lucknow. It has two equal parts and stitched in the middle. Dupalli literally means with two sides. You can find it in the lanes around chowk. You can get them as cheap as Rs 50/- or depending on the work on them they can be as expensive as you want them.
Jewelry as Lucknow Souvenir
If you have seen the film Umrao Jaan and admired the jewelry of the protagonist, you know what to pick in Lucknow. Look for Paasas – the ornament worn on one side of the head. Or look for Jhalar earrings – these are longish earrings that give the impression of being an ornate lace. You can also look for Chand Bali or an earring in the shape of half moon. Imagine the moon hanging in your ears.
While you can get all of these in Gold, in the popular markets you also get them in imitation work. Jewelry is a perfect gift from Lucknow for women in your life.
Metalcraft from Lucknow
Silver Metalcraft from Lucknow
Metal Artists of Lucknow carve different metals to create things like Paandaan or a box to keep the beetle leaves and all that goes with it. You can get these paandaans in each size and shape, with mysterious options to open and close them. They are a cute souvenir to pick.
However, my recommendation would be to pick up the Khadaun carved in silver. I loved them in various silver shops that I visited. They represent the Khadaun of Sri Ram and represented him in Ayodhya while he was away on exile.
Miniature Paandan from Lucknow
There are small silver carved boxes that can be used to store jewelry or as any other precious stuff. Some of them come in pure silver while others come with Meena work.
If you can splurge, there are things like a chessboard in silver. It would be some fun to play with that.
There is also metal inlay work that you can pick up from Lucknow.
Perfumes or Atar
Colorful Atar or Perfume Bottles from Lucknow
Most old cities like Chandni Chowk in Delhi or Charminar Area in Hyderabad have interesting local fragrance shops. These are locally made oil-based perfumes. Apart from the floral fragrance, you would find fragrances from different woods also. The perfumes here can be customized for you. You can mix and match the perfumes to your taste or you can custom order them for yourself. They all come with intriguing names that are filled with romance.
At Lucknow, in the old Bazaar areas, you can see these lovely glass bottles lined up. Some would fascinate you with their colors and others with their shapes.
Atar is a great souvenir from Lucknow for the Sahukeens or the people who enjoy good things in life.
Handmade Shoes from Kotwara House – Lucknow
At Kotwara House in Lucknow, I found these lovely shoes made with handmade cotton fabric in traditional Indian designs. They fit the foot like socks. Very comfortable and easy to wear. These you would get only at this place and not in the market in general.
Lucknow Souvenirs for the Foodies
Every Indian city has some food specialties that you can pick as souvenirs for those who live to eat. Here are some foodie souvenirs from Lucknow:
Malai Gilaouri – Must Eat Sweet in Lucknow
The Malai Gilaouri is the famous sweet from Lucknow. It is delicate Malai or the milk cream wrapped that is wrapped about a filling of sweetened nuts. The shape of this looks like Paan & just like paan you are supposed to eat it in one go.
Although you get it in many sweet shops around the city, for the most authentic version go to Ram Ashray Sweets in Chowk.
Famous Arora Pickles of Lucknow
Pickles literally spice up your food. They can make the blandest of food palatable. Pickles are also as localized as any food can be. At Lucknow, the most popular pickles are Arora Pickles. I tasted their pickles at Clarks Awadh and I simply loved their Mango Chutney.
Every time I have been to Lucknow, I have picked up Hindi Books. This time I was lucky to be there during a Book Fair, so I picked up books on Kabir from there. Nowhere else you get such a great collection of Hindi Books as you get in Lucknow.