Map Camera Travel is our personal blog to share our travel stories and inspiring you to live a life that you love and give you some amazing travel goals. Join us in our journey as we reveal the beautiful destinations that we have traveled and help you plan your travel with our experiences and tips.
When looking for an exotic holiday escape to revive and restore, Thailand usually tops the list. With its sapphire blue sea, white sand beaches and tropical forest it is easy to see why the South Island of Koh Samui is one of the most popular vacation locations in the country.
You may find n number of luxury resorts in Koh Samui for your stay cation and while planning one for our stay, we were contemplating as well. But, we wanted to stay in a secluded area, away from the usual Koh Samui crowd and that’s when we stayed here using extra vacations (first time using RCI). And, a recent visit to Saboey resort and Villas so charmed us – we had to tell you about it.
Set on a tropical, with its beach views, the Saboey Resort and Villas perfectly balances in with its spectacular natural environment. Saboey is a beautiful, secluded resort in the lovely island of Koh Samui in Thailand, designed to maximize serenity, space and privacy.
Pic Credit – Saboey Resort and Villas
It is a boutique resort in Koh Samui, offering a stunning experience to make you stay more memorable. When we arrived at Koh Samui airport, Saboey’s shuttle driver was already waiting for us to take us to the hotel. At check-in, we were offered a cold towel, juice, and a flower necklace which I especially loved it.
Saboey is a friendly retreat, where the service is
personalized and attentive, yet modest, so that you can indulge in the ultimate
in relaxation and pampering. It is a tiny boutique hotel with only 21 rooms,
right on the beach in Bangrat. You can see the Big Buddha from the beach &
the resort has beautiful views of the sea, mountains & full moon island.
Pros: This resort is nestled on the beautiful island of Koh Samui right on Bangrak Beach, and a ten-minute drive from the Samui Airport.Located in the North-East of the island on Big Buddha Beach, a 4km crescent of white sand and azure waters, the resort is conveniently located close to the airport, 5 minutes away from Fisherman’s Village/Bophut, a laid-back village with a good selection of restaurants and bars and only 10-15 minutes away from the busy tourist center of Chaweng. Massage parlors are right opposite to the resort and if you need provisions, there’s a 7/11 just across the street.
Cons: Since, this
resort is quite and at a secluded area of Bangrak, you will really get any
tuk-tuk’s or cabs easily to travel to nearby beaches. You can request for a tuk
-tuk at the reception and they will book it for you at the given time. Usually,
Tuk -Tuk charges TBH 200-250 till Chaweng beach.
Saboey resort has around 21 rooms segregated in Suites, Garden Villas, ocean villas and Penthouse villas. We were in Garden view room which was around 55sqm in size with some extra room. This kind of villas can be suitable for families of 3 (2 adults and 1 child). Located amidst the tropical gardens of the resort and featuring private balconies, just behind the Ocean Villas and yet still only moments away from the Pool. Since, this is a boutique resort, Pool and beach wasn’t long away from our room. The villa accommodations are spacious enough, exquisitely decorated, and feature modern amenities.
Garden Villas – Pic Credit – Saboey Resort and Villas
All villas and suites consist of one bedroom with king-size bed and one bathroom and can accommodate two adults and one child under seven years of age. Extra beds can be added in all rooms apart from the Ocean Villas and are available upon request.
Ocean Villa – Pic Credit – Saboey Resort and Villas
Beach Villas are the largest of all villas in the resort and the rooms and are located directly in front of the sea, on each side of the resort. Giving you some stunning views of an Indian ocean, there’s a spacious terrace for your private dining experience. This is the most idyllic villas for couples to romantic indulgence.
2 BR Villa – Pic Credit – Saboey Resort and Villas
There’s a beautiful pool facing the beach, in case you prefer to swim laps instead of splashing in the sea.
Pool Side View
Pros: The resort has a bar next to the pool and you can enjoy your drinks and fast food by the pool watching the waves crashing in the sea. In fact, we had a few cocktails at Saboey & they were all excellent. Their ‘happy hour’ at Saboey lasts from 4pm to 8pm so that’s something we looked forward to in our stay. They don’t have many Vegetarian food options though. However, Upon request, they made vegetarian pizza ‘s and pasta’s for us which was really delicious.
Bar by the beach – Pic Credit – Saboey Resort and Villas
All-day dining available from 07:00 until late, where you can enjoy sea views at breakfast and lunch through to candlelit romantic dining to the sounds of the waves in the evening.
Sunset Views at Saboey Resort and Villas
Cons: Breakfast is included & a – la carte from the menu &
they offer an American breakfast with fruit, choice of eggs, sausage, bacon, tomatoes,
baked bean, potatoes, toast & jams & tea or coffee. However, since we
are vegetarians, Breakfast put us little off as they did not have anything
vegetarian in the breakfast. so, we had to just step out in the morning eating
fruits and cereals.
Saboey Resort &Villa’s isn’t one of the luxurious resort, however, they provide the facilities one would require during their stay.
you have known India enough, then you would agree on how many levels of success
this diverse land has stepped up. From days when its chugging trains used to be
just a way to commute to its luxury rail journeys where time takes a back seat.
These royal train tours offer an experience of India than what actually meets
the eye. And probably a great way to voyage around the colorful destinations of
India in a luxurious way. Hope you are imagining yourself in a regal chariot
with alike interiors and 5-star hotel treatment, because that’s how things
going to be on an Indian Luxury train tour.
In this blog, you get all the insights about the 5 luxury train tours in India that redefine traveling.
1. Maharajas’ Express
Image Credit: www.maharajas-express-india.com
It won’t be wrong to say that Maharajas’ Express is one of the most luxurious trains in India. A six times winner of “The World’s Leading Luxury Train” at the World Travel Awards, your doubts might have vanished by now. Offering the Maharaja like feel to each one of its 88 guests seated in 14 cabins, this luxury train in India spans over seven
journeys encircling India. When it comes to the facilities it has to offer, expect fine dining in Mayur Mahal and Rang Mahal. Coupled with bars named Rajah Club and Safari Bar, gym, souvenir shop, observation car, store car, generator, on board doctor, to name a few.
cabins that you are going to spend time will come with attached washrooms,
personal wardrobe, and individual climate control. Some other features are
direct dial phones, television, WI-FI internet, DVD player, electronic safe and
The Heritage of India (Mumbai – Ajanta – Udaipur – Jodhpur
– Bikaner – Jaipur – Ranthambore – Agra – Delhi)
Gems of India (Delhi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur
Maharajas’ Express runs from October to April and plies on 7 routes as highlighted above.
2. Palace on Wheels
Image Credit: www.palacesonwheels.com
Does the name put you in a dream of legit traveling in a
royal palace? This luxury train journey in Indiais going to make this dream come
true. The moment you pack your bags and become a part of the Palace on Wheels
journey, you get to peek through the Northern gems of India. The 14 coaches of
this train are named after Rajasthan’s princely states. Planning a luxurious
trip to Rajasthan cannot be any better than traveling on Palace on Wheels and
reveling in its great comfort.
As for the facilities filled in the journey, one can revel in
The Saloon, two world-class restaurants ‘The Maharaja’ and ‘The Maharani’. The
Bar, spa, souvenir shop, sitting lounge, are some more facilities dotted on the
Palace on Wheels.
After talking a lot about the Palace on Wheels as a whole,
you would like to know what the cabins have in store for you. Private
wardrobes, piped music, night lights, attached bathroom, and reading lights are
some of the major features.
Delhi – India Gate, Lotus Temple, Qutab
Minar, Humayun’s Tomb
Jaipur – Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, City
Palace, Jantar Mantar
Sawai Madhopur & Chittorgarh – Ranthambore National Park,
Udaipur – Jag Niwas, Lake Pichola
Jaisalmer – Yellow Sandstone Fort, ancient
Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort, grand palaces,
shopping tour in Jodhpur
Bharatpur – Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Agra – Fatehpur-Sikri, the Taj Mahal
When to take a tour?
Palace on Wheels is in full swing from September to April.
3. The Deccan Odyssey
Image Credit: www.deccan-odyssey-india.com
If someone gave you a chance to experience the Western Ghats
on a train, would you take it? I think you surely would. The Deccan Odyssey,
one of the most loved Indian luxury
trains offers 6 routes to its travelers all of which span over 7 Nights and
8 Days. As you step in this train stretching over 21 coaches and adorned with
the shades of blue, you will be treated with 2 restaurants, bar, spa, souvenir
shop, conference car and more.
The air conditioned cabins are packed with facilities like
attached bathroom, telephone, personal safe and an attendant to take care at
Choose from the below
mentioned six options available and embark on sojourn of a lifetime.
The Deccan Odyssey operates from October to April.
4. Golden Chariot
Image Credit: www.the-golden-chariot.com
Do you have a soft corner for South India? Then, Golden Chariot the 2013 ‘Asia’s Leading Luxury Train’ award winner is the perfect royal journey for you. Picking all the popular and offbeat destinations of South India, this train calls in guests for a tour of 7 Nights and 8 Days. The classic interiors and the perfect essence of South India will make you realize why it is one of the best luxury trains in India.
The train in its 11 coaches named after the dynasties that
ruled the region brings together every luxury possible for its guests.
Multi-cuisine restaurants, a lounge, car, and a spa are the major highlights of
When you choose from the 44 air-conditioned cabins of Golden
Chariot, you choose facilities like wardrobe, LCD television, and attached
bathroom. Writing desk, DVD players are some other facilities on the list.
Pride of the South (Bangalore – Kabini – Mysore –
Hassan – Hampi – Badami – Goa – Bangalore)
It was in the year 1855 that India got the World’s oldest
rolling locomotive, Fairy Queen Express. Till the year 1908, the heritage train
worked in all its pride until its regular operation was halted. But thanks to
the Indian Railways, Fairy Queen Express was started again in 1997. The journey
that covers Delhi and Alwar takes place for 1 Night and 2 Days and is popularly
known for Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary.
Another important thing to know is that guests get to stay
overnight in a hotel at Alwar.
Delhi – Alwar – Sariska- Alwar – Delhi
Attractions at its two stoppages – Sariska and Alwar – are:
Lake Palace, Sariska National Park
When to take a tour?
March on 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
Akansha Negi frequently writes at India Travel Blog by Indian Holiday
Pvt. Ltd. She shares her passion of travel and love for various Indian
destinations. If you are planning your vacations in India, browse through her
You have 3 days in Phuket and if it’s your first time to Phuket. You’ will be hell lot of confused after reading so many things to do in Phuket and contemplating on what to see and what to do.
Beach view in Similan islands
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and a beloved among travelers heading to South-East Asia. White sand beaches, turquoise waters, luxury resorts, relaxing spas, adventure activities, and thriving nightlife attracts more than 5 million tourists to Phuket every year to experience the beauty of this island. So, whether you’re going with friends, family or that special someone, Phuket has everything that you need on your happy vacay.
This is a glimpse of what to do in Phuket in 3 days. We have
mentioned some of the frequently added attractions in Phuket that range from
historical to natural, from fun-filled to the most popular. Explore more travel
ideas for a perfect 3-day Phuket itinerary.
Discover the City of Phuket.
There’s so much to Phuket than white sandy beaches and day trips
to nearby islands. We suggest you to see below attractions on your Day 1.
The Upside-down house:Take some unique experience of walking on the ceiling of a quirky upside down house like a spider man and have fun in 1000sqm maze garden.
Entry fee: Adult 350 THB and Child 190 THB
If you want to take some fun experience, then check out this strange but awesome upside down house. Try some funny poses and take original and memorable pictures. Their staff is courteous to help you in taking pictures. They have dedicated videographer who would take the videos of you walking over the ceiling but that service would be chargeable.
In the territory of the park there are more
entertainments for the separate price:
A Maze Garden labyrinth;
room escape game quest;
– 9D virtual reality cinema.
Phuket Trick Eye Museum:Phuket Trick Eye Museum is a fun place to take your kids or your friends a for a couple of hours of silly fun. It’s a 3D museum where you interact with giant paintings for some fun photo sessions.
This museum features more than 100 paintings with 3D illusions on 2D flat backgrounds. As you explore the museum, you will find yourself in hilarious and unreal situations with the 3D artworks.
Don’t worry, if you don’t know what you are supposed to do in
front of each painting, there are photos on each wall describing what to do to
maximize the effect.
Entry fee: 500 Baht for adults, 250 Baht for children.
Visit Wat Chalong temple:Chalong Temple (Wat Chalong) is the largest of Phuket’s temples, and the most visited. Wat Chalong has been extending a warm welcome to visitors for over a century.
Wat Chalong temple
Poh Than Jao Wat is one of the more important Buddhist statues in Wat Chalong. Wats in general are sacred places for local people, so it is wise for the visitor to watch and emulate the way Thais behave inside temples. For example, you will see that people are careful not to stand over, or otherwise position themselves higher than any Buddha images except when pasting gold leaf to them – which in any case happens only in some wats, not in most.
Wat Chalong is well worth a visit, though if you want a quiet
time, I would suggest going early morning or late afternoon, as it can be rather
busy with locals and tourists alike.
Big Buddha: 45-meter-tall white marble statue of Big Buddha is visible from anywhere in the southern part of Phuket. This place is probably one of the most favorite things to do in Phuket for all the travelers and why not, the views from up there are so stunning to take your breath away.
Big Buddha Entrance
This is a place of worship and respite; praying monks, dharma music and Buddhist flags all add to the ambience. Although less crowded in the morning, consider visiting at the end of the day. Watching the sunset over the water from these towering heights is an unforgettable experience. Promthep Cape: Go here to watch the sunset of a lifetime. The name “Promthep Cape” translates to “God’s Cape” and, for many, this is a spiritual place. The rocky hill has remarkable views at any time of the day, but come sunset it’s transformed into one of the most magical panoramas on the island.
View from Promthep cape
It is one of the most photographed location of Phuket city. With its elevated location and few small islands nearby, the Promthep Cape is certainly a nice place to see a sunset.
Phuket Night market:Become a shopping spree here with a hundred of stalls around for you to shop. The active stalls, the riot of colors, the delicious street food and an incredible collection of cheap finds and funky souvenirs make the night markets in Phuket nothing less than a shopping carnival.
Day 2: Discover the Phang Nga Bay islands.
Things to do in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand - YouTube
Phang Nga Bay is a fantastic wonder of the world and is an absolute must do while in Phuket. Sheer formations of Limestone, emerald green water, sea canoeing, sea caves and floating village of Koh Panyee will give you an unique experience of this fulfilled day trip.
Middle of the andaman sea
The easiest way to discover Phang Nga is simply to book a typical tour with your hotel. You will always have a fantastic day and you won’t have to worry about anything since all tours include transfer from and to your hotel.
Srilanka, Home to alluring tea plantations, Rolling mountains, World class surfing, Creamy sandy beaches and Blue trains and Rich wild life. This small island country is on radar of almost all tourists. Sri Lanka, has been a dream destination of us for many years and we visited this stunning country 2 years back.
Pic Credit – Pixabay
With more visitors heading to Sri Lanka every year, now is
the perfect time to visit. Here are our ten tips and tricks to help first-time
visitors to Srilanka.
Visa for Sri Lanka:
Many countries now offer visa on arrival for Indian passport holders. Srilanka offers ETA for Indians to travel to Srilanka. ETA stands for “e-travel authorization” which serves Srilanka visa for Indian passport holders and it’s the simplest process to do as soon as you decide your plan to go to Srilanka.
The best way to travel within Srilanka is by Train. Train ride in Sri Lanka’s hill country is perhaps the most beautiful train journey in the world! It’s cheap and reliable. Riding through the most bewitching of landscapes – tea estates, forests, waterfalls, hills, bridges – is something you’ll cherish for the rest of your lives.
Pic Credit – Pixabay
It may not be the fastest way, but it is the most beautiful way to travel internally. Alternatively, you can travel by buses too, but buses can be overcrowded and uncomfortable.
There’s an extensive range of experiences, from the ocean to the mountains:
Sri Lanka has every single type of traveler covered. Maybe it be a tea county or wildlife & national parks, gushing waterfalls or stunning beaches, hiking mountain ranges or visiting temples and so on…you get the gist!!!
Pic Credit – Pixabay
Don’t be surprised if you don’t cover a lot of ground – 2-3 weeks is not nearly enough time to experience all what Sri Lanka must offer! So, plan your trip based on your preferences where you want to go and what you want to do.
Get Local sim card:
Get a local Dialog prepaid sim card. You can use data to call home via Skype or Whats App. Data is also very handy when you are traveling and need to use Google Maps or simply stay connected with the world.
Pic Credit – Pixabay
You can buy the Sim card at the airport it self which will approximately cost you $10 or so. You can choose the prepaid plans for sim as per your convenience.
Transport in Srilanka:
One of the most important travel tips for those who are traveling to Sri Lanka for the first time: always (!) get a meter tuk tuk. It will save you money and keep your vacation stress-free.
Pic Credit – Pixabay
If a tuk tuk doesn’t have a meter, wait for the next one. If there’s a meter, but the driver says it’s broken, get out and get another one. Going without a meter in most cases means you will pay two, three, or five times more.
Uber and Pick Me App:
In big cities like Colombo and Kandy it is easier and more comfortable to use ride sharing apps like Pick Me and Uber (Pick Me is a local app).
Pic Credit – Pixabay
Order beforehand, it might take 10-15 minutes for the car to arrive, but ultimately, it’s more convenient since you don’t have to bargain and deal with change. Plus, the price per ride is usually almost equal to that in a tuk tuk.
Be Prepared for the monsoon anytime:
The weather in Sri Lanka is not defined by seasons, but by monsoons instead. The southwest of Sri Lanka is hit by monsoon from April to September, while the northeast – from November to March.
Pic Credit – Flickr
This means that any time of the year there are areas in the country where it’s not raining and you can enjoy your vacation. You just need to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Eat Local Food:
In Sri Lanka eat Sri Lankan food. If you come to Sri Lanka and order a salad at a small roadside cafe, it’s kinda your own fault. Unless you are in a good restaurant located in a fancy hotel (Colombo and Galle are exceptions from this rule), do not order Western dishes like burgers, salads, and soups. They will be terrible and expensive.
Pic Credit – Pixabay
Sri Lankans eat rice and curry by hand, you should try it too. If you don’t tolerate spices, ask for no spices when ordering food. Believe me, Sri Lankan “no spices” will be spicy enough for you. Saying “a little spicy” or “less spicy” won’t work.
Choose to Dress up as per the attractions:
In touristy towns by the beach, in the southwest of the island, you can wear pretty much whatever you like. There are way too many tourists so short skirts and shorts are fine.
Pic credit – Pixabay
To enter temples, your shoulders and knees should be covered. You’ll also have to remove your shoes before entering any temple, so think in advance and wear something like sandals, that are easy to slip off and on.
Tons of Instagram worthy spots:
The beautiful landscapes of Sri Lanka are capturing many traveler’s attention and you’ll find plenty of incredible photography spots.
USA Visa for Indians these days is getting tougher. United States of America is one of the topmost traveled destinations in the world. We have been travelling to US almost every year since last 5 years and been to different cities and states in US. And while many of us have fantasy of visiting the United States for vacation, it is very important to know about the procedure for USA Visa. So, we decided to put points to ponder while applying for Non-immigrant Visa.
There are plentiful types of visas that you can obtainfor the US visit depending on the nature of the visit.
Type of Non-Immigrant Visa:
Non immigrant visa are allotted to foreign citizens who wish to visit the USA for specific period.There are different types of Non-immigrant Visas that are issued based on the purpose and duration of your travel in the US. Listed below are the different types of non-immigrant Visas offered by the United States.
Medical treatment Visa
It is very important for one to know about the visa
type and requirements before applying for it. Let us look at 2 of the most
important visa types for the US.
(B1): This type of visa is usually for
travelers accessing with business associates, attending professional or
business conferences, settling an estate or negotiating contracts etc. This
visa is generally offered for a brief period to fulfill the requirement of
(B2): B2 Visa is given when the purpose of travel is tourism activities,
visiting friends or relatives, medical treatments or activities. This is the
most popular visa among many visitors witnessed by US. This visa is generally
offered for a longer period ranging from 1 year to 10 years, however, the
period of stay during one trip is maximum six months where multiple entries to
the US are allowed.
Frequently, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa: The B-1/B-2.
Eligibility for US Visa:
Passport – valid for a period of at least 6
The purpose of your trip to the United States is
for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment.
You should not have any history of crimes or
should not have any criminal case ongoing cases against them.
Dependents/ spouses travelling with the
applicant should apply for separate Visas.
Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while
in the United States
The applicant should have a sound health and
needs to go thorough medical test by approved physician.
The applicant should have strong binding social
or economic ties with his/her current country of residence.
You should have a valid reason for travelling to
the United States and evidence that you are visiting the country for a limited period.
Documents Required for US Visa Application/ Interview:
Passport valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States.
Colored (white background) photographs (One (1)2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) photograph taken within the last six months)
Evidence of financial properties i.e. bank statements.
In case of a B1 -Visa, a letter from the prospective employer confirming the essential elements of the job offer needs to be submitted and leave approval letter.
The purpose of your trip.
Invitation letter by your family/ friends or employer.
Documents supporting your ability to pay all the costs on the trip. If not, then you may show the evidence that another person will cover some or the whole cost for you on the trip.
Your tour details including the hotel bookings and flight bookings.
Procedure for Applying For Non-Immigrant Visa:
The first step is the US non-immigrant visa application. To apply, you can log on to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/, the Consular Electronic Application Center, where you can choose your location of residence.
Fill the complete Visa application form DS-160 carefully. Make sure all your details are entered correctly. Once you submit the form, you cannot make any change.
After you apply for non-immigrant visa to US,you will reach an online payment gateway. Pay the fees of $160 or INR 11,530 approx. applicable on your Visa type. The fees must be paid prior to the personal interview.
Scheduling an appointment for Visa:
You will have to login to your profile with the same credentials that you used to fill the form .After you are logged in, go to the schedule appointment.
You will be required to schedule 2 appointments i.e. first for the Biometrics, i.e., Fingerprinting and Digital Photograph at the Visa Application Center (VAC) and second for a personal interview at the US Embassy or Consulate.
It’s important you arrive at the interview venue15 minutes before time. You can also cancel or reschedule your appointment asper your needs.
Keep below information handy while scheduling aVisa personal interview appointment with the US Embassy:
Visa application fee receipt number.
10 Digit bar code number from the DS-160 confirmation page.
Appointment at Visa Application Centre (VAC): In this appointment, you must submit the below documents after which your biometric process will take place. This process usually happens a day before your in-person interview at the embassy.
The documents required for the VAC appointment are:
Your passport (with a validity date at least 6 months beyond your intended period).
DS-160 Form Confirmation page
Receipt of visa payment fees
Appointment confirmation page.
In person interview at US Embassy: This is the most important part of the US visa process for Indians. There are number of procedures and security inspections happens before inside the consulate before your interview.So, be prepared!
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are located at
Documents required for in person interview:
Current proof of income, tax payments, property or business ownership, or assets.
Details about your planned trip or travelitinerary with return flight tickets and stay confirmation.
A letter from your employer detailing yourposition, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation, andthe business purpose, if any, of your U.S. trip.
Criminal/court records pertaining to any arrest or conviction anywhere, even if you completed your sentence or were later pardoned.
Frequent questions asked during the visa interview:
Purpose of visit to USA?
Duration of stay in USA?
Where are, you travelling in USA?
Where will you stay in USA? Or With whom you are
staying? (If visiting family or friends)
When you visited US before? If yes, how long did
What do you do in India? (your work)
How many children do you have?
Things to remember:
Food and beverage items, even water, any
electronic equipment, including cell phones are prohibited inside the consulate.
Once, you are inside the premises, you will have
go through the fingerprint verification and wait till your turn arrives.
Do not present false documents. This might
lead to permanent visa ban
Be clear and crisp with your answers while doing
the interview with the consulate. They are smart enough to understand if you
Status of Visa:
In most cases, the interviewer will instantly
inform you about the approval of your visa. In case they don’t, you may track
your visa status on https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx, by
entering your DS-160 barcode number and location of interview.
Once your visa is approved, you can collect your
passport at a ‘pick-up’ location you chose while scheduling your interview, or
you will receive it by a courier service. You will be notified about the same
via an email and SMS. You may track your passport on
http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-passporttrack.asp or https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/.
US Visa Refusal
How disaster it would be if you weren’t granted visa. Below could be some of the reasons that your US Visa may be rejected.
Incomplete Visa application
Supporting documents missing
You fail to fulfill the eligibility conditions required for the Visa category.
You have criminal records.
Lack of adequate finance to support your trip to the United States
Your intention of returning is not clear.
Your passport does not have enough blank pages.
If your country of residence does not have a good relationship with your destination country.
If you have not used a Visa issued to your previously.
If you don’t have a legitimate reason for visiting the country.
If you fail to submit adequate proof against your eligibility
You may reapply for a visa immediately after ensuring all your grounds are clear. There is no time restriction on resubmitting an application after a refusal. If additional information or supporting documentation is available which may further demonstrate applicant’s qualification for a visa, an application may be resubmitted.
So , Bookmark this post for your visa application to USA and we wish you good luck for your application .
Street Shopping in Mumbai can be quite fun. Being stayed 11 years in Mumbai, we have learnt a lot about street shopping in this B-town which is an absolute fashion hub of India. Mumbai and shopping go hand in hand, but we all know that it’s the deals and cheap price that drive us nuts.
Every corner in Mumbai offers something new eye catching that you would go crazy on shopping in this city. You will find the best of best here, may it be in fashion, accessories, electronics, home decor, Kids clothing and toys and more, all at a much cheaper than big shot malls. And, not only they are cheaper but also excellent in quality in most cases. Keep your bargaining skills high when you head out for street shopping.
So, are you ready to head for a tour of street shopping in Mumbai? Whether you are low on cash or just need a few novelty items, the streets of Bombay are always welcoming to any of your shopping need. From bridal trinkets to 100 bucks denim shorts, we have rounded up the best places to street shop in the city. You’re welcome!
Bhuleshwar is “go-to” place for traditional shopping if you have any wedding or function to attend. Lehenga Choli, traditional dresses, Artificial Jewellery, Bridal Jewellery, Bangles, make-up accessories and branded hand bags are the highlight of this market.
We can guarantee you will find fab wholesale wedding Jewellery sold at unbelievably low prices. Kadas, latkans and saree pins, bridal necklaces, mangalsutras, payals and kamarbands, the Bhuleshwar Market is like a Rajasthani theme park for wedding shopping!
Not only this market has huge variety of traditional wears and accessories but, also it is quite easy on pocket as it is entirely a wholesale market.
How to Get There: Nearest Local railway station: Masjid Bunder and Charni road.
Best Things to buy:
Imitation Jewellery and
Insider Tip: Not only this market is famous for shopping, but also a great place for street side food. You must satisfy your taste buds with special khichiya papad, dosa, pani puri and bhel in this market.
If you want to explore and buy Chinese products in Mumbai, then Manish market is your Go to place. By far, Mumbai’s one of the biggest wholesale cum retail market for Chinese goods, here many things are sold from kid’s toys to home décor to electronic items to computer hardware items.
This market predominantly sells mobile phones and its accessories. Here you can buy your favorite branded phones like iPhone, Samsung, blackberry at unbelievable discounts on second hand prices. Mumbaikars, who can’t afford branded fresh smart phones , usually flock to Manish market for buying mobiles at second hand price.
How to get there: Nearest Local railway station. C.S.T Mumbai.
Best Things to buy:
MP3 Players and Music systems
Crockery and Bone china items
LCD and LED screens
If you are buying second hand phone here, don’t hesitate to put your own sim card and check if the phone is working fine.
If you want to avoid crowd, visit this market in afternoon on weekdays.
If you love Vintage and Antique items, then, Chor Bazar will give enormous options to shop. Vintage items like, wall clock, cameras, telephone, chandeliers, furniture are some of the must buys if you are visiting this market.
Unlike, any other shopping market in Mumbai, this place sells huge number of second hand products at unbelievable bargain rate under one roof. This is indeed a paradise for bargain shoppers. Once, you are inside the chor bazar, you will be dozed by number of hawkers and stalls selling everything and anything that your mind can conjure up. Maybe it any stationary items, electronic gadgets, vintage items or laptops and tablets.
How to get there: Nearest local railway station: Grant road.
Best things to buy:
Second hand laptops and tablets
Insider Tip: A muddled street of Chor Bazaar is worth visiting on Friday morning (around 4am) if you want to do a cheapest shopping of your life.
Dharavi Leather Market:
Even though, Dharavi is known for its slum area, the leather market here is humongous. Dharavi Market is known for leather goods, from stylish jackets to beautifully crafted bags wallets, and belts. Leather goods, usually luxury items, can be bought at heavily discounted rates at this market.
How to get there: Nearest local railway station is Sion station
Best Things to buy: Leather jackets, bags, backpacks, wallets, belts, shoes.
Insider Tip: If you don’t like what you see in the shops there, most of the stores will custom-make any design you want.
One of the oldest market of Mumbai, Crawford market is especially known for its whole sale Fruits and Veggies market. Now days, you also find bone china crockery, home decors, suitcases, bags, kids toys etc all under one roof here.
There are many other small markets near Crawford where you can buy gift items, stationary items, books, clothing, shoes etc in much cheap rate then retail price.
How to reach there: Nearest local railway station: CST Station
Best things to buy: Fruits, Vegetables, Clothing, shoes, toys
Insider Tip: Carry lot of cash, many sellers here don’t accept cards.
If you are into fashion accessories, the Colaba Causeway is pure bliss for you. Two words ‘Colaba Causeway’ and ‘cheap shopping’ fits well together for this market. Colaba Causeway is an elasticity of pure shopper’s paradise. The side street is fastened with fashionable clothing, trendy imitation Jewellery, Books, Gemstones, Trendy bracelets, Vintage cameras, Shoes and many more.
How to reach there: Nearest Local railway station: CST
Best Things to buy: Trendy fashion Jewellery, Shoes, Clothing.
Insider Tips: Bargain as hard as you can. Start bargaining from 50% of the quoted price and then gradually increase the price to the best deal.
Go here for the cheapest clothes, shoes and bits and baubles. As you get from the name, you will see lot of trendy fashionable clothes here at a very cheap deal. Around 150 stalls here are lined up on a street to give you everything that your wardrobe needs.
While the branded goods on offer here are first copy (look out for the misspelled brand names), you will find that the quality is good. make sure you check the garment properly for any defects before purchasing it.
How to reach there: Nearest local railway station: CST
Best things to buy:
Insider Tip: Bargain and Bargain, If you don’t bargain , you will end up paying more. Start with the half price of the quoted amount and gradually go upwards. Usually they settle down in 75% of the quoted rate.
Bandra is known for many things, one of them is its road side market i.e. Linking road market. The Linking Road is home to some of the quirkiest clothes and accessories you can wish to find while out street shopping. This market quite organized as compared to other markets in Mumbai, as street stalls are grouped together per the type of goods they sell. So, many options for you to choose.
Day trips to best nearby islands from KohSamui are favorite activity for the visitors of Koh Samui.
Breathtaking surroundings, Pristine beaches, most instagrammable spots in every corner and the serene atmosphere makes it a perfect holiday destination for singles, couples and families.
There are close to 60 islands around KohSamui, and each is a tropical paradise. If you are on the lookout for day trips from KohSamui, we have compiled some of the best islands to visit which will last in your memory for a lifetime.
Ang thong national marine park:
Ang Thong National Marine park
Situated one hour by speedboat northwest of Koh Samui, the simply stunning Angthong Marine National Park is an archipelago that comprises 42 pristine islands. It is home to a rich variety of exotic wildlife and sea creatures. Snorkeling, hiking, sea kayaking, diving, and simply relaxing are the main activities to enjoy at Ang Thong. Most of the tour usually include a sea kayaking in Mae Koh, visiting a Talay Nai (salt water lake) viewpoint and Wua Ta Lap Island.
Talay Nai – Emerald Lake
The trip’s highlight is Emerald Lake at Ang Thong which you’ll likely recognize from the movie The Beach. you’ve got the option of hiking up some stairs to enjoy the view. There are six view points and every view point will offer stunning beauty of this paradise. Emerald Lake, surrounded by immense limestone karts walls and lush green foliage is linked to the sea via an underground tunnel.
View from the 2nd view point
Using a combination of stairs and paths that take you 100 meters above the lake itself, this stunning saltwater lake created by mother nature is better appreciated from a viewpoint. This strenuous 20 to 30-minute walk is not for the faint hearted, it is hard work but well worth the effort
View from top after the hike
There are different group boat tours and private charter available to take you to Ang thong national marine park. We went with My Samui Island tours and their service was up to the mark. Group bookings will depart on a set schedule with designated times at each island stop – i.e. a few hours set aside for snorkeling.
Despite its increasing number of visitors, the Ang Thong islands remain the postcard-perfect image of a tropical paradise.
How to reach: There are numerous speed boat companies running daily trip from Koh Samui, as well as slow boats. We recommend Safari boat tours , they are based at Bangrak, Koh Samui.
Inclusions in day tours: Most day trips include lunch, snorkeling gear, park admission fees, and hotel transfers.
Tour Duration: 8 hours
Tour Price Range: THB 1500 – 1800 per person.
Koh Phangan’s gained its fame largely due to its many Full Moon, Black Moon and Half Moon parties held on the beach of Haad Rin.
The 5th largest island in Thailand, Koh Phangan covers an area of 167 sq km. It is just 12 km from Koh Samui, and the only mode of transportation is the ferries that commute between mainland Koh Samui. Koh Phangan offers beautiful beaches, peaceful vistas and powder-soft sand along with dense jungle.
Visit the sites of Koh Phangan national park and enjoy fun activities with spike of adrenaline, elephants, zip line, archery range. It is an incredibly gorgeous island that has over 20 dive sites nearby the island. Koh Phangan is a big island with plenty of other beaches and idyllic bays on offer.
How to reach: Speedboat & Ferry travel is the premier way to get to Koh Phangan from Samui.
Inclusions in day tours: includes a light breakfast, delicious buffet lunch, soft drinks, snorkel and mask, kayaking and English speaking guide.
Tour duration: 8 hours
Tour Price Range: THB 1200-1500 per person
If you love diving and snorkeling, this is the island for you. It is a small island but has become well-known over the years due to its magnificent dive spots. The perfect white-sand beaches which ring the hilly 21 km² island are surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
The island’s natural beauty both above and below the water, with its stunning coral reefs and abundant marine life in clear, warm water, bring thousands of visitors here each year making it an unforgettable destination for divers, adventurers and travelers alike. There is a big chance you will fall in love with this little paradise.
The island is small and gifted with loads of hidden gems, amazing viewpoints, and completely deserted bays. There is a lot to discover and a lot of cool things to do in Koh Tao.
How to reach: The premier way to travel to the amazing dive island of Koh Tao is by ferry.
Inclusions in Day tours: includes a light breakfast, delicious buffet lunch, soft drinks, snorkel and mask, kayaking and English speaking guide.
Tour Duration: 8 Hours
Tour price range: THB 700-1000 per person
Koh Nang Yuan:
Right in front of Koh Tao lies the tiny island of Koh Nang Yuan, a must-see if you are visiting the Thailand Gulf. Its outstanding beauty makes Koh Nang Yuan the protagonist of many postal cards in Thailand.
Composed by three islands united by a sand ¨tongue¨ and surrounded by aquamarine water and soft white sand makes this tiny paradise the favorite destination for many travelers who want to spend a day snorkeling or just relaxing under the warm sunlight.
Japanese garden beach
You can’t leave Koh Nang Yuan without a picture at its popular viewpoint! This is the main attraction on the island, it takes a 15 minutes’ walk to reach it, but once you reach the top the reward of amazing landscapes and the view of Koh Tao Island is absolutely worth all the effort, and it gets even better during the sunset!
Day trip to Lepakshi is must if you are in or around Bangalore (Bengaluru). We are big road trip fans and one weekend we impromptu decided to go to this architectural marvel. We researched about this place and was fascinated by its beauty and history both.
Lepakshi, a charming village situated in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, is part of the Anantpur District. It is about 120 km from Bangalore in Karnataka and 15 km from the town of Hindpur. Although small, the hamlet has a lot of ancient and devout significance for the locals.
The marvelous Lepakshi temple
It is a perfect day outing place if you are into history ruins and love to explore to architectural beauty of Indian temples. We started our trip around 8 am on Saturday morning . A road trip gives some awe-inspiring views on the way to Lepakshi. If you do not wish to drive, you can rent a cab or try for the bus service.
There are many private as well as government buses which run on this route. There are Volvo’s, AC buses and sleeper bus which run by government and private bus dealers. You must book the bus in advance to get a seat of your choice.
** History of Lepakshi **
As per the legends, it is said ,that this temple has an implication in the Ramayana. Per which, it is supposed that at this place the bird Jatayu fell. The bird was wounded because of the battle and he was carrying Sita, wife of Lord Rama. When the Lord saw the bleeding and wounded bird, “Le Pakshi” were the words which came out of his mouth. These words mean “Rise Bird” in the local language.
** Weather in Lepakshi **
The weather in Lepakshi remains pleasant for the most part of the year, except for in summers when it can become exceedingly hot.
** Recommended Road Journey **
We drove to Lepakshi. You can hire a cab or take your own car for this journey. It will not take more than two hours in a car and you will enjoy driving down the beautiful and amazing villages on your way. There are 2 routes to reach Lepakshi from Bangalore and we highly recommend taking the below route for the journey as the road as very scenic and more beautiful.
On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful and one of the biggest Iskcon Temples. you can stop there and spend some time.
Beautiful road scenes on the way to Lepakshi
Add some fun to your travel and take a stop at Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum which is an amazing thing you must visit. Later you will come across the Jayaprakash Narayan Biodiversity Park which is another place where you will love to stop and spend some time. For nature lovers, there is Lumbini Gardens on the way and you can relax there and have some tea and snacks on your way.
** What not to miss in Lepakshi **
The place is famous in south India for three temples that are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Veerabhadra.
A Monolithic Nandi:
Monolith Nandi at Lepakshi
The first structure you will encounter, just 200 meters before the main temple complex is this India’s biggest monolithic Nandi. This Nandi is made up of granite. The size of the Nandi bull is 4.5 m tall and 8.23 m wide, and it is positioned such that it faces the huge Nagalinga of the veerbhadra temple. It is a perfect example of brilliant artistry and beauty.
Built during Vijayanagara King period, the priceless Veerabhadra Swamy Temple in Lepakshi is perched on a tortoise shaped hill called the Kurma Saila. The architecture dates to 16th century and is a feast to art and history lovers.
This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra and has beautifully carved inscriptions on each pillar. Every pillar has a unique carving on it that makes any art lover rejoice with pleasure.
Temple entrance at Lepakshi
The temple defines magnificence with majestic sculptors and intricately carved mandapams. One mandapam at the temple particularly stands out with life-size dancers and musicians sculpted on the pillar.
As soon as you enter the temple you can see a lot of pillars called as Natya Mantap or the dancing hall. There are 70 carved pillars and each one has a unique carving on it and going through each of them itself can reveal a lot of stories embedded within them.
Walking through the Pillars
As you look up you can notice the paintings on the ceiling depicting several stories like wedding of Siva and Parvathi, wars, folks praying
The marvelous wonder to this temple is the Hanging Pillar. The temple is supported by 80 pillars, out of which one hanging pillar balances the weight of rest of the 79 pillars.
Hanging Pillar at Lepakshi
It is said that, in the past some British person tried to move this hanging pillar but resulted in cracks and crevices into rest of the structure.
Within the temple boundaries, to the eastern side , There is the beautiful sculpture of seven headed serpent shading above the Shiva-linga which finds its way into almost every article or blog post about Lepakshi.
Naglinga in Lepakshi temple
This is the most interesting part for all the photographers and visitors.
An Incomplete Kalyan Mantap
Backside of the Nagling, is an incomplete kalyan mantap which has unique story attributes to its incompleteness.
The false accusation against Virupanna Nayak, the architecture of the temple, of not having taken permission from the king for building the kalyan mantap and spending the money unnecessarily led to the incompleteness of the Kalyan Mantap. per legends, the wedding of Shiva with Parvati took place.
Incomplete mandapam at Lepakshi temple
This pier has several pillars full of sculptures. All the sculptures are of Gods who –came to bless the couple. Few of the pillars are broken and lay on the platform.
Sita Mata Foot print
Foot print of Sita Mata
According to the stories of the place, there is a footprint of Sita in the place and many devotees come to see this magnificent thing from the past.
We all absolutely love to travel but often, vacations are flawed by the nuisance of a traveler’s existence. May it be packing unpacking chaos, booking of hotels or the Jet lag.
Heading to a striking location halfway around the world can be exciting. And even a quick outing across the country to visit friends provides a fun little break from your regular routine. But with a beautiful vacation comes the ugly truth: Jet lag. It happens to all of us
Adjusting to the new time zones can be difficult to our bodies to cope up with the daily routines on a vacation. Fortunately, while you may not be able to eliminate jet lag altogether if you’re traveling across multiple time zones, you can lessen its effects with some simple strategies.
Let us first understand what jet lag is and what causes it & simple tips and trick to beat the Jet lag.
** What you need to know about Jet Lag **
The world is divided into 24 time zones. Jet lag is often caused by a flights direction not its length. Jet lag can occur any time you travel quickly across two or more time zones. The more time zones you cross, the more likely you are to be sleepy and sluggish. Crossing time zones disrupts your body’s natural 24-hour clock, the ‘circadian rhythm’.
It’s the basic daily routine your body develops based on its exposure to light. This rhythm determines when it’s time to wake up, eat, go to sleep and more.
Symptoms of Jet lag:
Poor sleep including delayed sleep onset
Inability to concentrate
** Learn how to prevent jet lag with these simple tips**
Switch to new time zone in advance: If you are travelling west, try to go to bed later few days before your travel date. You can also try moving your mealtimes closer to the time you’ll be taking them at your destination.
And, if you are going to east, start going to bed earlier. “Shift it a half-hour earlier each night for several nights before you leave.”
Make use of online Jet lag calculator: Make online calculator like Jet lag rooster to plan which ties of day you should seek vs avoid light. If your trip is less than four days, it may be best to keep your typical schedule.
Arrive a few days early: If it’s an option and feasible for you giving yourself a day or two to adjust is the best bet before embarking on whatever you have planned.
Start adjusting your schedule the week before: Slowly adjusting your sleep or eating schedule by going to bed or starting your meals closer and closer to the local bed or meal time of your upcoming destination will ease your body into new rhythm, helping prevent or lessen the intensity of Jet Lag.
Adjust your watch right away: Once you’re on board your flight, change your watch right away to reflect the time at your destination.
Use that time as a guide for what to do on the plane: eat, sleep, or watch a movie. For example, if it’s 2 a.m. at your destination, it’s probably not the best time to eat a huge meal.
Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is the first and most important step for avoiding jet lag. Drink decaffeinated green tea which can help prevent the onset of jet lag.
Fly at night: If possible take overnight flights, it is the best way to replicate your normal schedule.
Walk around in the flight: Exercise is one of nature’s anti jet lag tools; take regular breaks by walking up and down the aisles and do some stretching exercise. This promotes active circulation that will make you more energetic.
Try to sleep on the plane: Try to close your eyes and push yourself to sleep in plane if its night time at your destination. Earplugs, headphones and eye masks can help block our noise and light. If its daytime where you are going, resist the urge to sleep.
Enjoy a Stopover: Try to book the flight which has one or two stopovers. This can provide a welcome break as well as save you money on airfares. A stopover will help you adjust your body clock to your next destination.
Hunt for the sun: Get as much daylight as you can. Daylight makes you feel better. Unless you’ve been up all night. Which is never, ever a good idea before a long flight.
After Arrival: After you arrive, get outside and walk – this will help your body reset its natural time clock with the sun and it will help your circulation
Have you ever suffered the side effects of jet lag? What are your favorite ways to beat the jet lag? Have you tried any of the ones on this list? Which ones worked? Share your stories and suggestions in the comments.
You May Also like: https://mapcameratravel.com/2017/09/28/how-to-survive-air-travel-with-infantstoddlers/
Some resorts are not just resorts, they are destination. Waking ourselves to the view of swaying coconut trees each day, hearing the birds chirping in the morning, pampering ourselves in the lap of mother nature, that was our dreamy stay with Club Mahindra resorts at Poovar, where you’ll lose yourself in a marvelous world of perfect stay-cation.
Unspoiled and unexplored, enveloped by the most serene backwaters, and opening out to the Arabian sea and a dream golden sand beach, Club Mahindra Poovar Resort is truly a window into paradise.
If you are following us on social media, you must have seen our journey to Poovar virtually with us. This tiny piece of heaven –Poovar – is in Kerala in the district of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and is embraced in the arms of nature.
The best time to visit Poovar for a family holiday is from October to February.
— Location –
Closest airport to reach CM Poovar resort is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (35 km). It takes about one and half hour to reach to resort and the drive is quite scenic.
Closest town with a railway station is Neyanythakara at 10 kms.
— Our welcome —
As we entered in the Club Mahindra resort, we were awed by the beauty of its surroundings. We reached earlier than the check in time & was welcomed with an amazing Kerala special hot tea which was not only refreshing after our early morning journey but was delicious enough for us to ask for it more.
Back side of the CM Poovar resort
Lying on either bank of the Neyyar river, CM resort is where the coconut trees play the vital role of sunblock for you. Little palm-fringed islands greet you as you go on a backwater cruise. And white sandy beaches lay out the perfect promenade for a balmy evening stroll.
This is where this place stole our heart and we let fade away all our daily work chaos and fleet into the tranquil zone of nature.
— Rooms —
The conventional architecture of the rooms in the club Mahindra resort is completed with modern amenities to ensure a hassle-free stay for you. Club Mahindra Poovar island resort offers 71 beautiful rooms, which are further segregated into
Pool villas – This is the most luxurious stay in the resort comes with a single bedroom air conditioned cottages designed artistically in traditional Kerala style of architecture with a private pool and it can accommodate 6 people.
Studio cottages – These cottages are perfect for the small family and they open into a world of greenery.
Studio Cottages – CM Poovar Resort
Hotel units. – Perfect for a couple and opens to the wonderful views of back waters of Poovar.
We had booked the hotel unit but after we reached there, we got upgraded to the pool villas. Since then, we enjoyed every bit of our day in the luxurious room which not only had private pool but also was beautifully surrounded by plantations.
Private Pool in the villa
All the rooms in CM Poovar, Kerala are equipped with air conditioners, sofas, television sets and tea/coffee makers.
— Amenities –
Swimming Pool: If you can’t book the private pool Villa’s , worry not ! CM Poovar has a common swimming pool where you can beat the blues with the dip in it .
Swimming pool at the resort
Spa : Rejuvenate & pamper yourself with the spa available at the resort where the experienced therapists work on your tired muscles and treat you to signature Keralite treatments.
Entertainment: For fun filled evenings and to keep you entertained always, the resort’s Activity Manager organizes fun games and activities such as Karaoke, DJ nights, one minute games.
snakes and ladders at the happy hub
Fun activities for kids like painting, crafts is available to make sure you have the best of your time in the resort.
— Food –
The property houses a restaurant (SQUARE LAGOON) which serves mouthwatering Indian cuisine for guests to enjoy. Meals can also be served in private with room service. Since day 1, the restaurant manager asked us about our preferences and even on request, made the dishes for us to enjoy the local food. They arrange theme nights with specialty cuisine which was quite interesting.
Food in the Square Lagoon
Every day, they made sure to add the Kerala special dish to give the pinch of local experience to the guests.