When I saw the requirements for visa on arrival for Hong Kong, it looked easy. You needed a valid passport with two blank pages and that was pretty much it. My travel agency advised me to carry 2 passport size photographs, so, I carried it. As I was traveling with two kids I was a bit apprehensive about everything. However, the kids managed to sleep in the flight by twisting and turning at impossible angles. I managed to watch my movies on the flight.

Airport Train, Hong Kong

Chhavi and Vasu on the Airport Train, Hong Kong

We arrived early in the morning without any adventures! The kids were not too cranky but I was! As I started following the sings for immigration, we reached a point at which we had to board a train. This was a first for the kids. They were quite surprised and excited.

When we managed to find the visa on arrival queue after getting down from the train, it was not too bad. Maybe because of the early morning arrival, we missed long queues. I also liked the fact that the immigration staff was concerned about the speed of the queue and would direct you to the relevant counter.

Hong Kong Airport

Easy Visa on Arrival at the Hong Kong Airport

I asked the kids to behave at the Hong Kong immigration counter or we would be sent back home. At New Delhi they were all over the counter, almost trying to climb on to it. When our turn came they simply asked for the passports, they did not ask for any photographs. Once again, I had all the documents in my hand but I was not asked for anything. The man at the counter simply asked me lift up Chhavi as he could not see her. They put a small white square ticket in our passports and we were off! The best part is that Hong Kong gives free visa on arrival, there is no visa fee for tourists.

Flying out of Hong Kong

Flying out of Hong Kong

It was only while going out of Hong Kong I realized that they do not stamp the passports! Now what a lovely thing to do, that surely saved me at least one fresh page of my passport. As this was the first trip abroad for the kids, they simply have the IGI stamps!

So it was that easy to get a visa on arrival at Hong Kong Airport for me!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

{ 2 comments }

Screen full of stuff, that is how I describe these pictures! They are easy to take and a feast for the eyes. Also you will find them easily in our markets. So, without further delay, here is my screen full of stuff!

10. Cats, Dilli Haat

A Screen Full of Cats

A Screen Full of Cats #canon550D

If you live in Delhi/NCR and if you ever wish to go to a colorful place to take pictures, look no further than Dilli Haat. The food is great and the stalls keep changing, so you get new colorful, screen full of things to click.

9. Hydrangeas at Lancaster, UK

Hydrangeas

A Screen Full of Hydrangeas #SamsungST70

Hydrangeas grow quite commonly in the Indian Himalayas too. But there was something about these from the Lancaster University, UK that made me pause. They were growing so tightly that nothing but the flowers could be scene. Such scenarios make for the best screen full pictures!

8. Bangles from Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh

Bangles

A Screen Full of Bangles #lumia1020

Pragpur is a small place in Himachal Pradesh where I stayed at the Judge’s Court. The place has a delightful tiny little market and these bangles were on display in one of the shops.

7. Pink Eggs, Aranyaprathyat Border Market, Thailand

Pink Eggs

A Screen Full of Pink Eggs #canon550D

The pink eggs were such a delight! I spotted them at the Thailand Cambodia border market of Aranyaprathyat. They are black from inside, they taste quite good. The pink color is due to some preservation process. What a delight they were to watch!

6. Colorful Threads, Dilli Haat

Colorful Threads

A Screen Full of Colorful Threads #panasoniclumixdmc

You must have noticed how well the hawkers present their stuff. While my daughter Chhavi was getting a colorful thread weaved through her hairs, I was happy clicking the spread!

5. Floral Arrangement, Fort Kochi

Flowers

A Screen Full of Flowers #canon550D

This beautiful floral arrangement was displayed at the restaurant of the Fort House Hotel. I simply loved it. I saw a girl arranging these flowers one morning. I complimented her and she said she noticed me clicking them the previous day as well, so she knew I liked them!

4. Pretty Umbrellas, Bangkok

Thai Umbrellas

A Screen Full of Thai Umbrellas #lumia1020

Thailand is my most visited country after UK. I have been to UK 5 times and to Thailand 3 times. I enjoy visiting both the countries a lot. I spotted these beautiful umbrellas in an exhibition cum sale at Bangkok. Next time, I am going to buy one for my daughter!

3. Roses at Palio, Khao Yai, Thailand

Roses

A Screen Full of Roses #lumia1020

Alas they were artificial, yet the roses look so pretty. Would you be able to tell if I do not mention that they are artificial? One day I hope I will manage to click a bunch as big as this of natural roses.

2. Mirchi Market, Raipur, Rajasthan

Red Chillies

A Screen Full of Red Chilies #canon550D

When I visited the Chili Market at Raipur near Lakshman Sagar, I was quite impressed. Even now when I look at the photo I can almost smell the chilies. When I visited the place, it was just the start of the season and hence this small patch!

1. Apples and Oranges, Chennai

Apples and Oranges

A Screen Full of Apples and Oranges #NokiaX7

Well, we may not be able to compare apples and oranges but stacked next to each other neatly in a local shop in Chennai, they made for a beautiful picture for sure! Simple things actually make for such delightful pictures!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

{ 20 comments }

Lazy Sunday Photo- Red Ibis

by Mridula on September 21, 2014

in Birds,Malaysia

I was playing around with the pictures from my past trips. I stopped and started at this Red Ibis and decided, why not, let this be the Lazy Sunday Photo.

Red Ibis

Red Ibis

I clicked this picture at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. I would love to see the Red Ibis in the wild too! Have a lazy Sunday folks.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

{ 18 comments }

Visa on arrival for Indians in Bhutan is a simple process. My experience of getting was quite smooth. As only Druk Air, the national carrier of Bhutan, flies into the country, it is quite unlike other airports in the world. There are no jet planes landing one after the other, leading to huge queues at visa counters! At Paro International Airport in Bhutan, it doesn’t get crowded as there are not too many flights that are landing at the same time! And it you were wondering, Druk means dragon in the local language.

Druk Air is the only Carrier that Flies into Bhutan!

Druk Air is the only Carrier that Flies into Bhutan!

When you are flying into Bhutan you should ask for a left hand side window seat to get the views of high mountains. While coming back it is the other way round. There is no online check-in available with Druk Air so it pays to go to the airport early if you are keen on that window seat.

The Landing at Paro, Bhutan

The Landing at Paro, Bhutan

Indians need a valid passport or a voter’s ID card to enter into Bhutan by air. I was using my passport but a journalist in our group could easily enter on his voter’s ID card. At the immigration counter they usually ask for the name of the hotel you are going to stay at. They did not ask me for the reservation proof but I had it ready if they wanted to inspect it.

Immigration at Paro Airport, Bhutan

Immigration at Paro Airport, Bhutan

As it was only our flight that had landed and there were many counters, getting the visa on arrival was a breeze. I handed my passport, the immigration officer asked for my hotel name and just as he was about to stamp my passport, I made my request with folded hands, “Please use a used page of my passport, there are very few fresh pages remaining.” I have 5 pages left in my passport which is valid for the next five years! He was kind enough to listen to me and stamp a used page. Since I became aware that my passport pages may run out before its validity, I have been requesting immigration officers at various airports, including Delhi, not to use a fresh page. Surprisingly they are quite accommodating about it!

It was that easy, in the end, to get a visa on arrival for Bhutan on my Indian passport!

PS. I was invited by Makemytrip.com to visit Bhutan

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

{ 20 comments }

For the sky watch today, I am putting up ten pictures, 8 from my travels in 2014 and 2 from the backyard. You might have seen those pictures in some previous posts but I was tempted to put the eye candies in one place!

10. A Sunset in the Backyard

Sunset

A Sunset in the Backyard #canon550D

I usually reach home after the sunset, except for the peak of summer when the sun sets quite late. This evening I was lucky, the sun was yet to drop over the horizon. I clicked it from my balcony. One day I am going to see more sunsets rather than commuting through them!

9. Mandvi Beach, Kutch Gujarat

Mandvi Beach, Gujarat

Mandvi Beach, Gujarat #canon550D

I went to Kutch in January in 2014. It was a solo, last minute trip. I was so fed up with the hotel prices in Bhuj that I settled for staying at Devpur Home Stay. That was such a blessing as Krutharthsinh Jadeja ji fixed all my subsequent itinerary. It was because of his recommendation that I ended up at Mandavi and enjoyed the sunset at the beach.

8. An Evening in Hong Kong

Evening

Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong #canon550D

This year I took my niece and daughter on a trip to Hong Kong. The kiddos were quite fascinated by the Victoria Harbor. They were so engrossed that they did not notice that I was clicking pictures. I am going to take them out again but next year.

7. A Para-glider in Srinagar

A Para-glider in Srinagar, Kashmir

A Para-glider in Srinagar, Kashmir #canon550D

This was before the devastating September floods in Kashmir. I was there in June. I was getting out of Srinagar on September 7 as well, when Jhelum breached its banks. I hope J&K would recover from the disaster soon.

6. A Beautiful Sunset at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur

Sunset at Monsoon palace, Udaipur

Sunset at Monsoon palace, Udaipur #canon550D

There are some sunsets that get itched in your memory. The sunset at the Monsoon Palace in Udaipur falls in that category. It was such a beautiful evening, the sky had just the right amount of clouds so as to make the evening beautiful without overwhelming the sun!

5. Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan

Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan

Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan #canon550D

This was a morning shot. I usually open the curtains before I go to sleep. Around the time of sunrise I opened my eyes to see if there was something worth getting up. The mist had gobbled up the mountain range and re-drawn the shape of the mountain! It looked like someone had repainted the landscape. I went to the balcony to click a few pictures and then I went back to sleep again! That is how I approach sunrise photography!

4. The Beach at Maafushi, Maldives

The Maafushi Beach, Maldives

The Maafushi Beach, Maldives #Lumia1020

The trip to Maafushi, Maldives has been such a joy. I loved this lone coconut tree which was reclining at such an impossible angle towards the sea. I clicked many photographs but I like this one the best.

3. Batal, Spiti

An Evening at Batal, Spiti

An Evening at Batal, Spiti #canon550D

Mountains have been giving me only clouds, mists and rains since June 2013. Batal, Spiti was also going the same way till the clouds parted for a while in the evening. And that was the only time in this whole trip that they showed any mercy to me!

2. Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives

Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives

Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives #canon550D

Sunset at Maafushi was a magical time. It was a pleasure to be out on the beach and enjoy the sea. Sunsets became all the more special. I always thought Maldives would be beautiful but I never thought it would be so beautiful.

1. Construction Work in the Backyard

Construction Work in the Backyard

Construction Work in the Backyard #canon550D

Sometimes pictures happen in the backyard as well. I was trying to click the sun peeping through the construction site but it was not giving me anything worthwhile. Then decided to go for the silhouette.

I hope you enjoyed my collection of Sky Watch Friday. Do check out this fun community.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

{ 48 comments }

As Bhutan is our neighbor I was not too worried about the dress code for women before I went! Looking at the temperatures in July I knew I would need to wrap up. So I packed accordingly. Now that it has been some time since my visit I try to construct the dress code for women in Bhutan through pictures.

Girl in a Shop, Thimpu, Bhutan

Girl in a Shop, Thimpu, Bhutan #lumia1020

I saw a lot of women (men as well) in Bhutan wearing their traditional dress. It looked pretty, demure and classy! While walking through the souvenir shops of Thimphu, I asked this lady if I could click her picture. She agreed quite easily. The Bhutanese national dress for women is called Kira. I am not sure if this is Kira or a variation of it, but it looks so pretty.

Traditional and Modern, Women in Paro, Bhutan

Traditional and Modern, Women in Paro, Bhutan #Lumia1020

It is quite common to see women in modern attire as well. Jeans and capris were quite common, some would wear shorts too. But in the same picture, in the left hand corner you can see women in their traditional attire as well!

Girls at National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan

Girls at National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan #Canon550D

The younger generation usually dresses in a trendy way, like anywhere else in the world! I met the girls at the Buddha Point at Thimphu as well. They were shooting for a tourism catalog. The weather is such that it is sensible to have a warp, you never know when you would find it cold.

Mom and Child at the Phunaka Dzong, Bhutan

Mom and Child at the Phunaka Dzong, Bhutan #Lumia1020

The was a dress code at the religious places. At the Phunaka Dzong you are not allowed to wear a sleeveless top. I was wearing one, but as I was carrying a full sleeves jacket, I just wore it over my top. What the lady in the picture is wearing is fine, even a short sleeve will do at the Dzongs. But carrying a warp or a full sleeve jacket is such a wonderful idea, it keeps the cold away and it can come in handy to meet any such dress code requirements!

Thimphu Market, Bhutan

Thimphu Market, Bhutan #Lumia1020

Here is a full picture of the traditional Bhutanese dress, Kira. For a while I was tempted to buy one for myself but I knew I would hardly ever wear it, and shopping in Bhutan is not cheap at all.

A Family in Thimphu, Bhutan

A Family in Thimphu, Bhutan #Lumia1020

In conclusion, to me western dresses looked fine, women commonly wore jeans and shirt. Sleeveless was fine as long as you were not visiting a religious place! I also feel that women do cover up a bit more than what may be the norm in the western world. I did not see too many low necks or short skirts or skimpy shorts.

PS. I was invited to visit Bhutan by Makemytrip.com. 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

{ 20 comments }

« Previous Entries