Wednesday, September 9, 2015


After contemplating between a hill station or a beach for months, I and my wife decided Langkawi as our honeymoon destination. A destination which has become a hot tourist spot, Langkawi, until about a decade ago, was one of Malaysia's hidden gems.

This was back in December 2010. We started our journey from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur and onwards to Langkawi. We arrived at the Langkawi airport in the evening. It was already dark outside so we hired a cab and reached our hotel near the bay.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rohtang Pass

Any trip to Manali is incomplete without visiting the Rohtang Pass. By far, it is on top of the list for places to visit from Manali.

Rohtang La
Situated on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, Rohtang Pass is at a height of 13,050 feet.  The distance between Manali and Rohtang is about 55 kms. However, due to the narrow road conditions, it may take upto three hours or more to reach there. It is recommended that you start early in the morning around 6:00 am or before to avoid traffic jams. From Manali, you can hire a personal or shared taxi to visit Rohtang. Motorbikes are also available on rent.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Heritage Transport Museum, Taoru...a hidden gem near Gurgaon

Among various other benefits of being a HOG member, one of them is that you get to visit some of the hidden gems of the city.
The Heritage Transport Museum, Taoru

I never heard of the place called Heritage Transport Museum. It is located on the Bilaspur-Taoru road, about 41 kms from Iffco Chowk, Gurgaon.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A night in Kuala Lumpur

I and my wife went to Kuala Lumpur in December 2010. Our final destination was Langkawi and we were in Kuala Lumpur only for 20 hours. There is a lot to do in the city but we chose to keep our expeditions crisp.

When you think of this city, the one picture that comes to your mind is the Petronas Twin Towers or Menara Petronas. The towers are 451.9 m tall and is a delight for the eye, especially during the night.
The twins

Day trip to the Windsor Castle, the Roman Baths and Stonehenge from London

I went to London for the first time in October 2013. Some of my colleagues were also in London and we all planned to go for a road trip over the weekend. We were planning to cover three places - Windsor Castle, The Roman Baths and Stonehenge.

We rented a car and started from somewhere near the Buckingham Palace. There on, we were completely dependent on the GPS. As we moved out of London, the landscape started to change and we were surrounded by large farms and lush green pasture. I was itching to get out and take some pictures. However, of the many driving lessons that we learned in London, one of them was that you can't stop on the highway.

Windsor Castle
Approximately 35 km from central London, the Windsor Castle was our first stop. It was about 11:30 am when we arrived at Windsor. Finding a parking spot here on a weekend is a huge task. We were told that there is a huge parking about 1 km away from the castle. Few of my colleagues went to park the car and I went to buy the tickets. It was a long queue. While waiting, we were told that the tickets can be purchased online as well. Too bad we did not researched while planning the trip. Anyways, in about an hour and a half I had the tickets and we all went in.
The Windsor Castle

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Statue of Liberty

Situated on the Liberty island (New York Harbor), the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French people to the United States of America on October 28, 1886. It is an icon of freedom of the United States and was a welcoming site for immigrants arriving from abroad.

Not many people know that the statue is made up of copper. The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess, bearing a torch in one hand, a tablet in another and with broken chains at her feet.

I have been lucky to see this magnificent structure in both day and night. The view is completely spectacular!

As a part of my job, one of the requirements is to go onsite for client meetings. After work, I always spent my time exploring the place. During one of my visits to the client site in New York, I planned to visit the Statue of Liberty. I and one of my colleagues went out on a weekend for visiting the site.

During the day, there are ferries from the Battery Park that can take you to the Liberty island. After the entry, you spend time there and take one of the ferries back to the Battery Park.

New York from the deck

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Road trip to Kasauli (near Shimla)

I always wanted to travel all on my own, especially if you have a bunch of lazy friends. Finally in September 2009, I searched for a nearby hill station and decided to go to Kasauli on my motorbike. After doing some homework on the route map, I made a note of major cities that would come on my way. With a hand written route map in my pocket, I packed some clothes in a bag and tied it on the motorbike.

I started at around 2:00 am. I left from Gurgaon and took the route: Gurgaon - Dhaulakuan - Delhi - Karnal - Ambala - Pinjore - Parwanoo - Kasauli.

While packing my stuff, I remembered to keep the RC, PUC and insurance of my bike. I was having some cash in my wallet and planned to withdraw cash from any of the ATMs that would come on the way.

Unlike my expectation, it appeared as if the entire city is out on the roads at 2 am.

I was soon on NH1 and was at the speed of 90-100kmph. The road conditions were good and the ride was progressing smoothly.

Soon flyover after flyovers, I was around Ambala. It was about time for breakfast. So I took a halt at a dhaba and had a couple of parathas along with a cup of tea. On this route, I would recommend to go for parathas and not for the regular full course meal (roti, dal, paneer, etc.). Parathas never disappoint!

With my belly loaded, it was time to refill the wallet that was getting empty with every halt that I took.

I stopped at the an ATM. Unfortunately, it was out of order. I moved on hoping to find another soon. One after the other, all the ATMs were either out of order or without cash. This gave me some worries but I kept moving. Soon, I was on the road uphill. The flora and fauna was changing as I moved up in the mountains. Luckily I found an SBI ATM that had cash. With the wallet reloaded, I was again on the bike.

Changing flora

Monday, August 17, 2015

Travel light and keep it right!

Do you tend to get that feeling that you are forgetting something while 
you are stepping out for your trip? If the answer to that is a yes, then here are some tips that will make your packing nightmares go away. Let me get straight into it.

Prepare a list of things that you need
I have a list that I use for all my travel plans. There have been some trips which forced me to prepare this list. It’s a pretty exhaustive one and has been useful during the past ten+ years. After making this list, I have traveled both domestic and international without forgetting anything. You must start preparing this list a few days prior to your travel. Since all of us carry a mobile, use it to note any item(s) and keep updating it as and when you remember something. This list can be used as a starting point for all your future travels.
Tip: Remove 'just-in-case' kind of items from your list and remember to use this list while packing your stuff on your way back home.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Preparing for your next ride on the motorbike

While traveling (solo or in groups) on motorbikes, there are many things apart from weather and distance that you need to keep in mind. I have listed a few things that if planned well will make the get away an enjoyable one. I have a Harley Davidson Street 750 and have used these tips for most of my rides.

Before we go any further, Safety first: Not just while you are going on a long ride, but each time you throw your legs around a motorbike, safety comes first. You must have proper protection from head to toe. Starting with a good helmet, a weather appropriate jacket (with shoulder, elbow and back protection), riding gloves, knee guard and boots. Additionally, having a leg guard installed on the bike is also a must.

Prepare your bike:
If you are doing a long distance ride (say 500+ kms), then the bike should be in the best running condition. Check the necessary fluids, gauges, battery, tires, brakes, cables/wires etc. If the next service is due in a thousand km or so, get it done before the trip. There is nothing more troublesome than getting your bike towed to the service station in the middle of your get away. If you have time and budget, get your seat modified to suit your comfort.