Category Archives: Budget

Glimpses of a Gorgeous Goan Beach Hike

 I found myself at the top of north Goa, on Arambol beach.

Aside from textile and souvenir shops, a bunch of generic restaurants and idyllic beach stretches, I discovered an amazing hike. It was unlike any I’ve ever experienced.

The trek began at the main beach, two minutes from my 400 Rupee or $8.10 hotel room with fan and private bath. This is where the shower spewed out the hottest water and strongest pressure that I’ve had so far on this trip.

Train Travel in India: Some Pros and Cons


When I asked the man at booth number 52 about the prospects of a dining car aboard a long-day train, he answered:

“Yes there’s a car with food.”

I quickly assumed: It’s a day train.  Why wouldn’t it have a dining car?  Great!  I love to eat while gazing out at the countryside.

Buying the ticket was a cinch.  Unlike the score of other booths, this one was designated for foreign tourists. There were no other foreigners in line when I arrived.

How I Scored a Dirt-Cheap International Air Ticket

Upon feeling better after a stomach illness, I decided to acquire a ticket for my next destination.

My first inquiry was with AirAsia.  Since my date criteria was set for just three days in advance, this popular airline showed that all flights were full.

Two and a half months ago, I paid 6300 Rupees or $128.49 on an AirAsia flight from Kolkata to Bangkok; so, they were naturally the first option that came to mind.  In addition to the fare, I paid a  baggage check-in fee of 550 Rupees or $11.22 for a maximum of 15 kilograms or 33 pounds.  The flight time was 2.5 hours.

A Day of Expenditures in Thailand

Like most places in the world, you can get by spending a lot or a little. What I typically try to do is get the best value for my money.

As an example of what things cost in Thailand, I’d like to break down exactly what I spent yesterday.

Upon leaving my friend’s plush apartment in the upscale Sathorn area of Bangkok, I power walked about a kilometer or .62 miles to the closest BTS Bangkok Transit System or Sky Train station of Sala Daeng.

Great Things About Thailand

I sat during the short ferry ride from Koh Chang elephant island on the way back to the mainland, and thought: Thai people in tourist areas are jaded.  It’s easy to notice the aloof and glib look as a Thai toiling in tourism turns her eye.

Fish Spa Therapy

While walking around Chiang Mai, I couldn’t help but notice the occasional fish spa. Although these alternative treatment centers aren’t in abundance like the massage establishments, these fish therapy salons are noticeably scattered throughout the city.

I was curious because I’d never seen or heard of this type of therapy before. One day I happened to walk past a place called Mae Ping Fish Spa. It advertised a low-season 50% discount.  I strolled in.

Thailand: Massage Capital of the Earth

This outdoor business charges 60 Baht or $2.01 for half-an hour and 120 Baht or $4.02 per hour.

While drifting through the streets of Chiang Mai, I thought: Thailand’s second biggest city feels like a village compared to the capital megacity of Bangkok.

For a relatively small municipality, the ubiquity of massage treatment  venues is astonishing.  There must be hundreds or even thousands of these therapeutic salons.  Overwhelmed by the options, I pondered: Thailand must be the massage capital of the world.

Dental Tourism

Upon arriving at the Dharamsala bus terminal yesterday after a 9-hour over night bus from Shimla, I was carted up a mountain by taxi.  A man drove me to the area known as McLeod Ganj.  I had him drop me at a hotel I’d found online the day before.  I didn’t book. I just showed up and negotiated a price.

A Visit to Nek Chand’s Fantasy Rock Garden

It’s like you’re stepping back in time when you’re really walking through a creation spawned from Nek Chand’s brain work.

In the 28-hours that I spent in Chandigarth this past Friday night and into the very wee hours of the am on Sunday, many things happened.   As mentioned two posts ago:

Welcome to Delhi

Despite needing to hustle to catch my connecting flight at Heathrow, all went very smoothly on my three-flight hop across the earth. I hardly interacted with anyone as I miraculously managed to get three seats to myself on all three flights.

I do remember one  experience with turbulence. While  in the galley pouring a cup of water from a two-liter bottle, the plane started jumping. This caused me to miss the pour completely. The friendly flight attendant and I laughed simultaneously.