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- Road Trip Spice up - Amritsar
Simplicity of a road trip during winters of North India Weekends and extended holidays have been given a new meaning in the Indian Dictionary. Most families plan small get-together trips to break free and have fun in a short duration of time. Due to this increase in the trend, the number of options to explore has also increased. Especially in the northern part of India, you will find resorts in distant locations of Rajasthan, upcoming Airbnbs in hilly states, or workcation locations in an exotic destination. All that is left to set sail is a few motivated souls in the group and an agreed-upon date to travel. In this plethora of road trip options, some heritage cities have historical roots, with an added modernization twist. Cities like Jaipur, and Amritsar which are the top 2 cities in this category, have always attracted crowds through their spiritual or historic connections. Most of us do have few options marked to cover when they are in these historical cities. Then one might ask what additionally these cities have to offer. It is for the same reason that this road trip is a little different. The generic itinerary of Amritsar included Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, and Wagah Border, and amazing food will be the top choice for most of them. Therefore, let’s uncover some of the uncanny places and some useful tips to spice up your next road trip to Amritsar. If you are traveling to Amritsar via Delhi NCR you cross multiple cities with some special offerings like Murthal Dhabas, Karna lake at Karnal, or the legendary city of Kurukshetra. You may plan your trip in a way that you take a food break in Murthal, some of the dhabas turned restaurants have the most mouth-watering paranthas and dishes. Karna lake is also reachable with a small detour however it may consume half of your day. Visiting Kurukshetra may take a day or so to explore, so there are multiple options for you to choose from. We planned our trip in a way to visit the famous Rang de Basanti fort or Dohra fort in Ludhiana, it’s hardly 5 min drive off the NH1 and easily trackable through Google maps. All though it bears very less resemblance to how it was presented in the movie however it’s a good stop over and worthy of your time here. Fort’s condition is not good, it's not that maintained yet the boundary wall stands tall and you can walk on the periphery, clicking photos, and spend time enjoying the farms all around with all green fields swinging to the tunes of the winds reminding you of the typical Punjabi beauty. In the summers, you may find kids flying kites outside and having a good time. As you leave behind Ludhiana, you can plan your next halt directly at Amritsar excluding the food and nature breaks. Amritsar welcomes you with a magnificent dome entrance and you can see that now you are entering the holy city of Amritsar. A lot of development has been done in the last few years and the city is trying to keep up with the growing population and infrastructure demands. Major well-known attractions of the city are located near Golden temples like Jallianwala bagh, shopping sites, partition museum, and a few others. It is preferable to book a hotel near Golden temple and ensure it has car parking for safety reasons. Most of the time when roaming in the city, prefer not to take your car, otherwise, you will be spending most of the time in traffic rather than enjoying yourself. Prefer transport mediums like E-rickshaw to cover places in and around. Govt has also developed infra around the temple making it easier to walk and discover. In the end, the choice is yours. Day in Amritsar can be planned in a way to cover Jallianwala Bagh, Partition Museum, Street food tour, Shopping can be done on the day you are reaching Amritsar. Golden temple is heavily crowded during the day, so it is most suitable to visit the temple in the early hours, preferably at 4:00 AM. Now if you are a night person then you can plan to visit late at night around 11:00 PM. Though if you plan to take a dip in the holy water then you must visit during the daytime. We made a mistake of reaching around 1:00 AM and we were unaware that the temple is closed for cleaning till 3:30 AM and it opens again around 4:00 AM. Langar services are open 24X7X365 so you need not worry if you feel hungry. As it’s a short road trip and the next day is your day of return, what better thing to do than visit Wagah Border and kindle your patriotism? One place which had the biggest makeover has been Wagah Border. I remember visiting Wagah Border when I was 10-12 years old, there used to be a very small audience standing on one side with a sitting capacity of 100 max I guess. On the visitors/ sitting capacity ratio, it is still the same, but then you used to sit close to the beating retreat. Due to Covid, you never know when they shut down beating retreat and you just visit there for fun. So you will have to check whether the beating retreat is scheduled or not. Because that will change the itinerary as you may have to cover the Wagah border a day before as it is an evening activity. Another place that is very near to the Wagah border and rarely visited by people is – Pul Mooran / Pul Kanjri which has a significant historic reference. It is far closer to the border than a closed Wagah border. You can see huge fencing almost 100 steps from you. The odd thing is everything looks the same on both sides of the fencing. Though there is a BSF post in front of it, they will not allow you to reach the fence. So please don’t act smart :P Pul Kanji is said to be Punjab’s Taj Mahal as it is a symbol of love, built as a stopover from Amritsar to Lahore. It is a good stop for a photography session as well. There are a few more places that you can cover in case you have ample time before you start your journey back. You can cover Ram Tirath Mandir, which is the birthplace of Lord Ram’s sons Love and Kush. It is again a small detour en route to Wagah Border. Another hotspot destination is Gobindgarh Fort, which has been beautifully maintained and is located only 2 km from Golden temple. And if you are looking for a short stop over to another religious site, then you may think about covering Tarn Taran, which is on the way back, and though it may take some time to cover Goindwal Sahib and Tarn Taaran Sahib here. Many of us have been to Amritsar quite a few times and most of the time we have on our itinerary Golden temple and Wagah border. Well now for your next visit hopefully you have some more locations to cover on your next road trip and that too without extending your stay in Amritsar. Coming up - Places for a weekend trip near Delhi NCR ;)
- The Goan Perspective
A Simple take on one of the basic question: Which Goa to visit - North Goa or South Goa? If there is one Indian city/ state which truly resonates with tourism, it is Goa. If we talk about millennials, be it our last years of graduation, initial few years of bachelorhood and job there would have been one friend, one colleague who would have popped this question – “Let’s go to Goa this year” and after numerous plan failures, breakups, or after getting married, every second or third Indian would have succeeded in executing their plan. And we can say surely, it takes not an itinerary but a simply fun mood to visit Goa. Pack summer clothes, book a flight, and arrive in Goa that’s all you need. After all, what’s Goa if not “Beach, Booze, Food. Repeat”. This is at least true for the first or second visit and if you are doing this for the fifth or sixth time, and you are loving it, then you are at the wrong place searching for an itinerary. We will not call ourselves experts in Goa planning. But we can say with utmost confidence, that Goa might be amongst the smallest states in India, but it is the largest in terms of tourism. Don’t trust us? Open Instagram and search Goa. You will get at least 200 different pages only for Goa promoting one or another thing. Without further ado, let's focus on why you are reading this blog? So basically, every second person can make a Goa itinerary, but we hope to provide a different perspective on how to plan your next Goa trip. After researching, planning, visiting, and learning from mistakes on what to and what not to do in Goa, we present to you how to plan your next goa trip. As we mentioned, it's all about perspective when visiting Goa. Goa has two facets. One which is calm, exquisite, green, vast, and expensive on the pocket, or what we call South Goa. Then there is spoilt with choices, hip, and happening, yet exquisite and a little less expensive is North Goa. So based on your company, budget, and expectations from Goa (or simply perspective) you should choose where you want to spend your holidays. Oh and expecting you are there for a holiday of max a week or less. If you are spending around ten days or more, you can divide your stay and cover both parts. We will suggest if you are spending 4-5 days and are interested in covering both, then please don’t. You will not be able to enjoy both as much as you want. The distance between two locations(North and South) is about 3-5 hours, depending on your stay location with Airport being somewhere in middle. When and Why to Choose either South or North Goa? Starting with South Goa, this is the place for relaxation, meditation, and connecting with your inner self. Below is a snapshot of what your day will look like: Waking early in the morning around 6-7 and wearing an additional layer as you feel chill in the air. You will take your vehicle and visit the nearest beach where you will find missing human souls. You will sit on the shore and play with soothing waves crashing at your feet. You will be back at the hotel/resort for your breakfast and dip in not so chilling swimming pool. You will get ready and decide to explore forts, and waterfalls near you, which probably will be an hour's drive or more depending on your choice. You will hop from one waterfall to another and have lunch in one of the amazing restaurants before heading to watch the sunset on another beach. There will be a couple of enthusiasts like you on the beach, clicking photographs for Instagram or recording the next Youtube video. By the time sun says goodbyes you will be tired but your mind will be full of energy. Your next stop will be the resort where you will get ready for the night and head to another restaurant right on the beach for live music and some booze. You head back to the resort late to enjoy the next day lazily. If not a party lover, then you will find architectural beauty spilling on the roads here. You can turn to visit monuments during the day apart from beaches in the morning and evening to have an eventful day. In North Goa, all the things are in close vicinity. You will get restaurants, stores, and stay locations in abundance. When you are out in your vehicle, you will probably reach one hotspot to another in a very short span, whereas traveling time in South goa is a little longer as all the spots are scattered. You will see civilization and huge gatherings in North Goa which is totally opposite of South Goa. Selection of location comes down to your budget, if you can spend some extra and look for a quality, distant peaceful time, prefer South Goa. If you are tight on budget and want a similar feel as South Goa, you can opt for Airbnb in North of North Goa, i.e. near Vagator beach. Another highly helpful tool, especially in Goa is Google maps. Search your stay property and work outwards to find locations that you can explore on your humane strength and pocket strength. Just to give an idea average room tariff in South Goa will be around 3.5-5k (10-20% higher than North Goa of a similar rated stay location) One piece of advice: You cannot cover everything if you are not in a “traveling profession”. Pick things that your group likes, which they agree on, and as per your capacity. Please do not blindly follow Instagram or YouTube Ideas. Goa is your fun destination; it does not need to be a traveler’s course. To conclude we will give you some good tourist spots from South Goa: Cabo De Rama Fort and waterfall right along with Cape De Goa Waterfalls like Bamanbudo, Netralim, Mainapi, Doodhsagar, and the list goes on Untapped beaches like Butterfly beach, Mobor beach, Palolem beach among others Restaurants: The Farmhouse (a personal favorite), Leda Balcao, Martin’s Corner Coming to North Goa, the following will be our recommendations: Chapora fort (Dil Chahta hai), Fontainhaas, Immaculate Conception Church (though it is very crowded almost at all times) Beaches: Though most of them are crowded like Calangute, Candolim however there are some quiet beaches like Anjuna, Vagator which are further in the north Restaurants: Baba au Rhum (must visit), Artjuna, Caravella Coffee house (another must-visit) but in any case, there will be endless options for you in terms of food and restaurants here. Various water sports like parasailing, banana ride, jet and many more at almost all the major beaches of the city but do bargain well for the best price In addition, we will not personally recommend scuba diving in Goa if you are a scuba enthusiast, though it's cheap compared to other locations, it is not at all worth a single penny. They try to create a fake scuba experience better to explore it in other locations. So that concludes our take on Goa, hope we helped you gain some perspective when visiting Goa. Adios!! Travel, Mi Amor
- Kashmir : Planning your trip
Things to consider on planning your visit to Kashmir Good now you are thinking about arrangements to be done for Kashmir and for the ones who have directly landed on this page, you may want to read the introduction and can read it from here. Directly jumping on the topic, Kashmir trip can be planned according to your expectations and seasons. If you are interested in snow (like us) best time to visit is in Jan-Feb, its highly unpredictable in December to experience snowfall. Some of the places will have fresh snow like Gulmarg and Sonamarg but same cannot be said for all the locations. Though everyone in Srinagar claims that general snow weather starts by Mid-December. As Srinagar valley have amazing tulip gardens, and it can be experienced in Mar-April season (preferably April) However, if you want to experience blossoms and greenery, plan your travel for June-July month (just before rainy season) and everything will be bright and colorful. Logistics arrangement: There are multiple hotels available from ultra-luxury like The Lalit Palace (which was Maharaja Hari Singh Palace before and now with Abdullah family (J&K ex chief minister)), Taj Vivanta among others to very basic hotels. In Srinagar standard hotels offer basic amenities like hot water, electric blankets at the least, but no harm in confirming. Do also confirm electricity backup as Srinagar experiences lot of outages. Then you have options in Airbnb as well to choose from. We opted for Airbnb and chose Valley Heritage. Valley heritage resort is nestled in local dwellings very near to Hazratbal and Nigeen lake, however there is struggle for electricity hence when city faces power cuts, you will face difficulties to keep room warm and to overcome this challenge they have paid bukhari’s available. For more details on you can read through the reviews of the property on Airbnb through this link Another option in Srinagar is to go for Houseboats. On the contrary from their Kerala counterparts, these houseboats do not move and rather stay in one location. As most commonly known to everyone that houseboats are in Dal lake, it gets crowded and you may not get tranquillity experience as expected. To find solace, prefer Nigeen lake houseboats as they are few in numbers, gives similar experience and if you are here in summers, you can go for a swim in the lake as well. On top of that, you can easily take a Shikara ride from Nigeen lake to Dal Lake, which we found more serene and relaxing. Mobile network: We were informed all postpaid networks work in Kashmir. In our observation apart from Jio Postpaid, no other network worked, not even Airtel postpaid or Jio prepaid. Jio postpaid works fine even in locations like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam and many others. Taxi / Local Transport: If you are travelling within Srinagar, you will find autos and taxis available from multiple locations (hotel receptions can provide you sources details to hire a vehicle and it depends on your contingent size which vehicle suits you) however we learnt the hard way that taxi prices are too steep (generally taxi owners will quote very high prices like 3500 per day for a couple) however it will be test of your negotiations skills to bring that price down to 2000-2500 per day for car like Indica. Toyota / Innova will charge equivalently. But in any case do negotiate and try to bring down charges to half ( yes 50% reduction) that is the margin locals keep and it is applicable for everything ( you can expect limited negotiation possibilities in food and apparels) When you are planning for Kashmir trip consider following cost heads 1. Flights 2. Stays 3. Activities like Horse riding, Snow biking, Sledging, Skiing (optional spend but shall be considered) 4. Shopping and food – totally depends on you Flights from Delhi, if booked in time can be booked around or below 8k per person roundtrip. Staying locations – All the tourist destinations places like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam have hotels, some places like Pahalgam have plethora of options whereas in Sonamarg options are limited. In winters, as locations except Srinagar, have more snowfall days, some of the hotels shut their operations due to freezing water and hotels open for business will keep a hefty charge for stay (around 5k or more) If you are interested in waking up to snow covered trees and mountains, you can of course plan to book them. For a 5N stay in Srinagar your cost of stay will be around 15k on an average for one room. Choosing a hotel location is also critical as Srinagar has become crowded now, and if you are looking for peaceful locations then try for hotels and stay around Dal Lake / Nigeen lake and you will wake up to birds chirping and prayer offerings For details around the activities, shopping and their costing refer to location pages for more details. Read more about Kashmir from following links: Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain Hidden gems of Kashmir The Srinagar Jewel Srinagar: Roti, Kapda aur aap Piousness of Kashmir
- Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap
Shop till you drop and then reenergize with supercilious food options Now its time to cover local markets and food options If I recall from my last visit to Srinagar in 2008 only shopping center I knew was near Lal Chowk however on this visit there were so many stores and outlets that have popped up every here and there. A new market location – Polo view market has come up with all the brands that are available locally in metro cities are now available in Srinagar as well. However, when you are in Srinagar, the expectation is to shop for local products and something which is not available in our hometown. Luckily we went shopping on Sunday and we recommend that you do shopping on Sunday only. As on Sunday, all the brand shops are closed and these market locations that is Polo view and Laal Chowk have small vendors lined up in front of shops. You will get amazing clothes and that too at economical prices. The winter apparels we got from here are very cozy and warm. Apart from that, another clothes market which is open throughout like a Tibet market is very near to Laal Chowk and there are multiple souvenir shops in that market as well. Now if you are interested in buying electric blankets or something similar then again Laal Chowk is the place to be. Moving from shopping to food, Srinagar has so many utterly delicious food options. Do try one of these restaurants when you are in Srinagar. Shwarma Hut near Hazrat Bal is the most sought restaurant for students nearby, and it offers veg and nonveg options. We were taken aback by the sheer quantity of the food. Their one bowl of veg or nonveg is enough for 3 and 4 people. Yes, their quantity is the first thing you will notice but then you will be happy with the flavors they add to food. You will surely be licking your fingers. Krishna Vaishno Dhaba: One of the oldest restaurants in Srinagar and located near to the city center, it is the most visited restaurant in town. From its façade, you will not believe that how come this restaurant is so famous and when you are inside then you will see how chaos can be managed. Restaurants have sharing tables concept and the fastest food service we have come across. From the time you place the order to the time food is on the table you can count minutes on your fingers. You will be thinking that food will not be that good if the service is so quick, but this is where you will be proven wrong. You will be comparing and maybe keeping Krishna Dhaba higher on your list than most Dhabas in Murthal (Sonipat). I am sure you will be eating more than you thought when you made your first order. Mummy Please: Yup, you read it write, there is a restaurant in Srinagar by the same name and offers fast food from various outlets. We tried their veg burger and it was good though not at the same level you expect in Delhi or Mumbai however it was good to fulfill your fast food cravings. Some of the nonveg options which are very sought out are Ahdoos and Mughal Darbar. They were highly recommended to us by our guide and they both are very near to Polo View market. If you are a nonveg fan, you may want to try these restaurants to satisfy your taste buds. Finally, it's time to wrap up the Kashmir visit. We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible for you to make travel plans accordingly. Hope you have a good read. Enjoy your next trip to Kashmir. Till next time!! Adios!! Read more about Kashmir from following links: Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain Hidden gems of Kashmir The Srinagar Jewel Kashmir: Planning your trip Piousness of Kashmir
- Srinagar : Capital city entwined in Past, Present, and Future
City with historic significance and becoming major economy contributor Srinagar, the capital city of J&K is very similar to other capital cities of the country. There is one side of the city that is getting influenced by modernization and social media platforms and then there is another side of the city that is still dwelling in the past and struggling with the adversities left behind by our elder generation. Struggles and harmony co-exist in this city and you get to experience both. In our observations, things are changing for good in Srinagar valley, as you observe education hoardings, hostels, PGs advertising IITs, NITs for the next generation to grow and contribute to society in a transformative way. It was a good sign that the education sector, which holds the key to bringing ever-lasting peace is now at the center of the city. Stay options When you are in Srinagar, as your base camp, you may opt for staying in a hotel ( mostly located near and around the city center), houseboats, or Airbnb as per your convenience. Generally, an option which is most explored is to keep 1N stay in houseboat, few days stay in a hotel and few days stay in other locations. We took a slightly different approach to stay in Airbnb throughout as we found houseboat stay a little discomforting. We are not particularly cozy in a closed, confined kind of stay. Let’s discover what we can do in Srinagar and how many days at least need to be spent in the city. Locations to cover It is advised that you keep at least two days for Srinagar, and you can split it in a way like if you reach early on the day of your landing you can cover the Shikhara ride on Day 0 ( it takes around one hour to complete the ride (basic ride) though you can extend it by shelling few more bucks). Also, you can cover the Hazrat Bal shrine which is second to Jama Masjid (oldest Masjid in Srinagar), however, its historic significance is second to none. You can visit it for its beautiful peaceful surroundings. One full day can be kept for Srinagar to cover the rest of the tourist spots and do some shopping as well. When it comes to tourist attractions, most of the tourist attractions are located in a 25-30km Dal lake semi-circle. You can start from one end of the lake and unravel all the locations in a single visit. All of the locations start opening up around 10:00 AM so you may be the first one to reach one of these locations if you are standing at the gate right at 10’o clock. The Dal Circle Most of the locations here are “Bagh” or Gardens and they were curated during Mughal times. The centerpiece of attraction in these locations is “Chinar” trees and their leaves are very similar to maple leaves. During December – January most of the “Chinar” trees shed off all their leaves and you can bring back some leaves for decorative purposes. If you enter from one side of the Lake, you can start with Nishat Bagh, which is seven layers of gardens beautifully maintained and curated. As soon as you are through the entry door, a royal feeling is imminent to take over. As you progress further in the garden, you respect the way the garden has been maintained over the years and how magnificently they stand just on the corner of Dal lake. Yes, it’s true, in winter garden will not be blooming with budding flowers, yet the garden aura can be expressed in contrasting colors which represents a very important phase of transformation. As you move out from Nishat Bagh, you can next visit the Shalimar Bagh / Botanical Gardens. They are very similar to Nishat Bagh and again very beautifully maintained. Given the time of the year, they all have very similar vibes, so you can pick and choose which gardens you want to cover. You may not find anything different here. All the gardens are spread across acres and if you are interested in spending some quality time in open spaces, there is nothing better than these gardens. Next, you can cover Chashme Shahi and Pari Bagh. Roads leading to Chashme shahi and in particular, Pari Bagh are breathtaking. If you are lucky, you may come across some amazing fauna and possibly some of the wild animals as well. We decided to go to Pari Bagh first and though the gardens are very well maintained, they had those old rocky formations of the wall and looked like a painting out of a history book. Views of the Srinagar valley were stand out of Pari Bagh. Area wise Pari Bagh is smaller than Nishat Bagh or others however “layered garden” architecture is common. On our return from Pari Bagh, we stopped at Chashme Shahi and the major difference here is the natural spring water around which this garden has been developed. You can drink natural spring water and it is said that it does have medicinal properties. For all the gardens that we have mentioned, there are a lot of stairs in all of them. So if you have elderly in the group, they may struggle with all of the walking engaged. If you have to pick with least stairs, we recommend Botanical gardens and Pari Bagh as one can enjoy enough at one level. The last stop in Dal lake circle is going to be Shankaracharya Temple, located on the hilltop and near the famous TV tower. Govt has created multiple viewpoints on the hill where you can stop and enjoy the valley from different locations. Due to very limited traffic police near temple premises, traffic jams are pretty common, so you have to keep a good buffer time. Another important thing here is you cannot take any mobile phones, cameras with you. So you have to keep them in your cars/vehicles or deposit them with security at the entrance of the premises. As Shankaracharya temple is located on the highest point of the hill, you will be greeted with 250 steps stone bases stairs. So be ready for your cardio exercise of the day. As soon as you reach the temple entrance and as you look down from your location, all this exercise will look worth it. You will then see Dal lake is not just a lake in a big circle, it has a snake-like tail and goes for miles. When you visit the prayer site of the temple and think about how this temple was built, you surely will experience goosebumps that it was built centuries ago when engineering was not at its prime. On the side exit of the temple, you have a small temple dedicated to Guru Shankracharya, where he meditated for years. It is a small cozy place and you keep wondering how is this possible to stay let alone meditate in this. With this, we have covered must-visit locations in Srinagar check out the food and local markets and other places from the following links: Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain Hidden gems of Kashmir Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap Kashmir: Planning your trip Piousness of Kashmir
- Hidden Gems of Kashmir
Aharbal / Yousmarg: Kashmir’s Niagra falls and Meadow of Jesus So far you have covered must-visit places and though choices to visit are endless. If you have additional days or someplace you do not want to cover from the previously provided details, Checkout these options as well: Both Aharbal and Yousmarg are in the same direction, but we observed taxi drivers can take you to one of them only. Maybe if you negotiate and plan better they may agree to cover both. We also heard Doodhpathri is also a good option however our taxi operator had no idea about the place so we had to completely drop that option. We went ahead with Aharbal waterfall as we had covered a lot of valleys already. Reaching Aharbal Aharbal waterfall is again a 2 – 2:30 hr drive from Srinagar and crosses the ancient Mughal Road (Road from Srinagar to Delhi) which was used for commuting in the Mughal era. If you go through Aharbal waterfall videos on youtube, you will find this place irresistible as it makes you wonder if there is such a place, why everyone is not talking about this place. Aharbal is very beautiful when there is a good snowfall, otherwise, it is a "good to visit" place and not a "must visit" place. From parking lot to the actual waterfall, there are good 200-300 steps you have to cover. You will find two “shahi” streams or natural spring streams which are drinking water streams with medicinal effects. Once you are near to Aharbal waterfall, you will observe how splendidly the Veshu river is cutting across and leaving behind this out-of-the-world landscape. With its clean, sparkly water, it just attracts you to take a dive and emerge as one with the water. You can easily spend around 2-3 hours here as it provides the perfect “picnic” spot. Another option : Yousmarg Moving to the other choice, Yousmarg, though we did not get time to visit this place, however, our research showed that Yousmarg is on similar lines as Sonamarg and provides scenic background that you come across in postcards and paintings. Unfortunately, we don’t have details for you to offer and if you are interested in Yousmarg, you may want to rely on other information sources. That concludes our journey to locations around Srinagar, so the next stop will be the crown of Kashmir, Srinagar. Read about other places from following link: Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain The Srinagar Jewel Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap Kashmir: Planning your trip Piousness of Kashmir
- Pahalgam : Adventurous soul of Kashmir
If you have heard about the famous “Amarnath Shrine” then you might have heard about Pahalgam, as it is the base for Amarnath shrine visitors. All the way: When you start your journey from Srinagar, before you reach Pahalgam you will find many hidden gems en route. Starting with the Saffron land of Kashmir. You will cover the infamous Pampore district which is the Saffron capital of India, in the Summer months you can see Saffron flowers in the laid out fields clearly but winters are for sowing and preparing for harvest. Just after crossing Pampore, you will cover Avantipore, which hosts temple ruins dated 9th century – “The Avanthiswami Temple”. These temples are easily accessible by road and they are magnificent even today. From the temple ruins, you can easily imagine how grandeur these temples would have been in their time. The entrance of the temple is the majority of the structure standing as of today and these temple structures are completely different from what we have seen anywhere else in India. Generally, these temples are not visited that frequently so you can cover them very easily in less than 45 mins. After you have crossed Awantipore, another destination with a similar vibe is Anantnag Martand Sun temple, and you can reach it by taking a very small detour (approx. 5-6 km). Martand temples date back to the 8th century. In case you are short on time, prefer Martand Sun temple over Avantipore. The Lidder Valley is also en route to Pahalgam and it runs parallel to the highway to Pahalgam. For those interested, one can take a short break and spend some time on the curves of the river. Pahalgam : Chapter I Your vantage point in Pahalgam is the local taxi stand. Hotels, local viewpoints, restaurants are all located near to it. As you start your journey to a tete-a-tete with nature in Pahalgam, you will see there are about 8-10 places that you can visit, if you want to cover them on foot it is a mixture of trekking and lots of walking on a treacherous path, so if you are a trekking junkie this is nothing short of small heaven for you and it will take an almost full day to explore all the places. Yes, you will be elbowed and forced by horse/pony owners to go for a ride rather than walking and it will take a lot of willpower to say no to them all. They can be very persuasive and sticky. Now if you choose for a horse/pony ride, then again it will take 5-6 hours to cover all the places, and though you can pick and choose your locations, at the least, covering important ones is going to take 3-4 hours. One place that you should not miss in Pahalgam is Baisaran valley, locally known as “Mini Switzerland” it’s like as shown in the photograph below with endless valley with pine trees as boundary and shadows of faraway mountains. Advisory: If you choose for pony/horse, you will experience the same thing as all other places, prices quoted by them, irrespective of viewpoints (valleys), will be exorbitant and you will sarcastically laugh for sure. So go by the rule of 50%, where at the very least you should ask for a 50% reduction in the price. If you bring prices lower than 50% that means you have good negotiation skills. Now pony ride in Pahalgam is one adventure sport with little risk involved, so trust your guide and follow their instructions for a safe and happy trip. Pahalgam tourist spots are very beautiful when they are snow-laden. In absence of snow these locations come out generic and not worthy, so we will suggest in case there has been no snowfall at the time of you reaching there, do not take the pain of covering all the spots. Pick one or two and that will be enough to experience Pahalgam. You will not find any public convenience in any of the tourist spots here so again be sure that you have done the bladder check before embarking on the journey ( some restaurants or public conveniences can be found at the start of the journey) Eating joints are very limited here, you can try Punjab restaurant which offers quick service and average food. Or you can try Maggi/Tea from the small temp outlets at tourist spots on your tour. Pahalgam: Chapter II From Pahalgam taxi stand, You can further visit Aru valley, Betaab valley, and Chandanwari ( another base camp for Amarnath yatra). If you are traveling via a private vehicle then you are permitted to take your vehicle however if you are on a commercial vehicle then you will have to hire a new commercial vehicle from Pahalgam Taxi Stand. A Commercial vehicle with the least price here is Maruti Omni and then it goes till tempo traveler depending on your group size. Prices are standard for these hired vehicles, it is recommended to hire from taxi stand only. Chandanwari and Betaab valley are on the same route whereas Aru valley is on a different route. Due to time constraints, and failure in our planning we had to drop Aru valley and we went ahead with Betaab and Chandanwari. Chandanwari came across as one of the exquisite locations of our trip as we encountered snow and very low temperatures, though we did not reach the main entrance of Chandanwari as the road was slippery with snow so we took a short walk till there and had some good time enjoying the valley and snow. On our return, we observed Betaab valley from a height and as there was snow fall in the Betaab valley it looked like an exotic garden our tuning with Betaab did not set on the same frequency so we dropped it as well ( it was around 6 PM and the sun was setting so did not make sense for us to visit Betaab late in the night). Though we were not able to visit Aru valley, we recommend that you visit this valley. In our research, we found Aru valley as a must-see place owing to its beautiful landscape and picture-perfect environment. Read more about Kashmir Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain Hidden gems of Kashmir The Srinagar Jewel Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap Kashmir: Planning your trip Piousness of Kashmir
- Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain
Irresistible hidden beauty spreading warmth through sunshine Another jewel that must be covered when in Kashmir is the land of golden mountain aka Sonamarg. Its name is derived from the first sunlight that turns the mountain golden hence the whole valley is called Sonamarg. Sonamarg is around two to two and a half-hour drive from Srinagar depending on what time you leave. As again we request you to leave around 7:30 – 8:00 in the morning to enjoy locations with a thinner crowd (something we learned is a good thing during Covid-19) There is a saying that it's not the destination but the journey, which is better, however, in this case, Sonamarg proves this statement wrong. Sonamarg valley is now attracting more and more crowds as the last scenes of “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” were shot here (some of the scenes were shot in Pahalgam as well). Reaching Sonamarg Sonamarg, situated in the northeast of Srinagar also acts as a gateway to paradise lands of Ladakh. Sonamarg has multiple hotels located on the bank of the Sind river and very few public food eateries. When you reach Sonamarg it will not feel like a destination as it’s a moving road and you are sitting on one corner and thinking is this it? Have we reached? But then if you observe closely you see ponies, snow bikes, and then everything starts making sense. Struggles here are the same as in Gulmarg. (attach a photo here) Things to cover Few tourist points have been identified and marked for everyone’s convenience. Locals call them base 1 is “Suicide point and “Sonamarg base” then at the second level is “Thajivas glacier” then little ahead is water stream and we heard about the cave as well but our guide said that was closed ( not sure whether it was true or not). When you are in these locations you get ample time to spend with snow-laden land, mesmerizing mountains and fun activities like skiing, sled rides, here sled slopes are bigger than Gulmarg, so do have fun sled rides as seen in western movies, cartoons, it makes more sense here. (attach a photo here) You can reach these points either by trekking or ponies. Pony rise will cost you around 1000-1500 INR (heavy bargain required) Keep things in mind: One very important fact is, at the tourist locations on the top, there is no public convenience available, so it is better to have tummy and bladder check done at the parking spot. Unlike Gulmarg, all the hotels, restaurants get closed if there has been snowfall or prediction of heavy snowfall in the next few days, so booking your stay in Sonamarg can be risky. It is better to book your accommodation for Sonamarg (if you are planning to stay) only when you are in Kashmir. We found Country Inn by Radisson only hotel open in Sonamarg valley for the time we were there and it was also closing operations as heavy snowfall was predicted the day after. Sonamarg is also starting point for many Kashmir treks like Kashmir great lakes, Vishansar trek among others. Good luck to you all trekking lovers, hope you find an amazing adventure on your visits. That’s all folks for Sonamarg. Time to move to next destination. You can read about the rest of the locations from the following links: Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Hidden gems of Kashmir Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap Kashmir: Planning your trip Piousness of Kashmir
- Gulmarg : The land from Frozen
One place that is synonymous with Kashmir Valley - Gulmarg Gulmarg is one of the top skiing destinations in India and hosts many international competitions. It is a must-see for everyone visiting Kashmir. There are some divine places on earth and when you visit these places, you are left speechless. You spend a few minutes wondering “Is this real?” and then the chill in the air will bring you back to your senses. Gulmarg is nature’s way of making you believe in heaven. A place where you can sit back and watch a landscape unfold in front of your eyes. There are high chances when you are here in January, you will experience snowfall and you observe snowflakes making their way into your hands and you observe closely those flakes slowly melting into one another. This soft snow and light crunch below your feet as you move is music to ears. You walk, run, and fall and you forget about time. Reaching Gulmarg: Gulmarg is approx. two, two, and a half-hour drive from Srinagar. If you have booked a cab from Srinagar, there is a hidden catch, a taxi from Srinagar will take you to Tanamarg first. Depending on the weather, if it is snowing, you will have to change taxi and get a new taxi which will take you from Tanamarg to Gulmarg. You can either opt for a private taxi, for which taxi driver will start from INR 2000 and it can be brought down by hard negotiations (and do negotiate) or you can collaborate with other couples/tourists. As time passes, crowd size will grow, and you will experience peak crowd around 1-2 PM. So, if you start early in the day around 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM you will find a thin crowd on the top. Also, at Tanamarg, some shops will provide you an extra layer of a jacket, and gumboots at around 200-350 INR (if you are paying INR 300 or above, negotiate). You will need an additional clothing layer only if there is too much snow in Gulmarg. Else you can just take boots, however, boots are recommended if your shoes are not waterproof as there are high chances that you will get snow inside your shoes and you will have a lot of traveling to do. Challenges and having comfortable time in Gulmarg: The story of Gulmarg is like sugar for ants. However, there are a few things you must know. Firstly, cab drivers will ask you to hire a guide that will help you have a good time in Gulmarg. Guide, at very basic, will fulfill the following responsibilities: 1. Get a gondola ticket for you by getting in line (Only getting ticket service, ticket prices will be borne by you) 2. Click pictures and videos for you 3. Tell you what sport and ride you can do 4. Stick with you on your entire stay in Gulmarg (if you are there for a day and returning by evening) For this service, Guide will charge INR500-600. Guide services are not that essential however every other person will convince you that you should get one. In the end, it is your opinion to get a Guide or not. Journey to Gulmarg A taxi from Srinagar / Tanamarg will take you to a parking spot (let's call it Phase 0). As soon as you are outside the cab, you will be hoarded by sled owners, local photographers, street hawkers among others. You are proudly welcomed to land “Paradisio”. As you start walking towards the valley, you will find Gulmarg hotel chains on your left and a huge golf course on your right. As you walk for another 1-1.5 km you will reach the Gondola bookings counter. Gondola opens around 10:30 – 11:00 AM and its charge is around INR 750 it will take you to Phase I and Phase II. Phase II is not that frequently open, however, if you find it open then surely visit Phase II (charges are around INR 1000) as there is a thinner crowd and a better time for why you are visiting Kashmir. Also, if you get clear skies, you can see neighbors’ bunkers with help of binoculars. From the parking lot to the Gondola ticketing center, you can travel by foot, sled or ATV. For sled, price ranges from 1000-3000 INR and ATV will cost around 2500-4500 INR (we recommend you to bargain heavily at every point) On reaching Phase I, again local people will bombard you with different snow activities. Following are the activities which you will find at least: Skiing (Hardly 100-150m skiing on flat land, with support for 10-15 min). Charges are around INR 800-INR 1000. Our rating: 6.5/10, and try out skiing at a location away from the crowd for a better experience, you may find your calling) Sled ride: Same as Phase 0 and charges are around INR 400- INR 650.Our rating: 2/10, there is better sled experience in Sonamarg. If you are unable to walk then only go for this option Snow bike ride: This will be a good experience as they allow you to drive as well, and you may not experience it in any other location in India. Charges are around INR 800 – INR 1600. Our rating: 8/10, one of the must-have experience All three activities are within a 1-1.5km range, depending on the snow levels. One thing you must know for all three activities is the tactics of the service offeror. They are very seasoned and will ask for very steep prices. For example, in Snow bike ride there is one shorter and one longer route and they will show a standard rate chart of around INR 1000 and INR 2000. Do not ever agree to their first price as they are more than what you should pay. So negotiate and re-negotiate well As far as Phase II goes, we were unlucky as Gondolas were non-operational for Phase II. However, we heard Phase II has a nice restaurant and an amazing ski destination. Apart from these activities, you can enjoy Maggi and other limited menu items at countable outlets with sitting arrangements. And yes, there is a restroom available. Apart from these things, find an undisturbed corner, relax and enjoy a beautiful view of your heart’s desire. If you have hired a guide he will keep pushing you to end the tour and head back, however it's your time and you should enjoy it. If you reached around 11:00 AM then we believe you will be able to head back around 2:30 – 3:00 PM. On reaching Tanamarg, you can cover one more destination that is Drang waterfall also known as Frozen waterfall which is in another direction from Gulmarg and takes about 15-20 min to reach. Drang waterfall is an amazing site (attach a photo here). During winters, it gives vibes of being in a distant land. And you just want to sit and watch the water turn into icicles and still manage to stay in liquid form at another place. You can do a little hike or you can just sit back, relax and have a photography session. All the images that we have captured are from the first or second snowfall at the location. Just imagine how it will look like when Kashmir valley has experienced more snowfalls. Surreal!! As you head back to Tanamarg, you can have a meal there or in Srinagar. If you are looking for food options in Srinagar, read more about it from our Srinagar blog and you will not be disappointed. Read about what else to do when in Kashmir: Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain Hidden gems of Kashmir Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap Kashmir: Planning your trip Piousness of Kashmir Have a great read. Travel, Mi Amor.
- Piousness of Kashmir
Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast The famous quote from Shahjahanabad, Rana Safvi’s book has been aptly made for Kashmir Valley. Kashmir, sitting as the crown of the nation, is nestled between oldest Himalayan ranges. What makes Kashmir stand apart is its simplicity dwelling in the preciousness of nature. Srinagar, the capital city will come across like any other non-metro city. Though it is imperative that you may have heard / read something negative about the valley but when you are in Srinagar, you will observe people on their routine jobs, living, enjoying like any other city in India. At the same time, the probability of any incident occurring is comparatively higher but at least for a common man, it’s not as bad as presented in news. Hats off to security forces for maintaining the security and decorum of the place. Kashmir is beautiful in any and every season, be it winters or summers. All you need to do is plan and visit for that reason, we are here to assist you so that you can have a good time in Kashmir. Kashmir valley’s vantage point is Srinagar (if you are coming via flight) and it is up to your personal choice whether to keep Srinagar as the center for your visit or keep changing base as you travel to different locations in the valley. Our itinerary is based and planned for winters, to be very specific last week of December. We expected snowy Srinagar however to our disappointment, that was not the case. Something we heard a lot on our trip about Kashmir during our visit was “weather in Kashmir is like Mumbai’s fashion” (meaning it changes with a whip of wind) and guess what, it turned out to be true. For our whole trip, every day we felt like nature’s objective was to beat all kinds of weather predictions. Coming to the itinerary, for this journey we have tried to cover a lot of things like how to plan, places to visit, special mentions for you to make your trip memorable. You can use the following links to get a detailed itinerary for every location and important pointers. So hop on and make us your first stop for any travel planning. Gulmarg: Land from Frozen Pahalgam: Adventurous soul of Kashmir Sonamarg: Land of Golden Mountain Hidden gems of Kashmir Srinagar : Roti, Kapda aur aap Kashmir: Planning your trip Hope you have a good read and we can assist in your travel plans. Travel, Mi Amor.
- The Maldives Affair: Part II – KYMB (Know Your Maldives Better)
Picking resorts and evaluating how much it will burden your pocket Welcome to Part II of knowing Maldives better. If this is your first read on Maldives, kindly read about Part I from this link – The Maldives Affair: Part I Going by statistics, Maldives is mostly visited due to private islands which disconnects you from the rest of the world physically for the duration of the stay. As soon as you enter Maldives’ airspace you will see a collection of beautiful islands all over. From the sky, all the islands are almost similar, a little green patch covering the whole island and properties connecting to the island as a caterpillar trying to enter its nest. Every property offers almost the same luxuries on a platter and it’s just a matter of how architecturally and creatively they have been assorted. In our research before visiting the Maldives, we were informed that marine life is better in north atolls as compared to south atolls, so we chose North, and still, we were a little disappointed. Maybe our expectations were high or the corals at our resort were not that aesthetical as compared to others. If you google Maldives you will get umpteen results. When every small island is a resort and Maldives is a group of more than 100 small islands, you have a choice problem. Not only that every resort will have 4 stars at least. From various perspectives like beaches, spas, and restaurants, all resorts give very similar vibes, this is excluding the likes of Taj or Hard Rock high-end resorts, if you have the budget for supreme luxury then you have already made up your mind. Then how do you choose which resort has your calling? It is easy, if you are doing your research, try getting a better deal whether from CRED, Agoda, Booking.com, or any other travel website. If you are taking a package deal from an agent, ask at least for three to four options. All the resorts have two basic property offerings with luxurious add-ons: Beachside properties- located on the island grounds and a big opening right on the beach. Water villas- giving the vibe of floating houses supported by a wooden structure built on the ocean floor. When you stand in front of these, they don’t look like huge property, but as you open the door, it’s like down the rabbit hole. Luxury water villas- premium category of water villas with private pool/water slides/ bigger carpet area. Water villa properties look exquisite and are comparatively expensive. If you are booking through an agent, they will give you an option to have your stay split into both. Water villas from photographs look exquisite, appealing and give that wow feeling. To be honest, we found beach properties more comfortable and enjoyable. As water villas tend to sway and may make feel you are in some ship in the sea. Also, the water level is max waist high and not enough for diving from the villa floor ;P Resorts additionally have cuisine-based restaurants, spas, water sports to offer. Prices for these services may vary a lot and should be critically considered before choosing a resort. Cost Breakup Now, with that thing covered, let’s look at the spending spree for Maldives. There are two major cost heads: Flights and Resort (Includes meals) and Miscellaneous – Transfers (Sea boat / Plane depending on the booking) and Water sport activities. If you are booking through an agent or resort directly, the transfer cost is covered, else you will have to bear an additional one (Check it out before booking). Pre covid, travelers used to do island hopping however in Post Covid era, Island hopping had been discontinued by Government. If you book at least one to two months in advance, it will cost you around 40,000 INR for a one-way flight for two from India/Delhi NCR. A 5 day stay with a mix of both beach and water villa will be around 130,000 INR in stay for two and generally, this includes meals, basic water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and pedal boat. For other water sports, you will have to shell a few more bucks and this depends on the resort. Some resorts charge exorbitantly for scuba and other activities like whale watching/ turtle watching separately. Check these costs on the resort’s website before finalizing. Another factor in the pricing is the meal plan. You can go full board (all meals inclusive) or all-inclusive plan which includes meal and drinks both or happy hour drinks access. Above pricing includes full board i.e. only meals. Depending on your choice of property your majority expenditure will be decided. In case if you go for a full stay at a beach villa it will come around INR 100,000 and a full water villa stay around INR 150,000 with around 20% standard deviation for 4N/5D Some good options Some of the good resorts that you can pick from are – Centara Ras Resorts, Kuramathi, Sun Siyam villu reef, Adaaran club, Kihaa, Ohuveli resorts among many others. Ensure to check the food menu and water sport activities beforehand. You can also drop a mail for the same and the resort representative will share the details with you. We finalized Centara Ras Fushi and we returned elated with our choice. Its hospitality had been outstanding and worth every penny. Right from the time we reached Centara Ras, the housekeeping staff was standing for our welcome, and even when we left, the whole staff was there to escort us, and it was not just for us, it was a time routine. We were visiting after the first Covid wave in November 2020 and all resorts were struggling with a shortage of staff. We saw the property manager picking plates as they were running short on staff during all meals. Among all this, there was one more coincidence we met one of my collegiate and friend who was visiting at the same time. One thing that went in our favor was the temperature. Given its geographical location, we expected to etch sun rays however we got rains during peak afternoon cooling the weather and leaving us with cool sunsets. In the whole experience what left us dissatisfied was the scuba diving cost, it was exorbitant. The experience was good but not valuable for money. We have seen people question if you are going to spend time in a resort why not pick a luxurious resort in Goa or any place near to the beach in India? And that is a valid point if your objective is to have a good time with the company, roam around, then yes, no point going to the Maldives. The only thing the Maldives is adding on top of the company is the disconnection from the rest of the world in the best summer place to be. If this is important for you then you have the answer if the Maldives is for you or not. Hope this was a good read and clarified your doubts related to Maldives. In case you have any queries reach us on social media, and will be happy to assist. Till next time – Adios!!
- The Maldives Affair: Part I – KYM (Know Your Maldives)
Two-part series on getting to know about the Maldives and whether you should visit Maldives. Through these two posts, We will be answering questions such as: What is Maldives? Private islands or Public Islands? Why visit Maldives? What is the best time to visit the Maldives? What are different types of private resort properties? How to choose a resort? If you are interested in answers to any of the questions above, I am sure the next 10-15 min read will be worth it. Heads up, this blog is the starting point of knowing Maldives better. If you are already aware of the basic geo and demographics understanding about the Maldives, please jump to Part II (Why Maldives and is it worth it?) Maldives has always been an exotic destination for many, and it has always been looked expensive, too good to be true, out of reach however, at the same time some may have ignored it considering it not value for money. Post-Covid, people have started looking at Maldives from a whole new perspective, given it is one of the “foreign” lands that were open and welcoming tourists from India. Generally, newly married pick Maldives as its basic offering - “honeymoon” setup is next to none. Locating Maldives Let’s start with understanding the Maldives demographically / geographically to better know and pick a location in Maldives for time to spend. The Maldives is a small group of islands located just below the Sovereign of India and Sri Lanka. It’s a Muslim-ethnic country and has strict guidelines on how to carry oneself in public. Important to note- you cannot carry liquor from your place to Maldives and if you are visiting public beaches, then you should follow the guidelines on what to wear. Coming via air route, you will land in Male, the Maldivian capital and biggest island in the Maldives. There are high rises, residential complexes, and everything you expect from a capital city with all sides surrounded by Sea (Yes Sea, Maldives is in the Arabian Sea). So, staying in Male will be like staying in any other beachside city. Maldives Atolls In Maldives, some of the islands are public islands that are accessible to all and can be visited by taking a public ferry and one can stay on different properties on these islands. Just like Andamans Islands (India). So, if in your opinion, new culture, new people are important as travel experience then opt for public islands. However, it will be less expensive to visit Andamans at any time for a similar experience. Coming to the exotic private islands, Maldives is a group of small islands clubbed into atolls – North Atoll and South Atoll. Most North Atoll islands are near to Male and can be reached easily with jet boat transfers whereas South atoll islands are a bit far and can be reached through seaplanes. Now if you are planning to go extremities of both North and South, you will need seaplane transfers. Most of the small islands are the size of a few acres (circumference of 2-10 km) which you can easily cover in hours. And individually, islands are owned by huge hoteliers. Hotel chains have set up islands as their property. There are many islands inhabited by indigenous people with no resort or hotel setup, which are off-limits for tourism until and unless you have been invited there by locals. If you are wondering whether you should plan for North Atoll or South Atoll? There is very little difference in terms of scenic views, luxury, or environment. Marine life around Maldives is very beautiful irrespective of the atoll. But it will only affect your decision to stay in the north or south if you are planning a sea excursion like snorkeling or scuba. Time to visit Maldives The best time of visiting the Maldives is from November – February. We chose November given prices are low and the weather is good. The same can be said for February when the temperature is almost similar, but the weather is too dry and chances for sunburns are high. Maldives package can be booked either for 3N/4D(3 nights/4 days) or 4N/5D and this is the ideal duration of time to spend in the Maldives. What Maldives Offer? Maldives islands can be considered as a private retreat where you are only in touch with limited guests on the island and the company you went with. You can enjoy beach/pool swims, snorkeling, amazing food, photography, and enjoy the break from the never-ending race. Time at Maldives is like rejuvenation. As soon as you land in Maldives, its transparent water, hospitality, and ambiance take away all your worries. Human nature has always struggled with choices, we want more choices however when we have abundant choices and things to do, we get confused and end up with nothing. When you are in resort you have countable choices. Reduction in this burden is the biggest treasure of being in Maldives. You will be traveling to a place that has one of the best sunsets, one of the best white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and resort amenities to enjoy, I think you should plan for the Maldives then. As much as I enjoy big company, I enjoy a level above when it is just my partner and me. At the same time, families or groups of friends can also have some of the best days of their life. Hope this introduction to the Maldives has set a proper base and now if your next question is how to decide which resort shall you finalize? Please hop on to the next chapter: All things about Maldives resorts and How much will it cost?