Category - Travel Talk

Exploring the best spots for Honeymoon

Best spot for Honeymoon

Darjeeling, also fondly known as the “Queen of hill stations”, is nestled in the Himalayas and is famous for its tea production and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This hill town was developed in the mid 19thcentury, when the British set up a sanatorium and a military depot in Darjeeling. Before this, Darjeeling was the ancient Gorkha capital. Later, the Maharaja of Sikkim gifted Darjeeling to the British.

Darjeeling continues to be a popular holiday destination in India, owing to its scenic beauty and pleasant climate. Apart from tourism, Darjeeling is also popular for its many British style public schools, which attract students from across India and even neighbouring countries.

Places to See in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a travellers delight and is frequented by tourists year after year. Apart from the pleasant weather and scenic beauty, there is a lot to see and do in Darjeeling.

Happy Valley Tea Garden

Situated 1 km away from the town of Darjeeling, the Happy Valley Tea Garden is located on the Lebong Carter Road and provides a peaceful and relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of tourist-y Darjeeling.

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Also known as the “Toy Train”, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway plies between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and is a narrow gauge railway. This railway is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers beautiful views of the scenic mountains on its way to Darjeeling.

Tiger Hill

Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters, Tiger Hill is located 11 km from Darjeeling and presents a spectacular view of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. It is advised to go to Tiger Hill early in the morning and watch the sun rise over the mountain peaks.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Established in 1958, this zoo is dedicated to the memory of Padmaja Naidu, the former governor of West Bengal. Among one of the best zoos in the country, this is one of the only zoo which raises wild wolf in captivity. The zoo is also home to endangered species like the Red Panda, Siberian Tiger and the Snow Leopard.

Dhirdham Temple

Travel to any part of the Indian Sub-continent, one thing is for sure, you are going to find at least one ancient Shiv Temple every where. Located just above the Toy Train Railway Station, Dhirdham Temple is one of the most beautiful temples I have ever come across. This colorful temple complex is the home of the most popular Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest temples in the town of Darjeeling.

Chowrasta and the Mall

The Mall road originates and culminates at Chowrasta, which is essentially the heart of the city and people usually come here to take strolls, relax, shop and eat at the numerous shops and restaurants that line the road. The views from Chowrasta are splendid and this is one of Darjeeling’s most popular places.

Shopping in Darjeeling

There’s plenty to keep shoppers happy in Darjeeling. Head to Nehru Road and then to Chowrasta, which are dotted with shops from where you can purchase souvenirs and gift items. Some popular local, handmade items in Darjeeling are the Khukri, which is essentially a curved knife with a decorative handle. Other traditional items one can pick up in Darjeeling are Tibetan masks, local jewellery items, woolen items, shawls and pashminas. Tirupathi Handloom Emporium is a good place to pick up shawls and jackets at a fixed price. Before leaving don’t forget to pick up a few packets of the world famous Darjeeling tea, which can be purchased from a popular store by the name of House of Tea.

 

Still More of the Types of People You Meet in Hostels

72_518534685751_5480_nThe hostel is a wondrous place where like minded travellers come together to share in the experience together. Each hostel is its own little world, complete with various characters that make it just what it is. Often though there are certain character types that show up again and again… now some of these characters are enduring to certain levels while other flat out are as annoying as hell. The hostel is truly is a great laboratory of humanity. Still more of the types of people that you meet in hostels include.

 The pretentious girl who corrects people’s pronunciation of foreign place names

So she has been in Buenos Aires for three days and from her lips the word comes out Buenos Aye-des. At first you need to ask her again – sorry what was that? She replies the same with just a hint of pre-tense on her face. Uhhhh, you realize she is saying Buenos Aires. As you talk to her more, she takes the time to correct your pronunciation of some of the sites around the city that you want to see. Feeling significantly schooled by her, you excuse yourself to go talk to somebody else.

The guy who is traveling to light

A person on their first trip is probably going to over pack. A seasoned traveler knows to pack light as additional luggage can get lost and more importantly it weighs you down and slows your movement. With that said, in hostels there usually is that guy who has only packed two changes of clothes – including t- shirts and underwear. Personal hygiene is a bit to bourgeoisie for this guy to maintain and though he often is an interesting guy the sheer smell of him makes it hard to truly connect. The reality is that you will always know when they are in the room as that wafting smell will alert you.

The insular British Group that doesn’t care about the others in the hostel

 They all went, as they call it, to Uni together and they are carrying on loudly in the hostel common room. There is a group of about 6 of them. The discussion is a loud re-telling of how one of them picked up some girl last night in lewd detail. A girl from across the room looks up from her book to send a subtle social cue of social disapproval. They continue talking, louder now more boisterous… they are drinking a lot and the antics are getting worse. Somebody finally says they can keep it down a little. They look at each other, and quiet for a moment. The person that told them to shhhhush up… leaves the room and not a moment later, one of the Brits yells out loudly to the others in his group– “twat!” They all burst out laughing and continue on just as before.

More People You Meet in a Hostel

Hostels can be a special place, a literal melting pot of different nationalities and personalities, that allows travellers to come together to experience a new place. So many friendships, and even romantic hijinx, have spawned inside their walls and chances are staying in one will make your time even better. With that said though, not all is constantly great and there will be people that may bring your time down. Sometimes there may be some pretty odd types loitering in hostels. A few more people you meet in hostels include:

The guy who plays his guitar

This is a guy who took the trouble of bringing his guitar along with him for a backpacking trip, which is no small feat. Generally life on the road is no time to practice so there is only one reason that the guitar is there… to play in front of the other people at the hostel. Now this can be a good thing depending if the guitar guy is good, but an ear screeching atrocity if they are bad. Also, listening to a person play guitar amounts to just watching them rather than talking to the other travelers, which is kind of a buzz kill. The guitar guys is alright, and is thought of a such by the other travelers, but really… they should have left the guitar at home.

72_518534765591_3231_nThe I can top you traveller

So there is a group together in the common room of the hostel all having beers. You have the floor and you are telling everyone about the time you were almost pick pocketed in Paris…. all of a sudden, he blurts out: “ohhh that’s nothing, you should have seen the pick pockets in Rome.” The topic changes and someone talks about an amazing night out in Amsterdam. All of a sudden the same guy blurts out: “ohhh that’s nothing, you should have seen the things I saw in the Red Light District.” And without explaining more, there you have the” I can top you travelers”, a kind of narcissist who always thinks their experiences are better and more important than those of everyone else. Generally a hostel citizen that is quickly not liked by most people…

 The overly eager American girl

Now she may be pretty, which is a benefit, but she will come with a seemingly unreal amount of enthusiasm about this new experience she is having. Everything will be amazing, praise worthy and her smile will not leave her face… All the people from the different countries will be so interesting to her, with their little accents and customs, and she will enjoy telling you at length all the wonderful perceptions she is having about all this “newness.” This is the overly eager American girl who hasn’t, and perhaps never will, notice that people will only be interested to listen for a little – unless it’s the guy trying to score her…

The Different People you Meet in Every Hostel

Hostels are fascinating little micro universes that bring out the cream of humanity and often the dredge. In most cases, it’s just a collection of younger people who are open minded and adventurous enough to see the world. These people much to their delight are thrust together to party, hang out, and sleep eight to a room with people from all over the world. Usually this is wicked grouping, but there are a few character types that often show up in most hostels that bring the entire enterprise down a notch. This blog is going to discuss a few of these hostel characters.

The travel know it all

 In any group of travelers there will emerge a person who knows more about every place than everyone else.  Doesn’t matter if you lived in that place a year and he or she have been there 4 days they will know more about it than you including the best things to see and all the hot spots to drink. There can be no arguing with the travel know it all since the acuity of their perception outmatches Lonely Planet, the Rough Guide, Forbes and even locals to a place. Generally this person will be shunned by anyone that has been there for longer than a few days and will find newbies to the hostel to bother.

... No it's not me

… No it’s not me

The constantly stoned guy

Living in hostels and traveling around definitely has some bohemian qualities to it. With that said, there are plenty of backpackers enjoying a little puff every now and then. Having a beer and a spliff fits well into hostel etiquette, but there will always be that guy around a hostel who is 24/7 red eyed stoned. Really he isn’t a bad guy as he usually shares. Perhaps he won’t be the most communicative, but every once in a while he may share some shards of insight to be enjoyed.

The old guy trying to pretend he’s still young

Hostels are places where people less than 30, and often less than 26 to be honest, go to hang together, see the world, party and have fun. There is lots of the pre-mentioned partying and a fair share of hooking up, which is all fine and good till there is a 38 year old guy acting like he is 24 and trying weasel his way into younger girl’s underwear. Generally this guy is tolerated, as he tells the others that age is just a number and that he’ll never conform. The old guy playing young  generally creeps out the girls and is a source of amusement for the other guys.

Maybe Travel isn’t your Thing

In cool circles it always considered a fashionable thing to discuss ones love of travel. People’s ears perk up when the talk turns to a wonderful trip to Paris or about a safari in Nigeria. With that said though, maybe traveling just isn’t your thing. Maybe being in the city you are from and staying in a routine suits you better? In this article we are going to discuss a few tell tale signs for a person out on the road that show that perhaps travel just isn’t their thing.

Although this would be a cool place to live...

Although this would be a cool place to live…

Obsessively wondering about Home

Okay, anybody on the road may take a moment to wonder what is going on back home, but the reality is that the excitement of what is going on right where you are is A) probably more exciting, and B) where your focus should be. Sometimes you meet people traveling that spend all their time away trying to get to social media so they can talk to people back home. If you are one of these people who cares more about people you will see again in a week, rather than the moments that are once in a life time abroad perhaps travel just isn’t your thing.

Anger towards things that are different

Walking down the streets of European cities sometimes you will here foreigners talking loudly about how every thing there is SO weird and not at all like it is back home. Naturally, the locals, whom if they are less than 40 usually understand English, think to themselves why doesn’t this person head on home then? It is natural to notice differences in customs and rules, but the joy of travel is trying to understand these differences and find them interesting. Not using them to prove to yourself, and those around you, that your home is the best. If you find yourself seeing things as weird and really second rate to back home, and this is a dominant theme in your thoughts, perhaps travel isn’t for you…

Difficulty connecting to people of different cultures

The final sign is a person that just cannot bring themselves to connect to people from other countries. Rather than seeing that a person’s differences are intriguing and alluring they are scared by them and because of that wall off from connecting or even trying to connect. This type of person is too hardwired in their culture’s customs and the group dynamic of their friendship networks back home and just can’t break past them. If that is you, perhaps travel just isn’t your thing.