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Mithun Divakaran

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How being #MoreIndianThanYouThink helped me avoid getting scammed

India is a great country, no doubt. But it’s no lie that it’s a very challenging country — be it for locals or foreigners making their first visit here. One thing that can be very annoying is people trying to rip you off (*cough* auto drivers *cough*). Scam artists are aplenty in India. So if there’s one thing I have grown accustomed to is not becoming easy prey for such scammers. Religious worker knocking on my door seeking donation for his “charity” in a state so far away? Yeah, not going to fall for that. Caller telling me I have won a big prize but I have to pay a “delivery fee” to get my prize. No thanks, you can keep it. Continue reading “How being #MoreIndianThanYouThink helped me avoid getting scammed” »

Visiting Kerala for the summer holiday — why you should

It’s summer season here in India. The school holidays have kicked off for kids. Goa feeling too commercialized and crowded for your liking? Then consider the greener pastures and the far less crowded beaches of Kerala for your family holiday. Being a Keralite, I may come off as a bit biased but the facts are out there — Kerala is one of India’s most popular states for tourism for a reason. From its famous backwaters, unspoiled beaches, great seafood to the hill stations of Munnar, national parks such as Periyar… you have a lot to do in Kerala if you are willing to get around a bit.

Kumarakom houseboat small boat
The famous houseboats of Kumarakom

Flights to Kerala are aplenty and both Cochin and the state capital Trivandrum are well connected to India’s major cities. Flight booking should be a breeze but you may wish to consider which city to begin your journey from. If you fly into Cochin, then you have several attractions like Fort Kochi, Alappuzha (a.k.a Alleppy) and Kumarakom all within easy reach from Ernakulum city. Cochin is also a great hub to visit the hill station hubs of Munnar and Thekkady. Continue reading “Visiting Kerala for the summer holiday — why you should” »

Thailand: Taking a stroll in Lumphini Gardens, Bangkok

Date: 06 April 2015

Today was my last day in Bangkok. Being a short layover from my Japan trip, I still managed to go to the Maeklong Train Market and Amphawa Floating Market — two attractions I hadn’t been to before. I wondered what else to see before leaving Bangkok. And so I looked at the map and decided to head to Lumphini Gardens, Bangkok’s largest public park.

The easiest way to get to Lumpini park is to take a BTS to Sala Daeng Station and leave via Exit No.6.

But before entering the park, I stopped by Burger King to have lunch.

Burger King whopper meal Bangkok
Burger King doesn’t sell beef burgers back in India, so this would be my last before departing Bangkok
Lumpini park entrance Bangkok Thailand
After lunch, I walked across Rama IV Road to the memorial statue of King Rama VI.
Lumpini park map Bangkok Thailand
A map of Lumpini Park
Cycling in Lumpini park Bangkok
Lumphini is a multi-purpose park, popular for cycling, jogging or simply relaxing
Lumpini lake panorama Bangkok city
There is an artificial lake
Monitor lizard in Bangkok public park
Which has a surprising number of monitor lizards
Lumpini park monitor lizard Bangkok
Who all appear to be an attraction at the park
Monitor lizard approaching man Bangkok
Except when they get a little too close to humans… that freaks some of us out
Monitor lizard Lumphini gardens Bangkok
They are the second largest lizards only after the Komodo Dragon
Swan boats Lumpini park Bangkok
You can rent these pedal boats to go for rides across the lake
Lumpini park bridge Bangkok
I walked around some more
Lumpini park children play area
Lumpini park is a multi-purpose park, with sections for children…
Performance dome Lumpini park Bangkok
… amphitheatres for live performances
Lumpini park garden Bangkok
…and plenty of lawns to relax in the shade
Water sprinklers Lumpini park Bangkok
It was really hot today so I walked closer to the sprinklers
Lumpini gardens hearts Bangkok Thailand
I’m guessing this area is popular for wedding photography
Chinese Tower Lumpini gardens Bangkok
There is a Chinese pavilion
Lumpini park two way Bangkok
It was scorching hot and I found myself walking towards wherever it was wet
Cycle track Lumpini Park Bangkok Thailand
Or walking in the shade
Lumpini gardens BTS station Bangkok
But I was bored and decided to leave

Lumphini Gardens isn’t much of a tourist attraction but if you want to see some greenery away from Bangkok’s concrete city center, or if you want a quiet place to cycle or skateboard around, then this public garden is worth visiting. I took the subway and went to a mall just to kill time before I headed to the airport to catch my flight back to Bangalore.

Previous post from this series:

Thailand: Amphawa Floating Market in Samut Songkhram

 Thailand: Maeklong Railway Market in Samut Songkhram

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