Cambodian Riels

Cambodian Riels

100 Australian dollars were exchanged for 3,69,626 Riels !

Cambodian currency or Cambodian Riels is very poor and one spends lakhs of them everyday on food, transport etc. One litre of mineral water of may cost you around 10,000 Riels. When compared to India,

Off to some VolunTourism

Starting tomorrow morning I am off to South east Asia for over 3 months. Cambodia, Malaysia and probably Thailand or Singapore. Not yet decided, not yet planned.

Mumbai from above

That’s aerial view of Mumbai

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.. — Winston Churchill

As a responsible traveller, I strongly believe in giving back something to the society.
I have done this before and will do so in future also. This time I will be engaged in volunteer work with an NGO in Cambodia for about 3 months.

If you are raising your eyebrows with a “What’s in it for you?” … then no, I won’t get any monetary benefits. I will have to pay for my accommodation, food, insurances and transport, visa etc. And I am not sure what kind of accommodation is in store for me… whether it is a dorm or a hotel room, I do not know. I have requested them to look for a place with wi-fi and cooking facility; yet to hear from them.

This work will give me a chance to experience and learn about the people and culture of Cambodia. More than anything, this will give

I Taut I taw a puddy tat

I Taut I taw a puddy tat ! 😛
Remember the cute little naughty golden canary named Tweety and the cat Sylvester? During my younger days I have read and watched this Cartoon and enjoyed them no end.
Then one day in school we “discovered” a group of islands named the Canary Islands. Since then I had always imagined this place to be exotic with canaries of every hue and was always reminded of Canary Islands every time I read or saw Tweetie.

As a child we always paint colorful and larger than life pictures in our mind’s canvas and more times than I would care to admit, the reality is not as rosy when you do visit the place in your adulthood.
It was only much later I realized that the place did not get the name from the bird but it was the bird who got its name from the place. 🙁
And I am told there are not so many varieties of Canary bird in this group of islands after all.

Pic courtesy:

Canary Islands

Fun of backpacking !

So, it’s on.
The air tickets were booked more than 5 months back. And that was it. Travel insurance and other paperwork was done last week and I am off……

I have started my 48 day solo backpacking trip to two countries and am in first leg of the journey. To tell you the truth, it wasn’t a great start. I would call it risky. On this later,  if I feel like writing here.

But I am told I am the first Indian female to go solo backpacking abroad ! Is that so? Then Yayy!! 😛

Since I wanted it to be a ‘backpacking’ trip, everything is on budget. I want to keep a tab on my expenses and later assess how much I saved.

First, I am flying on a frill free flight. That means I am not taking it from Mumbai but from a smaller place in some other state of India where I have never been before. Well, that also means taking a two night train to that place and checking into a hotel for the day and taking a cab at wee hours

My upcoming solo backpacking trip

Some of you are aware that I am going on a 48 days solo backpacking trip to 2 countries…. Two countries where language will be a big barrier. And I am going totally unprepared. A few months back I had booked just the to & fro air tickets and did nothing else after that.
And the time has come now.

After a few days in first country, I will be heading towards neighbouring country overland. This is interesting. Flying into any of the city there can get you a 30 day tourist visa at the airport itself but if you cross the border otherwise, you’ll get only 15 days visa on arrival.

My train will cross border at midnight. I am wondering if the immigration people will wake me up to see my visa papers (like they did when I was crossing into Italy) or wait till next stop which will be in that country. Will the train stop there long enough for visa papers to be made or do I have to get it done at my destination further down ? How do I show that I have enough finances to stay in that country? Will credit cards do?

Thousands of such queries and I am totally