Why Munnar is Must Visit Heaven in God’s own city Kerala? 

Munnar


The journey started in March, 2019 when I took a solo trip to God’s own country Kerala from Delhi. Thrill That I get about my trips is I don’t rely on anyone for my itinerary, I plan and execute all on my own.  Was all the more thrilled for Kerala as it was lying in my bucket list for years. 

Kerala state hosts a couple of cities which you may not be able to cover in one trip. For my 4 days trip, Munnar was enough to cover. Though I explore Kochi enroute as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oeeonk2wqPE
Kochi Fort

How to Plan Your Itinerary for Munnar?  

Budget

  • For a single person with a decent stay, you can expect minimum cost of Rs 35,000 . This includes your airfare and stay. If you are looking out for 3-star property or above,  than rate can definitely increase.  Of course, other costs like meals, Kerala ayurvedic medicines & spices spa can cost you much more.
  • Commute If you are visiting Kerala from Delhi than return can cost you anywhere between Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 12,000 (to and fro) based on when you book your flight. If you plan your trip little early, you can expect the best rates. The nearest airport to Munnar is Kochi. From Kochi airport, it can easily take you 2-3 hours to reach Munnar.

I took the Vistara airline. All was good except their shortage of food in premium and non-transparency. Few of their crew females were rude too. However, it was compensated with a few other crews who were better. They could definitely do better by making pre-arrangement of food and grooming their crew.

  • Stay

If your focus is travel and doesn’t want to bother much about accommodation then you can expect decent property between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000 per night including or excluding breakfast.

I stayed in two different cities in two different places. First was hotel neighborhood, another was a homestay In the tea forest area of Munnar The Rainforest. Staying at both places was comfortable.

Hotel Neighborhood

It’s recently constructed and around 1-hour drive from the airport. It has got a unique lift that opens with the door. Rooms were spacious and clean. They had a TV but there was no connection. Washroom was spacious but not perfectly clean. The best part about this place was the Ayurvedic products for the body, skin & hairs. The only drawback here was the noise I was getting in the night of housekeeping as they may be doing some work.

When I called the reception he panicked and knocked at my door. Since it was quite late at the night around 11:30 pm. I was hesitant about opening it. But he was so dumb that he used the master key to open it. Though I don’t doubt his intention but from a hotel you expect this much decency not to enter females room without their consent. Language may be a barrier but this should also be part of the management of the hotel, I personally feel so.

I booked this accommodation with breakfast so got the chance to taste local cuisines of Kochi. Food was decent, there were not many variations. I tasted their local food called Puth made up of rice with chickpeas that had amazing Kerala spices. Overall was ok but if curry was hot it would have been better. I like the way they utilized the space in a small area. With the price, I paid stay was ok.

View from Hotel Neighborhood
Breakfast at Hotel Neighborhood
Neighborhood Reception

Hotel Rainforest

My next visit was in Munnar where I stayed for maximum time i.e. 3 days. I booked the cottage in the middle of the forest.  Area and ambiance were really good and value for money. One of the best parts of the place is the Hemmingway bird that wakes you up as shown in the video.

There was lots of greenery around also it was full of beautiful flowers. I got fresh food from their special cook.  Another local cuisine I tried her was Ittiyam which again is made of rice. It’s kind of rice noodles. In the south, most of the food is made of rice though tastes completely different.  You can get some of the best budget deal in this beautiful property. Sharing some of the pics that I took here.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDsVhM_-qqY
  • Additional Cost

Any other meals based on the restaurant chosen. Shopping of spices which don’t have any limit. Buying tea and homemade chocolates. Last but not the least famous medicated spa. If you want your stay to be comfortable than it’s good to book a cab including airfares to the entire stay. The standard cost of the cab ranges from Rs. 7500 to Rs. 9000 for minimum 500 km after that it varies. However complete Munnar can be covered within the cost without bearing any additional cost.

Places to Visit

The most important thing that people are concerned with what all to explore in Munnar. Let me tell you even if you drive down in the lanes of the city you will feel refreshed. Other places are just icing on the top.

  • Tea Garden

Munnar is surrounded with beautiful tea garden across the city. Luckily the place where I stayed was inside the plantation. There were 2-3 km drives to reach the city. Entire view was just mesmerizing. I thoroughly enjoyed it.  You will see it across Munnar. There are labors who are engaged in mining the garden and supplying it to nearby areas.

Tea Gardens
  • Tea Factory

There is a tea factory by Tata not owned by Rippled Industry. You will be able to see the entire process of how leaves are procured and then grinded to fine tea. Something new I learned was there are three kinds of tea Green tea, white tea, and black tea. After the visit to the tea factory, I brought some tea and coffee back home. There were some hands made chocolates and some essential oils as well that you can pick.

  • Flower Garden

Flower Garden is one of the beautiful places in Munnar that got great plantation of a variety of flowers. Best time to visit here is in spring to watch some of the best flowers.

Flower Garden, Munnar
  • Spice Garden

If you would like to cure your disease to Ayurvedic place than this is the place to be. You will be able to see different plants and their medical benefits. I picked some of the essential oils for the body aches that really helped me.

The price will differ from product to product. But as they recommend you need to follow the course and can’t stop midway. You need to buy a minimum quantity of the item to treat yourself.  The bottle I took was for 45 days course and it cosseted me Rs. 3500. Price may vary based on which treatment you plan to take.

Spice Garden , Kerala
  • Kundala Dam Lake

Kundala   Dam & Lake are also one of the popular spots in Kerala. When you enter the premises you will see the beautiful dam. As you walk inside you will discover a lake.  While on trip to Munnar ensure to visit here for some picturesque shots.

  • Echo Point

As the name suggests its huge ground where if you shout you can hear the echo of your voice. If you are the one who is inspired by Hindi movies and would like to try that then this is the place to be.

  • Top Station

From here you can see a beautiful view. You will also be able to see the border of another state like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

  • Kerala Ayurvedic Spa

This is one of the most popular places where people love to come to rejuvenate. People come here for relaxing and get treated for several ailments. There are many spa centers in Kerala where you can visit to get yourself treated. Cost of the spa may vary from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3500.

Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit Kerala is from October to March. You can choose to visit from April to September as well. But from April to May it will be too hot. From June to September it will be raining. October to Jan it will be very cold but you can visit some cities where the climate is moderate as compared to the hill stations. 

Bangkok, a Popular city in Thailand Unless you Travel Through Lense of Solo Traveler

Temple In Bangkok


Most of us wait for that perfect group to start the trip. However we don’t live in an ideal world, neither all our wishes can come true unless we make efforts .A solo traveler has become a trend these days. You just need to take that first step to make it happen. 

When it comes to traveling to Bangkok people are all the more thrilled yet apprehensive. Fear is mostly if it’s your first international or a solo trip.  If you are well planned then things become quite manageable. You just need to stay cautious and aware about few things.

Bangkok Visa Process

Visa process in Bangkok is quite simple. When I visited it was free in February 2019. Usually, it’s visa on arrival.  If you are traveling for the first time to Bangkok then be ready for the huge queue. If you want to save from that then you just have to pay 200 Baht. However, the process may not be very simple. As getting saved from the queue by paying extra money is illegal.

Also, you need to be smart enough to make your way out there.  Even after taking a smaller lane you have to wait for at least 1-2 hours in the line. Make sure to take an immigration form while standing in a queue. Like across Bangkok here also most of the officials are illiterate and can’t communicate well in English you just need to use the sign language.

Places to Visit in Bangkok?

This is a million dollar question. Before traveling to Bangkok first thing you should know is what all is worth visiting in Bangkok. People go with high expectation but to their surprise come back with disappointment.  It’s usually popular for many things which are banned in other countries. Nightlife is and massages are quite popular in Bangkok.

But that also is the reason for the character assassination of an individual. Fact is not all go for that reason. This may be more common in the case of males. Females may have a different association with Bangkok. In my case, It was my first international solo trip all planned by me.

Honest confession is it was not less than a nightmare. Landed in a country where people were English illiterate was quite a challenge.  My innocence had to go roller coaster to evolve to smarter me. Well, that is the reason I chose solo traveling as my lifestyle. However such blunder can lead to disaster at times too. Will elaborate on the same but before that let me tell you where and what you can visit in Bangkok.

  • Famous Temples

Bangkok is known for world-famous Buddha temples. There are many temples known for its picturesque interiors and beliefs. Some of the famous temple there are like Wat Pho, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Arun and many more.

In order to visit all these temples, you can get in touch with any travel agent or plan your itinerary in advance as all of them are located in the outskirts of Bangkok. The best part of these temples is the Buddha sculptures and serene beauty inside. Bangkok is a city of Buddha temple; you can visit some of the best temples here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5VODKZMzpI
  • Metro in Bangkok

One of the best ways to commute in Bangkok is the MRT and Sky trains. It connects the entire city and can take you anywhere. If you want to commute just for few days then you can just buy a token to the place. You may not need to stand in a queue to get the token. Just enter your destination and you will get the token after making the payment.  Weekends this train may be too crowded, weekdays you can commute with ease.

  • Shopping malls and Local Markets

Bangkok is a large city which got lots of shopping malls. One of the biggest is Siem Mall near Indira Market. You get good brands and great delicacies to choose from. 

  • Floating Markets

Another attraction of Bangkok is floating market during the weekend. It is there near the Chatuchak market. You can sit on a boat and do all your shopping.

  • Night Life in Bangkok

Bangkok is majorly known for its night people.  One of the famous places having nightlife here is China town

  • Street food in Bangkok

Bangkok is full of seafood and bacon; you can get pork, shrimp and many other variations. Price of them is really unbelievably cheap. In fact, they have a street where they serve the barbeque is as cheap at just Rs. 30 to Rs. 45. Taste of the food is also great and it’s hygienic as well. I had it on the street outside Siem Market and still relish it. 

Challenges in Travelling to Bangkok

  • Taxi

Taxi is a little expensive in Bangkok. Moreover, the taxi driver hardly understands English. If at all you plan to take a taxi than better to be ready with Google translator 

  • Tour Operators

As soon as you land up in Bangkok you will see a lot of tour agent which may sound too tempting to book. However, that’s the way to allure innocent travelers. The best thing to do is plan your itinerary in advance.  I end up paying triple as didn’t have any choice, people around hardly understand English. For solo travelers, they act as support but come with the cost. 

  • Hotel Staff

The hotel I stayed in was Great Residence; it was not less than a nightmare.  The receptionist was rude and non-sense. They gave used stirrer which I figured out later.  

  • English Language

In today’s time, how can a nation survive without knowing the international language? I wonder why schools in Bangkok don’t teach English. Alternatively, there’s a possibility that native doesn’t go to school. Whatever the case, if you are traveling in Bangkok for the first time you must know how to communicate with locals. Most of the people don’t know English. You can communicate either through body language or through a translator.

How to Plan a Trip to Bangkok?

There are many ways you can travel to Bangkok. You can choose to plan your own itinerary or take any package tour. Both can have different benefits. Nowadays there are many niche travel communities as well that can be good to join too.

Last but not least you may plan to choose to travel solo like me. Solo traveling can give you an altogether different scene of freedom.  However, there can be many disadvantages too. Whatever way you may plan to travel to Bangkok minimum cost you can expect is Rs. 40,000 if you travel from India that will be around 576 dollars. This is minimum it can go up to Rs. 1,00,000 or 1441 dollars. 

Smart ways to Travel in Bangkok

Travel international can be a challenge especially to a place where people don’t know English. Some of the best ways you can have the best trip are as follows.  Something I learned from my traveling experience.

  • Use Google Translator

Google translator is one of the rescue tools in countries in Thailand. If you are traveling there for the first time you must download it first

  • Pre-Plan Your Itinerary

It’s good to decide the itinerary for the entire stay. If you plan to cover only Bangkok than don’t expect much other than temples and nightlife. However to come to nearby areas like Pattaya, Krabi or Phuket you need to plan your budget and days.

  • Buy Local Sim

You can easily buy local Sims as soon as you land in Bangkok from 7 11 departmental shops. You can also activate international roaming from your service provider prior to landing in Bangkong

  • Currency Exchange in Bangkok

The local currency of Bangkong is Baht. You can exchange it form the counter in the airport. It’s also available from ATM but there are some additional charges for the same. 

  • Don’t argue much with locals in the market

Most of them are good but just 1% may be little fussy. I had one such experience at an accessory shop in Indra Market. Where this young girl who looked like local school dropout was really rigid. She didn’t let anyone touch the items also she wanted people to pick a minimum of 5 pieces.

 If you argue with her she used to fight and was too kiddish. You can easily give such shop a pass as there is a million better and cheaper option in Bangkok. Such shopkeepers can make you bent to their level which can be an unpleasant experience. 

  • Tourist Police and Embassy

It’s good to save the number of tourist police in case of any urgency. Not too sure if they could provide immediate help but they surely can be approached.

  • Local Hospitals

You can also keep the number of local hospitals with you in case of any need. To get these numbers you can get in touch with the ministry of tourism. Their helpdesk is also available at Suvarnabhumi International airport.

  •  Carry First Aid Box

To stay safe you can also carry first aid box in case of any urgencies.  Medicines that are must to carry are like for nausea, allergies or any other ailment that you may expect. 

Knowing these facts before planning a trip to Bangkok can make your travel much easier. It may be easy to afford or plan a trip but ignoring fee facts can land you in much bigger trouble.