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  1. nitinbothra25

    How to survive as a vegetarian excursionist


    I often think I miss out a lot of things to know culturally when visiting different places, being a vegetarian. But on the other hand, it is an adventure in itself, to find delicious vegetarian cuisines at destinations, which are considered to be the worst for vegan or vegetarian travelers.

    I faced this vegetarian problem recently, on my trip to Vietnam. I was baffled in restaurants when I found out almost every food article had a slight touch of non-vegetarian ingredient in them. So my first day in Vietnam was spent by eating just fruits and coke. Then next day I met a Vietnamese guy, who was kind enough to teach me a few phrases, to ask for vegetarian food, and this helped me a lot during the whole trip. Not only I ate decent vegetarian food but I also enjoyed some of the exquisite vegetarian Vietnamese cuisines.Same thing happened with me during my trip to Thailand.

    So I decided to learn some phrases, that will help me during my future travels. I spent some quality time on Google Translate and Voila ! I now know, how to ask for 'green' food in 5 different languages. I chose these 5 countries to start off because to find vegetarian food in these countries is like finding a needle in a haystack.

    1. China

    Dragon fruit and star fruit
    (Dragon fruit and Star fruit)
    Picture Courtesy : Twisted Sifter and this work was for Sydney International Food Festival
    Eating meat is seen as a sign of prosperity in China. Only 4-5 % of the total population of China eats vegetarian food.

    A few phrases which I thought asking would make everyone understand what I am looking for. Because people asking for vegetarian food in these countries are not much.

    - zhe li you mai su shi ma - Do you sell vegetarian food?
    - wo chi su : I'm a vegetarian.
    - wo bu chi rou, wo chi shu cai : I do not eat meat, I eat vegetables.

    2. Japan

    ( Tuna and Rice )
    Picture Courtesy : Twisted Sifter and this work was for Sydney International Food Festival

    According to a 2014/12 survey 4.7% of the Japanese population are vegetarian or vegan

    Now to find the food of your choice, that too vegetarian is quite difficult. I have never visited Japan, but I intend too soon. So, I researched about some of the phrases that may save my religious beliefs from getting spoiled and ultimately getting spanked by the almighty.

    You could try telling people that you are vegetarian (“Watashi wa bejitarian des”) but they probably won’t understand exactly what this means. It is better to be clearer and instead say “watashi wa niku toh sakana wo taberarimasen” which means I don’t eat meat or fish.

    Let's again use the ultimate source of truth, Google. Let us see what does google translate says about some of the phrases that may lend us a decent vegetarian dish.

    A few useful words and phrases:
    yasai – vegetablestamago – eggkatsuobushi nashi de onegai shimas – without bonito (fish) flakes please…arimas ka? – do you have…?nan des ka? – what is it?oishikatta des – that was delicious. This always made people smile.arigato gozaimas – thank yousumimasen – excuse me

    3. South Korea

    ( Kimbap and Sauces )
    Picture Courtesy : Twisted Sifter and this work was for Sydney International Food Festival

    South Korea is a carnivore’s paradise. Cuisine in Korea is largely based around meats, seafood, and rice, although as ever, there are some options for vegetarians. 

    I like to dream about traveling to different destinations.Although, at the moment it is not possible for me to travel everywhere I dream. But planning to travel to places has always made me happy. So I started searching about the electronics capital of Asia, South Korea. There are few basic phrases which I learned they might help in getting some green food in this meat paradise.

    I’m a vegetarian - Jeoneun chaeshikjooeeja imnida

    I don't eat meat - naneun gogileul meogji anhneunda

    Thank you - gomabseubnida

    I eat only vegetables - naneun danji yachaeleul meoggo


    ( Sweet chilly sauce, shredded coconut, and blue swimmer crabs )
    Picture Courtesy : Twisted Sifter and this work was for Sydney International Food Festival
    I was not in a culture shock, when I visited Thailand. Because, everything felt like home. Although, vegetarian food availability was not high, but it was still manageable. Thai people are fluent in English, so we can relax. But still there is no harm to learn a few phrases, so that you are never left out, when going for a street food trail.

    There are a few simple Thai phrases you’ll need to help convey your preference. The words “kin chey” and “mangsavarat” both imply vegetarianism. In a sentence, you may say “Di chan kin chey” (for females, or “Pom kin chey” if you are male).

    Hello - Sawadee Khrap (For male) / Sawadee Kha (For females)

    I am a vegetarian - Chan mangswirati

    I do not eat meat, fish and eggs - Chan mi kin neux pla lea khi

    Thai are well aware of most of Indian traditions, so if you can say I am Indian in Thai, they might understand that you may be asking for vegetarian food. But don't just rely on this. This worked for me, but not sure it will work for you. So remember the phrases or use a translator.

    5. Vietnam

    ( Rambutan, lichee and star fruit )
    Picture Courtesy : Twisted Sifter and this work was for Sydney International Food Festival

    I completed my maiden backpacking trip last year. I chose Vietnam to be the lucky destination. This dragon shaped country, is a hub for foodies.From various street food trails, to a street-food market in almost every town. But again majority of them serve non-vegetarian food. Some of the spices were also made of fish crumbs.

    I survived on fruits and coke for the first day and some Gujarati Thepla for the next day. But than I grabbed some courage and asked a Vietnamese fellow traveler to help me taste the best vegetarian Vietnamese meal. Well, he than taught me a few phrases and the next few days were a delight to my taste buds.

    Hello - Xin chao! 

    I do not eat meat, fish or eggs - Toi khong an thit, ca va trung

    No meat - Khong thit 

    Vietnamese people mostly drink black coffee without sugar and milk. If you are not used to it, ask for 'Duong' which means sugar and 'Sua' for milk.

    You can always have the famous 'Pho' , 'Bun Cha' and 'Banh Mi' at every corner of Vietnam. Just ask for no meat and you can enjoy the vegetarian version of the famous cuisines of Vietnam

    Picture Courtesy : Living Language

    After your meal, don't forget to say Thank You !, it is accepted in every country. If you could show gratitude in their language, it will be even better.

    Your first line of defense in an “ordinary” restaurant is to not ask for vegetarian food per se, but to mention what you do not eat and hope the server can point out menu items that fit. You can immediately see how language skills are going to play into that process, but, at least as a starting point, you should know the basics or at least use some technology to make the person understand your food habits.

    We all know without healthy and tasty food, we might get lethargic and won't be able to enjoy our journey. In the end, we should know the basic language of the place we are visiting, not just food but the greetings as well. Language skills might save us big time.
  2. nitinbothra25

    A tribute to The (Dying) Great Barrier Reef

    Picture Source : Google
    Although everyone knew that one day it's gonna happen , due to the exponentially deterring global climate. But, the news of the The Great Barrier Reef came out as a shock to the world. The acidification of the ocean and the climate change have killed this glorious creation of mother nature.

    I have never been to the reef, but it was on my bucket list. The reason I chose was the spectacular colors of the coral reefs and one of the most famous dive site for scuba divers. But, unfortunately, now I can never strike this of off my bucket list.

    The Great Barrier Reef was the world's largest coral reef systemcomposed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.It can be seen even from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

    Let us submerge ourselves in these breath-taking photographs, taken by the lucky ones, who were fortunate to experience this surreal beauty. And take a pledge, to protect the environment and promise ourselves that we will not let, this kind of tragedy happen to any other natural monuments.

  3. nitinbothra25

    5 things that made me Love Vietnam



    Xin chào, I am back from my maiden backpacking trip and that too, to an amazing country, Vietnam. So here is a brief about things that made me love Vietnam.

    1. Street Food Haven

    From a hygienic fruit filled breakfast to a full platter of sticky rice in lunch, Vietnam can allure anyone with the savory aroma of its delicious cuisines. Being a vegetarian , I was not sure; if I would be able to find something worth eating which included no meat, no egg. But, this dragon-shaped country, has a variety of cuisines for vegetarian travelers in store as well.

    It is the mecca for the street food lovers. Among the dizzying traffic and noisy markets of the capital, Hanoi, you’ll find street hawkers, food carts and makeshift cafes at every turn – all dishing out some genuinely fresh specialty, ready to be devoured on the spot. Pho, Bun Cha (which even Obama couldn't resist), Egg coffee, Banh Mi...are some of the amazing cuisines which we tried and were really ambrosial

    A photo posted by Nitin Bothra (@indian.excursionist) on Sep 25, 2016 at 4:17am PDT

    A photo posted by B A O C H A U (@lilyhoang2406) on Sep 29, 2016 at 11:07am PDT

    2. Halong Bay

    Halong Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site and, without a doubt, is one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Thousands of giant limestone islands fill the bay.
    Ha Long, meaning Descending Dragon is derived from the Sion-Vietnamese, features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. The moment you enter the bay you will feel like traveling to the edge of the world. Watching the thousands of limestone karsts standing mightily, gives you an amazing sight. Take a cruise or a junk boat, enjoy swimming, kayaking or just chill out at the Cat Ba Island or many such cast-away islands.Halong bay has something in store for everyone.
    Detail about Halong Bay I will share in my next post, till then just enjoy the scenic beauty.


    A photo posted by Nitin Bothra (@indian.excursionist) on Sep 25, 2016 at 3:30am PDT

    3. Paradise Caves of Phong Nha ke Bang

    Another UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national park which is world famous for having more than 300 caves and grottoes. Son Doong cave was recently discovered which has the largest cave passage in the world spanning around 5 km long, 200 meters high and 490 meters wide. Most of the caves are still unexplored. The trek to Son Doong is very costly, it costs around 3000 USD for a 7-day trek inside the cave.

    Although there are other caves which are really cheap and have fun-filled adventurous activities like zip lining, swimming, cave exploration, kayaking and the ultimate mud bath. These are done at the Dark Caves. You can also explore the Light Caves also known as the Paradise caves, which has out of the world structures naturally built inside the caves. We did the Light and the Dark caves and I was awestruck by experiencing such phenomenal creation of nature

    Picture Courtesy for the above image : @oxaliesvietnam

    4. Ancient World Heritage Site Hoi An

    Hoi An Vietnam was an important trading port from the 15th to the 19th century and has had a major harbor since the 1st century. “Ancient” is really a more apt description than “old” for the town, but it still has a feeling of being incredibly cosmopolitan and bustling. The town reflects influences from Vietnam and from all of the different cultures that have been coming together there for trade for the last couple thousand of years.

    There is a decidedly unreal feeling you get wandering around the streets of the Ancient city. A feeling I found to be more dream-like than Disneyland, and the people who live there seem to take pride in how beautiful and well-preserved the town is. The yellow houses and shops were really giving an artistic perspective to the town. The streets near the river were full of creative minded backpackers and travelers from around the world. Everyone there looked peaceful and happy, gazing the exquisite scenic beauty of Hoi An.

    5. People of Vietnam

    According to me, if you want to judge a place, you have to consider two things, food and people. Some countries have really reserved people and they don't love to interact or even smile in return.

    But Vietnam was completely different. People were happy and had a curious mind towards tourist. Vietnamese are hard working and always gives a cute smile if you make an eye contact with them.They are always ready to help. The young vietnam is completely influenced by the western culture and loves to party a lot, but on the other hand they never sacrifice their work for entertainment. They are what you call the type of people who, Work will you work and Play while you play.

    A photo posted by Nitin Bothra (@indian.excursionist) on Oct 1, 2016 at 2:22pm PDT

    A photo posted by Nitin Bothra (@indian.excursionist) on Oct 1, 2016 at 6:35am PDT

    I would recommend everyone to park their doubts about this small, yet beautiful country and just travel through every part of it. We didn't have enough time to explore Sapa, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Saigon, but I still regret  about not extending the trip. But anyways, I will come again Vietnam, till then

  4. nitinbothra25

    Road trip to Heaven

    Heaven is not a place, but an experience of happiness, peace and joy. So is the hottest travel destination of India in the month of May-September , Ladakh. Although the term hottest travel destination sometimes for some people means amazing night life...
  5. nitinbothra25

    The Revival : Aravalli Ranges

    After a long time, I am reviving the blog. Lately, I had been busy with work schedules and all the traveling. Now, I am back with all the stories of my voyages.The Aravalli Range, seen from the range's highest point at Guru Shikhar, in Rajasthan. P.S. ...
  6. nitinbothra25

    Quick Tips For Traveling This Monsoon

    Sky is turning gray, lightening is glowing here and there and the breeze around is turning into gushing winds. It is time to welcome monsoon season in India. Although each part of India has a unique monsoon-pattern but the fun and problems are quite similar in each area. Water everywhere, cool weather sometimes, hot and humid unbearable weather the other. Traveling in such season is mostly avoided but it can also be the joyous season for avid travelers and a time to take out their raincoats and rain jackets!

    If you are one of them, make your monsoon travel bliss with these quick tips!

           Go waterproof!

    Waterproofing is essential if you are planning to step out in the monsoon season. Your umbrella will not provide enough protection from rains and puddles. Wear raincoats or rain jackets while stepping outside instead of taking an umbrella. On adventure travels, rain jackets prove to be a blessing, especially during torrential rains.  

    Apart from rain jackets, you also need to carry your stuff in a waterproof bag or a bag with rain cover, unless until you have plans of getting it drenched while walking in the rain. Waterproof bags or backpacks are available in multiple sizes hence you can pick the one of your preferred size. 

    -          Wear cotton!

    Whether it is your underwear, socks or your t-shirt or tank top it should be cotton. Cotton has a tendency to dry quickly and absorb moisture from your body during hot and humid weather or in case, it comes in contact with rains.

    Sweating is common after rains due to humid weather and it can lead to serious rash problem if your clothing is not cotton. Also, try to keep several pairs of underwear and socks with you. Change them whenever they are too wet. 

    -          Carry caps & hats!

    Waterproof caps and hats are great for summer travel. They look stylish, protect you from rains and help you in keeping your ears and head warm. You can select between beanie caps, flat bill caps or any style that suits your personality as well as travel needs. 

    -          Wear water repellent footwear!

    You will be doing a lot of walking in the rains hence make sure to get yourself a pair of water repellent footwear for the trip. It can be knee high boots, outdoor shoes or slippers. Adventure trips need high boots with sturdy structure and good grip that not only repels water but keep itself safe from it. You can go with gumboots or the ones that have waterproofed outing and comfortable cotton inner lining. 

    Even if you are traveling to warmer areas where wearing boots can be problematic, jelly shoes are best option for you!

    It is all about keeping yourself comfortable while traveling. Pack yourself light and efficiently. Keep necessary things like medical box, matches, lighters, and eatables in plastic bags. You also need to carry a plastic sheet and a piece of rope with you along with knife on adventure travels. You never know where these things can come handy during monsoon travel!

    Author Bio: 
    Minakshi Pharswal is a blogger working with one of India’s leading online fashion destination. Being a part of the Fashion industry, she loves to write about fashion and beauty trends along with travel tips for traveling in style.

  7. nitinbothra25

    Photo of the Week : Ladakh, India

    Over The Hills and Far AwayWhere forlorn sunsets flare and fadeOn desolate sea and lonely sand, Out of the silence and the shadeWhat is the voice of strange command Calling you still, as friend calls friendWith love that cannot brook delay, To rise and...
  8. nitinbothra25

    8 Things I realized as a Woman Traveler

    Author Shelly Sharma is 24, single and an independent girl who moved out of her home for studies at 17 and is now settled in Mumbai, working as an Assistant Director in films and a freelance photographer.

    She feels, this country and its beliefs for a girl, binds her. She said, '' I'm in a process where I'm getting to know myself better and I'm still evolving for who I should be. I don't want to stop, I don't want to limit myself and nor will I let anyone else do that for me. The world would be a much better place you know, if we let others be what they are and more importantly if we stop trying to change ourselves from being what we are meant to be. "


    With our over protective parents around we become too scared to go out on our own. And well, the kind of men we come across in those public transports, government offices  and sometimes in our daily lives, some of our own guy friends who turn out to be such perverts, we are ought to be scared. Though, it is safe when you go out there on your own and when you travel around with the help of localities, live in their small cottages, eat with them and accept them for who they  are like they accept you. When you are able to see their hearts, it is then that your faith in mankind is restored. 


    The over exaggerated advertisements and all that hype seems true when you have to choose between your work place or bed but when you are out there with no other choice left, you realize it isn’t even that big a deal. You can trek up high mountains, jump around & get lost in the forests or ride a bike for days. On my trip to Ladakh, I vividly remember as soon as I crossed the Rohtang pass I got my periods. I had to trek down a hill and find a place to do the necessary and I realized what lay ahead was three days of nonstop biking without a comfortable place to spend my nights in. It took me a while to soak all that in and then I told myself “If you can deal with that kind of blood each day, you are brave enough to deal with everything else”. Guess what, I was brave enough and so are you.


    The philosophical books and places of worship might not have done much to help you connect with your inner-self, but your feminine side always needs its soul. We, as girls need good, motivating, appreciative and friendly energies around us. When you begin to travel, you slowly start recognizing the energies around and then you can differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones. I remember how the little things people said around me and the flaws they pointed out bothered me so much until I went out and realized that those are just people and things, they aren’t there forever and shouldn’t be. It’s the energy that I give out to the world and take in back which surrounds me and truly that matters. 

    A little kohl, a little gloss never harms anyone, that’s what I told myself all these years and I did not realize when I got used to it. We want to put those little & big things on, every time before stepping out in a crowd, stepping out in front of that cute guy not to impress them but to make ourselves feel good. Now while traveling I go to places, where I have to keep traveling for many days in a local bus, on the mountains, on the roads and in the forests, where I can’t even take a bath because there is no place to take one. Honestly this has made me so satisfied, happy and confident about my real self that I’m glad to have miss out on these comforts. There are situations when time is so less that I have to choose between watching the sunrise somewhere afar and checking my face in the mirror and somehow the sun always wins. 


    Can you imagine carrying ‘your kind’ of luggage all by yourself? So, that is when you cut down on that extra bag of shoes and accessories.  After a while you realize, all you need is a 50 Liters bag pack with some essential attire to handle the cold and the heat, the one pair of shoes to fit every journey and you are good to go.  


    Now this does not limit to us girls only, this one is the problem with our entire generation. We have gradually made our cell phones a very essential part of our lives; we forget to realize that we once lived without these and can do it again, happily. Looking at those birds flying in the sky, sipping from a glass of chilled lime juice by the sea or staring into the space on a starry night is far more interesting than checking your Instagram and Twitter notifications every minute.  There, you won’t get bored because there is something to admire and appreciate in each moment.


    No, it does not mean that feminism is unnecessary. A very large part of our society and the world needs it but you for your own self, you do not anymore. When you are climbing up those high mountains, swimming alone in the ocean, riding through the highways, at times when your guy friends are lost behind you somewhere and you actually are the one leading the way, you just know you are no less than any of the men out there. Once you know it for yourself, you won’t feel the need to prove it to anyone else. In the end it’s all about discovering yourself and not proving a point.


    And there is so much more to life than the little world you’ve always been living in and living for. Family, boyfriend, friends & society cannot bind the free spirit that you really are. Take a break girl, let go off, of the things which hold you back, get over the work pressure and take a deep breath. “Break out of that shell and create a free, brighter and happier world for you”.  I remember saying it to myself once and I want to tell you the same now. You need to stop thinking so much because you know when you close your eyes you can see yourself singing and dancing, if left alone in the wild and yes this is what you were born to do; to be wild & free.

    Shelly is an inspiration to all the girls at her age, who dream to travel but are scared to do so, because of the age old customs which binds them. Traveling is not just for fun and leisure, but it revitalizes your energies and broadens your mind.

    Check our the amazing photographs which she has shot on  her adventurous voyages @

  9. nitinbothra25

    Sheraton Hua Hin (Thailand) Resort and Spa: Thai comfort in style


    A couple of months back, I headed to Hua Hin for my first ever taste of Thailand for attending a wedding and for some serious exploration. Given my packed schedule and rather ambiguous sightseeing plans, I found my abode at Sheraton Hua Hin (also the wedding destination). The picturesque resort and spa in the lovely Hua Hin district truly delivered Comfort in Style.

    It really is a unique destination where memories are made for every moment of your stay.

    As we arrived at the resort from a 3 hours comfy bus ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport, we were given a traditional Thai welcome with a background score by Indian drummers. The welcome was followed by a chilled glass of sweet coconut water. It tasted so sweet and fresh as it was served right from the tree.

    The fantastic beach side location is the USP of this resort. The magnificent winding lagoon style pool meanders through the resort, connecting every suite and rooms on the ground floor and ending at the sea. The construction of this beautiful property is done so well that if any resident wanders there, will feel like having a stroll on the river bank with water gushing by side.

    When I entered the room, my eyes were bloated, experiencing the comforts as well as beautifully designed room for the residents to rest properly. The bed had proper cushioning for perfect relaxation for the spine. The bathroom was quite luxurious and clean. The big circular bath tub was decorated with freshly plucked orchid flower which were replaced every day. Couple of house keeping guys came to carry my luggage and escorted me to my suite. One thing that I experienced in Thailand was that Thai people are usually smiling, helpful and honest [except for the shop owners at markets ;)]. The rooms were cosy and clean with a sweet fragrance of orchid.

    The staff at the resort was no different than other 5 star properties. Right from the receptionist to the security, housekeeping, waiters, etc. everyone was supportive and never delayed with their service.  Again they were all having happy faces with genuine smiles all around. They were all polite, attentive and so incredibly friendly. Almost 70 % of the staff was Thai, their English was not so perfect, but they will always grasp your needs, so if you encounter any such person who just nods to everything you say without any reaction, do not panic as you will get what you want. The cute musical accent the Thai have is really candy floss to the ears.

    Finally, to the most important part of life ; food, which, at the Sheraton , was an generous affair combining Thai and European delicacies to suit all tastes. I loved trying the different fresh tropical fruits which are easily available in Thailand, but not until I’d fueled up with a huge helping of crunchy bread and various types of cheese, of course. The restaurant was pool side and also at beach side so it was again a soothing experience to eat experiencing, the pure winds of Hua Hin. The décor was certainly very different and really creative, while the service was all class and the food was really tasty.

    When you visit Thailand you should never miss the opportunity to enjoy the taste of Thai culture. There is something for every plate even if you are vegetarian, vegan or non-vegeterian. I am a vegetarian so I was bit nervous about what I would eat, as I heard a lot of rumors about not getting vegetarian food at all. But I was relaxed after I had my first breakfast after arriving. Thailand is blessed with an abundance of high quality tropical fruit, and you will find fruit throughout the country.  So you could find a lot of fruit dishes even in lunch menus.  Although I am not much of a foodie myself but I try new dishes whenever I am allured to do so. Food service at the "Infinity Pool" includes à la carte snacks, salads, sandwiches, and ice cream as well as cocktails and soft drinks. All you have to do is relax and enjoy.



    Relaxing was easy in the incredible setting of the Sheraton. The views, the fantastic service, the beautiful atmosphere and – of course the food, all made for a truly wonderful experience and in spite of my jam-packed schedule over the two days I was able to completely unwind whenever I came back to the hotel room. Given the perfect location, this was the ideal place to base myself for two days of intensive exploring, the wedding and the little touches of luxury really made the trip perfect. It was a wonderful experience and one I hope to retreat soon – I miss that wonderful view!

  10. nitinbothra25

    When Dusk Falls on City of Lakes

    I have always felt that, the best way to see the beauty of any place is to gaze the sun rising up or resting down. On my experience when the dusk falls, and if you are at a peaceful place you can easily see the blues, pinks and yellows take cover of th...
  11. nitinbothra25

    A Dulcet Evening in Udaipur

    We went for a stroll around the city of lakes and were struck by some melodious tunes of Rajasthani music. We thought just to enjoy it while waking by. Suddenly we saw some lights at the end of the lake and we were mesmerized by what we saw.It was a Ra...
  12. nitinbothra25

    Architectural beauty of India

    Monastery in Leh, JammuThe Blue City JodhpurIndia is a land of architectural geniuses. There are lot of examples of its creativity proven in earlier years. From Taj Mahal to Qutub Minar. One can  fall in love with India, with its legendary palaces...

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