What do we need tablet for? Surfing, watching movies and playing games. Most of todays offerings will provide all of that. So, what makes the difference between tablet models? Our guess is: built quality, diplay and quality/price ratio.
First and important aspect is built quality. Tablets are tactile gadgets, you’ll be touching and almost hugging them more than laptop, tv, even your phone. When it comes to built quality winner is (no surprise there)- Apple Ipad. Which Ipad, you ask? We anwser- all of them. Aluminium unibody is solid, light and best in class.
Display sizes vary from model to model. Bigger is not always better as this is a question of personal taste. What everyone can agree on is that having more pixels per inch makes better experience and the winner of this category is tablet with best display in terms of PPI (pixels per inch). And that is the super sharp Dell Venue 8 7000
Max. quality for small price
This is the only category where Apple doesn’t stand a chance. Its premium Ipads are rocking solid and cool but too pricey. Winner of this category must be a model with price tag below 300$ that has decent performance (min. 2GB RAM and 10GB Disc) and HD screen with more than 200 pixels per inch. And our winner is a lightweight android tablet with long battery life and bright high resolution display. Our winner is Lenovo Tab 2 A10
Dear friends, if you’ve clicked this post to get some info on fun stuff like new games, I’ll have to disappoint you. This post entry is here only to boost few websites so it will contain many links to places you don’t really want to visit unless you’ve got too much time on hand and want to waist it.
Gummy Drop Game – released for mobile phones, never for desktops but still, here’s a website claiming that Gummy drop really exists as online game, link: gummydrop-game.com
To bring this painful list to an end, here’s one more:
3. Strike force heroes HACKED – now, this game at least exists. And is unblocked which means you can go through levels easy. In my opinion it makes no sense to play hacked game but world is a place of diversity and not everyone thinks the same as me 🙂
To really see the Varanasi is to see the Ghats (series of steps leading to holy river)- and what better way than from the river Ganges. Boat rides are offered almost anywhere. Most popular times are sunrise and sunset. Sunset boat ride will provide the view of ceremony on the Ghat, which can also be seen from a rooftop of a hotel.
Global Pagoda is listed in Lonely Planet as number one attraction in Mumbai. Indeed, it’s a fabulous building for it’s unique architecture- It is the words biggest hall made entirely by locked bricks technique- There are no walls or pillars inside the Pagoda, just massive open space that can easily fit 8 000 people inside.
Global or Gold Pagoda
Pagoda is all covered in Gold. It is not done for the show-off. There is a big symbolic reason behind this. As Budha realised Nibana (as he awoke to the reality) his face was glowing. Pagoda glows as well as to great the quality of Awakeness.
You can attend a ten minute meditation course or visit photo gallery that nicely illustrates the life of Buddha in more than 50 pictures.
You won’t stay hungry in Global Pagoda, there is a nice restaurant that serves indian dishes and fruit shakes.
If you want to support the place you can give donation on the spot.
There is usually a guid on the spot who can talk to you about the Buddha, the Dhamma (teaching of the Buddha) and meditation. Don’t worry, you don’t need to tip him, he is a volunteer, and happy to help.
S. N. Goenka
Mr. Goenka is a well known vipassana meditation teacher who helped thousands of people establish in the wonderful technique of meditation called Vipassana. Mr. Goenka died in year 2013. but the seeds of practice that he planted are giving fruit as more and more people discover the peace and bliss that comes from Vipassana meditation. You can join a 10-day course of Vipassana meditation, it’s free.
Your trip to India is not complete without a train ride. Train ride is much like the whole India- unpredictable, versatile and mysterious. If you’re open-hearted you might mingle with local people and you’ll have enough time to make new friends. Choose first class coach for your first travel, but later or if you feel brave enough, go for the sleeper class- that’s where real India is.
Now for the practicalities:
Buying the ticket
You should purchase the ticket in advance because there is a big demand. You can do it online on cleartrip.com . The registration process is complicated because of indian laws that ask for you to have an indian mobile number which of course you don’t have and there is a workaround.
Indian Railway Waitlists- you can buy a place on train or a place on waitlist. There are some online sites that predict if you’ll get the place on that train or not, such as – trainman.in
You can buy ticket on train station. I also heard the rumor that every ride has a quota for tourists so as a tourist you might get a place on train even when someone else would be put on waiting list.
Some hotels provide train booking services and for a small fee (bribe) they can get you the place directly and skip the waitlist.
Food and drinks in train
There is no shortage of snacks, lunches, drinks, chai on the train. Sellers constantly go through all the coaches and offer those things.
Be aware – Cases are known of foreigners being drugged on trains so don’t accept any free drinks.
Accommodation and Cleanness
Trains are mostly clean and sanitised. In first class sleeper you’ll get a bed and clean sheet and pillow.
India is big and the weather is much different depending on the exact location. Weather is also dictated by the time of the year. Dry season means a lot of dust everywhere, while the raining season brings moisture and mud.
You should avoid bringing your best pair of shoes or snickers because walking surfaces in India are uneven and dirty so there is a big chance of shoe damage. My girlfriend brought new pair of Adidas shoes to India, and guess what, after India she had to buy another pair.
Best bet is to bring durable trekking shoes that are also comfortable. Take waterproof shoes if you plan to go in rainy season.
Also, if you are going in winter time, take some flip flops. Bathroom floor might be very cold so that’s why. Actually, take flip flops always because bathroom floors are wet- read more about wet floor bathroom.
There in no shortage of pharmacies in India. Be aware that many are Ayurvedic pharmacies and don’t sell real medicine. Pharmacy can be a closed space with white walls and neon banner advertising some cosmetic product but more often it will look like this- unattractive open space with a sign:
The pharmacist might not wear white but don’t worry, he is a professional. Most of the medicine is treated like OTC medicine. Antibiotics, analgesics and other medicine that needs prescription in the west doesn’t need the prescription in India.
When buying medicine you might get just a blister filled with pills, not the whole package. Don’t count on getting usage instructions as well. The pharmacist will explain how to use the medicine.
Here are some unexpected hygiene issues I encountered in India:
Dirty beddings – Low and middle budget hotels will not change sheets for new guests, they change sheets once a month or so. If you prefer not to sleep in same sheets as a previous few guest ask hosts to put clean sheets
Even clean sheets are not really clean – Indians wash the laundry in cold water, sometimes also in rivers (Varanasi is a good example of river washing) so some stains will stay on the bedding.
Wet floor bathroom – your bathroom might look like on the picture- shower is attached to the wall which makes the floor wet with water and soap. TheSink might also leave its things on the floor. It happened to me that I washed the teeth and felt some fluid dropping on my feet- just to realize that the sink has a big hole and no discharge pipe.
Cows shitting everywhere – religious places like Haridwar, Varanasi, Rishikesh- they are filled with cows which leaves a big amount of cow dung.
All kind of animals eating garbage – India is full of garbage and cows, buffalos, pigs, monkeys- they all feed there
No toilet paper – the only expansive thing in India is toilet paper because locals don’t use it, they use left hand for dirty work. You can bring your own toilet paper, buy it or do like the locals do.
Spitting on streets – it is OK to spit on the streets of India, don’t be surprised if, every once in a while. your taxi drivers opens the window to spit- that’s perfectly ok and not showing bad manners
Using hands for serving food and eating – Indians are practical folks, they have a saying “Why would I use fork when God gave me 5 fingers”. That doesn’t mean that the food is dirty because of it. They wash their hands very often and avoid using left hand when touching the food (for the reason look under “no toilet paper” bullet)
India is very noisy
This is not hygienic shock but for me it’s still a shock – Hindus believe that if they make noise gods will hear them. In traffic – car blinkers are rarely used. Instead, indians preffer to use honks. Traffic roads are full of honking noise.
Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy in India when it comes to water. Water is not drinkable in almost all parts of India.
Not even in the north near the Himalayas. The best precaution you can take is to buy bottled water. When buying water make sure it is properly closed and that the bottom of the plastic bottle is untouched. The cases are known of sellers filling up the empty bottles with water from the water pipe and selling it as drinking water.
When you finish the bottle please destroy it to prevent someone from filling it again and selling as drinking water.
Most of the scams in India are innocent – they will not endanger you but only make you pay something more than it’s worth.
Here are a few I faced, please let me know if you know of others as well:
barber scam- guy approaches you and offers to shave you- you arrange the price in advance as well. After he shaves you he gives you a neck massage, and head massage, even back massage- at the end he asks for a much bigger amount because he massaged you which was not included in first price
Currency scam- someone might offer you a boat ride, tour guide or some other service- after you agree on the price which is, let’s say 100, and when the service is provided, that someone will say he meant Dollars or Euros, not Rupees
Your hotel is closed scam- when entering one city by train or plain or bus, person (sometimes even carrying government badge) will approach to ask where you’re staying- and what a coincidence, your hotel/ guesthouse is closed. But don’t worry, the same person can provide excellent, and low-cost alternative. More about this scam
Free-gift scam- someone approaches you and offer to do the Henna (natural tattoo) for free because they like you or you’re their first customer today. They might offer any other service as well. After drawing few lines with Hanna they say that next few lines will cost you only 100 Rupees. And you realise that there is no such thing as a free lunch in India.
Added tax scam- you want to exchange the money and agree on the rate but suddenly you’re getting less money that you agreed upon- the reason- some imaginary tax that you need to pay. It can happen with taxi driver as well, taxi-meter says 500 but the price is 600 because of the same tax
Word of warning- sometimes extra taxis will be applied but that should be clear to you before you purchase the product or service.
If you know the regular price in advance tell the driver- can you take me to e.g. Leopolds Caffe for 100 Rupees? If he says no- leave to find another one. Chances are, he will go after you and say- 100 Rupees is OK.
If you ask for the price than the driver might say- 300 Rupees to Leopolds. If you try to lower it to 100 it might not work for you because the driver assumes that you don’t know how much it’s worth- if you did you would approach him with offered price.
If you don’t have an idea of how much the drive should cost you can ask a few taxi drivers or bluff and say “Leopolds caffe for 100 Rupees” although you have no idea how much it should cost.
Some taxis have taxi-meter. Unlike in Thailand where you want to pay by taxi-meter, in India some drivers have “broken” taxi-meters that show exaggerated prices.
It is indescribable how tired one can get from constant nagging. Unfortunately, tourist places in India (Rishikesh, Varanasi, Agra…) are a non-stop sources of that.
If you’re a tourist, especially white-skinned one, you will be offered rickshaw, Taxi, Shopping, Food, MoneyChange, Hashish, Guide and many other things. You will be asked for a few rupee tip, presented with a gift that is not really a gift, False Swamis (holly people) will want to bless you and barbers will want to shave you.
The people who are nagging you are usually poor indian people trying to survive and make ends meet. They are many times aware of the disturbance they couse you yet they don’t know of any better way to earn the livelihood. So please respect them, don’t insult them and don’t yell. They are usually good hearted and sensible people willing to ride you all day in a bicycle rickshaw for few Rupees.
Tips on how to get free from baggers and sellers
Try to look as a local, that way you’ll attract less attention
Avoid looking at the goods of a potential pushy seller- if he spots even a millisecond of your look he will try to sell
Don’t look to much around you because they will think you need something and offer you everything – I know that as a tourist you want to look around but be warned
When they approach you be kind but firm when saying NO
Do not go into further elaboration after NO, just repeat it if the person doesn’t go away
Be on the move, don’t stop to talk
If the person is still persistent and following you than stop, turn to that person and very strictly say “stop following me or I’ll call the police”
In Mumbai baggers have a method of touching you and pulling your sleeve- same rule goes here- be gentle but strict
This is my experience so please use it as a warning. I came to Delhi in the middle of the night by plane. I had a hotel pre booked so I felt safe. You have 2 options, to use regular taxi or a pre-paid taxi service. I was advised to use the prepaid taxi and that’s what I did. I asked the taxi driver if he knows the place I’m going to (hotel name) and he affirmed that he does. When we started our ride he asked me if this is my first time in India. I said “yes” and that was a big mistake. I should have said third time or something like that.
After some time of driving the driver says he doesn’t know where the hotel is. Funny thing about Delhi and India in general is that there are no street address. Our hotels address was “near main railroad”.
If taxi driver knows this is your first time in India he will take you to some tourist office where they will try to sell you another hotel, maybe even lie that your hotel is closed.
In my case the hotel was really closed, at least for me. The owner decided to sell my room to someone else although I paid it in advance. To cut the story short, I couldn’t find alternative accomodation in Delhi under reasonable price so I went to Rishikesh.
Arriving to delhi for first time – useful tips:
if your airplane arrives at night wait for the morning before leaving the airport. It’s safer and you’ll save money because taxis charge extra for night
Take pre- paid taxi. You’ll get a receipt which you need to keep until the driver brings you to the destination, than hand it to him. He will get paid only if he returns with the receipt. My driver asked me for receipt as soon as we left the airport and I was naive to hand it to him.
Tell taxi personnel that you have visited India 3 times already
Don’t accept any detours to tourist offices, other hotels etc.
If your hotel doesn’t have address than prepare detailed instructions on how to get to the place
Bodhgaya is for buddhists what Mecca is for muslims. It is the place Gotama Buddha chose for his biggest life project – self awakening. He set under the Bodhi Tree for 40 days. That exact spot is clearly marked by the tree and the stupa (the tree is a close relative from the original Bodhi tree).
Arriving to Bodhgaya
You can come by plane to Gaya and than take taxi to Bodhgaya. I think airplanes from Mumbai and Delhi go directly to Gaya few times a week
By train from Varanasi or some other place- from Varanasi it takes about 4 hours
By bus or by taxi – road traffic in India is very slow, but if you want the luxury of traveling alone with the driver, the taxi will cost you around 7 000 Rupees.
Price of accomodation
Bodhgaya offers a lot of accommodation which is cheap and better (cleaner) than in most of India.
Be aware that sometimes, e.g. when Dalai Lama decides to visit Bodhgaya, it can get very crowded. Some speak of 200 000 people attending those Pujas (holy ceremony).
Some very nice guesthouses are not listed on online services such as Booking.com. Here are 2 very nice guesthouses:
Mohammad’s House – cheap and nice for a long stay, accompanied with a great restaurant
Places to see
You will probably spend most of the time near Bodhy Tree – in Mahabodhi Temple. You’ll see many monks and lay people over there, all absorbing the energy of the place. Some stay and meditate overnight in a mosquito nets. For that experience you’ll need to pay few hundred Rupees but it’s worth it.
There are many temples around, Thai temple, Nepalese, Tibetan, Lao and others. You can join Puja in Thai temple in the morning and check how tibetans spend their time in the afternoon.
Some statistics say that 80% of tourists get some kind of stomach issues in India. I don’t know if it’s true but I’m the one of those “lucky ones” who got a worse case of Diarrhoea in India.
Diarrhoea prevention tips
Never drink unfiltered water. Use only bottled water and make sure it was properly closed when you bought it.
When washing your toothbrush use bottled water
When you shower keep your mouth closed
Don’t eat street food especially in hot season when flies spread bacteria.
Use dry-cleaning gel on your hands before eating
Inform yourself about popular eating places- lonely planet has plenty of info
How to cure Diarrhoea?
Diarrhoea can cure on it’s own if you’re patient. When it happens, the body looses water and minerals. Therefor, it is important to drink water and add some salt to it- or you can use rehydromix solutions sold at any pharmacy. Avoid eating any food.
If your digestion flora is damaged than your body has a problem keeping water and minerals, they go out of the body. In that case you can use Carbo medicine. If problems don’t go away you might need to use antibiotic to kill the bacteria.
Yes and no- indian food can be spicy but they use green chilli, not the red one.
Green chilli is spicy but, unlike red chilli, it is good for the stomach. You won’t get diarrhea from green chilli. Which doesn’t mean you’ll avoid diarrhea in India. Almost 80% of travelers do experience problems but mostly because water is polluted with bacteria and some food has bacteria as well- especially if it’s in contact with flies.
If you come from New Delhi, Rishikesh will seem like a quiet place, if from anywhere else in a world it will be a busy, noisy place full of cow manure .
If you’re in Yoga stay in one of many ashrams, we recommend Omkarananda Ashram guest house. It has nice view of Ganges (but you need to ask for a room with the view), and a great yoga workshops. You need to book your place in advance.
Parmarth Niketen Ashram is a story in itself, it is one of the biggest in India with 1 2000 rooms. It is a very noisy place. If you don’t like the 3 hours of chanting on the Ghat it’s not for you.
Most peaceful place in Rishikes and the only place where you won’t be aggressively offered to buy souvenirs, hashish or anything else is a swiss cottage. Swiss cottage is a chill-out place where backpackers gather. It is in a hill but only 10 minutes walk from the action (ghats, markets).
In swiss cottage you’ll find many guesthouses and great restaurants. Greatest of them all is Nirvana
We stayed at the holliday home, it is a budget place with clean rooms. Surprisingly for the price range, you get complementary water and toilet papers- you learn to appreciate such a gesture in India. Raj, the guy who runs the place, is very friendly and he organises great trekkings like Kunjapuri Trekking.
If you arrange the price in advance than you’re not expected to tip. If your taxi is going by the meter it is customary to tip around 5% of the amount.
In Mumbai, one driver, after taking me to destination, showed me the note saying that service charge is 5%. Sometimes, taxi driver might try to charge you something extra for the parking or for the highroad which is fine if you really used the parking or a high road.
Sometimes, the taxi driver might be pushy and ask for the tip, feel free to reject.
If you’re happy with the service you can leave anything from 1% to 10%. Some restaurants have service charge included which is visible on the bill. In that case you don’t need to leave anything extra.
Tourist restaurants are more prone to expecting the tip than those serving mostly locals.
The correct way to tip in restaurant is to pay and when the waiter returns with the change you leave the tip. Don’t tell them to round up the bill in advance, that might confuse them.
Many foreigners avoid street food for hygiene reasons but if you are brave enough to go for it you should know that you’re not expected to tip. You can even try to bargain on the price.
Airports offer the worst exchange rate so if you arrive by plane and need some Indian Rupees for taxi you should exchange small amount of money (50 EUR or USD is minimum), and later exchange the rest.
Most of the hotels will provide reasonable exchange rates for buying Indian Rupees. If you really want to get the best deal you should visit street exchange offices and ask on few places. The rate might vary. Most of them will not display the rate publicly and sometimes you can even bargain.
Exchanging money in banks will not provide the rate as good as on the street but it’s safe.
Avoid suspicious guys on streets that offer money exchange as they might cheat you. Money forgery is also not rear, especially with 500 Rupee notes.
It’s good to have smaller bank notes with you all the time (20 and 50 Rupee) because taxi and ricksha drivers might not have a cache with them and might not be able to return the rest of 500 Rupees.
The 10 Perfections are like yard sticks. We check on them to see how much progress we’ve made in our spiritual path. These 10 qualities are universal and can be applied in by the Agnostic, Atheist or a Believer.