How to Reach Great Wall of China – Mutianyu Section and Tips for stay in Beijing

Visiting the Great Wall of China was high on our bucket list, but we never got a chance to be there.  Last December, we got that chance. We had planned our new year in Japan and managed to squeeze in a couple of extra days to do a stopover at Beijing just to see the Great Wall of China.  The best part was, the journey was almost free. The stopover route Mumbai – Beijing – Tokyo – Mumbai, turned out to be cheaper than Mumbai – Tokyo – Mumbai!  And so we jumped on this opportunity.  I will be writing a separate blog post to cover this hack. Also if you qualify for the China 72 hour transit visa, it’s a great advantage.

Great Wall of China Stevan Noronha Blog

So on Christmas day, we took a flight for the first leg of our tour, from Mumbai to Beijing . Beijing was brutally cold on arrival. Not the best time to visit this city. There was heavy smog and hardly anyone was outdoors. We stayed at this fantastic 5 star property (ranked 10th best in Beijing)  New World hotel Beijing at Chongwenmen district. Check my review here. They even upgraded us to a suite. The location was just perfect. Easily accessible to all the major sightseeing locations in Beijing including Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, and the Summer Palace.

Image of our Suite at New World Beijing Hotel


Despite the harsh climate, we were focussed on our trip, to the Great Wall of China next morning and we hoped that the weather would be better

Since we had just a day to visit the Great Wall of China, we had done extensive research, and carried notes to ensure we don’t lose much time and lose our way. And this blog intends to share all that information, so that it makes your journey hassle free and more enjoyable.

I would like to mention that the details presented in this blog, are for the trip we undertook in December 2015, so there could be a possibility of changes when you travel. Do check for latest updates on other websites too.

Now there are three main areas to access the Great Wall of China

Travel: Top 10 things do to in Srilanka over 3 days (Colombo, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya)

(This post was written in October 2015)

We celebrate our anniversary in September, and it was time to take that much needed mini vacation.  Due to hectic schedules, we could not plan anything in advance. We were toying on the dates when we received a great a great promotional offer for Colombo tickets we plunged into it.   We have a history of planning trips last moment, and this time was no different. We decided to do a quick, 3 day trip to Srilanka. We had hardly a week to plan everything, so it was pretty hectic but exciting nonetheless.Srilanka

Thanks again to Trip advisor and the numerous blogs about Srilanka which helped us plan our itinerary.

Since we had limited time, and based on the feedback we could gather, we decided to spend minimum time in Colombo, and head straight to Kandy, the cultural capital of Srilanka. Besides Kandy, we included Nuwara Eliya (little England) for our trip. It was action packed trip with lot things to do. Ideally should be done over a 5 day period. However, since we are used to packing in so many things in so little time, we went ahead with it anyways.

Hopefully you would find the itinerary and the tips  useful for planning your own vacation to this beautiful country

 The details

To maximize the time we had for this holiday, we took early morning flight. This one landed in Colombo at 5 am and then we then headed to a hotel closeby and for a short nap and woke up around 8.30 am. Headed straight to Kandy.

Travel : Top 10 tips for first time Tokyo ( Japan) Trip

After celebrating previous New Years Eve in London and New York, this time around we were looking for a different experience. Japan was not really in our consideration set, when we began planning. However as we did more research, (during the same time we watched the movie, Lost in Translation), our interest in Japan grew stronger, the possibility of experiencing a different culture was exciting.

Top 10 tips for first time Tokyo ( Japan) Trip

After having spent 2 weeks in the awesome country, I am convinced that Japan should among the top 5 countries to visit around the world. However the reason it’s not there currently is simply because Japan does not promote itself aggressively. It’s not their culture to promote, but I have to admit once you are there, they will give you the experience of a lifetime.

Japan is not an easy country to travel, language is a barrier, travel is bit tough,  roads don’t really have names, food is different and the big cities are terribly crowded and have a complex travel system. So you need to plan well if you are to really take advantage of what Japan has to offer.

We did a lot of research ( we had only two weeks since we planned this last moment), and based on our travel experience, we thought about putting together a primer on the Top 10 tips for travel to Tokyo, Japan. We start with Tokyo since we spent most time in this city and we shall soon share tips for other cities we visited.


There is a famous saying about New York City, which so well connects with our first trip experience here.

‘One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five year. ‘

Stevan Noronha NYC
From the moment we landed in NYC, the iconic city literally took over us. This place energizes, and inspires you to come out, and experience it to the fullest – day and night. There is so much on offer. Even mundane things like the subway, become a piece of art or an awesome performance center. The two weeks we spent here, was not enough.

We did a lot of research for this trip, and post our experience, we thought of writing a blog on our 20 best experiences in New York City. Yes 20. We started with a list of 10, and realized you can’t do justice to New York with only ten and hence made this into a Top 20 list.

Hope you enjoy reading it, and may this be a good starting point to explore this wonderful city. At the end of the description for each attractions, wherever possible, we have included a Visitor Tip, which may be useful in planning your trip.

This is my longest post yet and took me around 4 months to complete. So hope you like what is provided here!

No. 1 Thing to do in New York :

Travel: Top 10 Things To Do in Dubai over 4 days

We travelled to Dubai this summer for a brief holiday which lasted just 4 days. We generally prefer to take more short breaks of 4-5 days and one longer break as that allows us to visit more places in a year.

Dubai Top 10 Things to Do in 4 days

Like always, we did a lot of research to plan for our trip. The usual sources – Trip Advisor, Personal blogs, Dubai Timeout, Lonely Planet Travel Guide, Dubai tourism website and some tips from relatives and friends helped us to firm up our itinerary.

We had an awesome time in Dubai and although there are so many things to do but we planned our first trip here to cover the essentials.

So am writing this blog to share our experience and list the top 10 things to do in Dubai. We are no travel experts but who cares! This is our list.

Since we gain so much from those who write about their travel experiences, this is our small payback. So here we go.