Dharavi – A look inside

‘Dharavi is a slum in Mumbai’ reads the Wikipedia page which appears on Google Search done for Dharavi. For ages, Dharavi, one of the world’s largest slums, has existed beside the glitz, glamour and prosperity of Mumbai, occupying a blind spot and yet essential to the survival of India’s commercial capital. Fahim and Tauseef, a duo born and brought up in Dharavi and pursuing graduation in commerce and science, respectively, decided to add a twist in the tale. Facing financial problems in funding their education, they were compelled to think ‘out of the box’ and came up with the idea of a unique local tour company called ‘Be The Local Tours’ in March 2010. The company offers tourists an opportunity to visit Dharavi. Intel India, as a part of its Look Inside global campaign, has launched a digital film that captures how technology helped ‘Be The Local Tours’ connect to its customers and be present everywhere. The campaign is part of Intel’s new brand platform, Look Inside, which celebrates the potential in all of us to do something remarkable.

Meet the Hungama Digital ServicesTeam behind the campaign
Carlton D’SilvaChief Creative Officer
Kamal Amesur Creative Director
Manesh SwamyHead of Production
Gauri Joshi Creative Group Head

Railay Beach – A peaceful getaway from Krabi Town

Railay is a small peninsula located between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang with a beautiful beach, named as Railay Beach. There are high limestone cliffs which block the access from mainland; hence one has to take a ferry to this location. Railay is divided into East Railay, West Railay, Pranang and Tonsai. Tonsai section is the hub for climbers and attracts rock climbers from all over the world.
West Railay Beach (landing point for speedboats)

West Railay Beach (landing point for speedboats)

Living in Ao Nang gives you the options to explore numerous beautiful locations in the vicinity and Railay Beach is a must visit! Apart from rock climbing, Railay Beach also offers you the option to hire a kayak on an hourly basis. There are various spots for snorkeling as well. There are also some good restaurants to eat and resorts to stay in Railay – from bungalows and medium-priced resorts in East Railay to a collection of five-star resorts focused on West Railay.
Pranang Cave
To reach Railay Beach, you can take a speedboat from Noppharat Thara beach which ply at an hourly frequency. They will charge you a mere THB 100 per head for the 20-30 minute journey one side. But the operators only take off when they have around 8-10 customers, hence it is advisable to plan the journey in the morning to avoid waiting for a group to be formed. Also for your return, do check the timing for the last speedboat beforehand.
Quick Map
Promenade at West Railay
The speedboat drops you at West Railay, which has a short promenade with shops and restaurants. There are operators which can help you with Kayaking in West Railay and Rock climbing in East. We did not have prior experience of Rock climbing and also were there for a short period, hence decided to indulge into the familiar territory – Kayaking. You can hire one for THB 200 per hour and explore the rock and coastline nearby. They will offer you a space at their shop to keep your belongings, but it is advisable if you have your own water bag which you can carry along during Kayaking.
Kayaking around Railay
West Railay is quite crowded because it is also the point where ferries plying from Phuket to Ao Nang and the island tours stop by. If you want a quitter place, then you must head to Pranang. There is walking path from Railay Bay Resort which leads you towards east. From there you can walk along Rajavadee resort to reach Pranang caves and beach. It is an approximately 20 mins walk.
The sea bed on the beach has a steep decline. Within a few meters you will actually feel like swimming in nearly open water. If your returning back in the evening, owing to low tide your speedboat might have to half much before hitting the Noppharat Thara Beach. If you have around 4-5 hours during the day, you must plan this visit to Railay and probably after the swim and kayaking, your body will enjoy the massage back in Ao Nang before retiring for the day.
A Rock climber at Railay
And while you are at Krabi dont miss out a day trip on a 4 island Sunset BBQ trip
If you have any questions, dont hesitate to mail us at info.nameplaceanimalthing@gmail.com 

4 Island Sunset BBQ Tour

You must add the 4 island Sunset BBQ tour in your itinerary when visiting Krabi! Barring a few exception, most of the full and half day tour in Ao Nang begin early morning. Even if you are taking the first flight to the closest airport at Krabi from Bangkok or taking a ferry from Phuket to Ao Nang, you will miss out on most of the tours for that day.
Railay and chicken Island krabi

Railay and chicken Island

We were taking the first ferry out from Phuket to Ao Nang and were scheduled to check into our hotel by 12. Since we did not want to lose out on the limited time at hand in Ao Nang, we searched for possible options and found that Krabi 4 Island Sunset BBQ tour by Longtail boat was the best bet we had. Since the tour pick up from our hotel was around 12:45 p.m., minutes after scheduled arrival at Ao Nang, we wanted to ensure that we don’t end up booking and then missing the tour. Hence we mailed the team at KrabiTrek much in advance and they were extremely helpful in understanding the situation and advised to stay in touch with the tour operator Khun Da once we reach Ao Nang so that we dont miss the 4 island sunset bbq tour.

You can also click here to book your 4 island tour with Trazy departing from Krabi!

Our ferry was delayed by 30 minutes but Khun Da confirmed that they would still arrange a pick up for us by 1:15 p.m. We had just enough time to check into our room, change and immediately rush to the pickup point to enjoy our 4 island sunset bbq tour. At the departure point, we discovered that ours was a small group of 8 adults and 2 children which meant that we had enough space on the longtail boat. As luck would have it, we were soon upgraded to a speedboat as they planned to combine the passengers in two tail boats. Our first stop on the 4 island sunset bbq tour for approx. 30 mins was Poda Island. We got off with our snorkeling equipment but there were less fishes and more of broken corel and sharp stones near the coastal area. As an alternative, we took a walk along the beach and then just relaxed ourselves for the journey ahead.
Our next island on the checklist was Chicken Island. No points for guessing why it was called so. A rock naturally carved into a form giving an impression of a skinny chicken. Honestly it looked more like camel with a humpback resting on the ground. The speedboat was anchored a little far from the island for snorkeling. Only when we jumped into the water, did we realize that it was quite deep and almost felt like open water snorkeling. Experiencing strong currents, the sea bed level rose steeply as we swam closer to the island. It was definitely quite an exhaustive experience and a little scary too for someone who doesn’t do this regularly. Some members of the non-snorkeling gang on the deck were throwing pieces of bread into the water to attract fishes. But who would have imagined that this would also attract 3 large jelly fishes as well in the same area where everyone was snorkeling. Almost everyone panicked and rushed to the deck and that was the end of it. The guide also agreed that it wasn’t the best place to snorkel, but also sighting a jelly fish in that area was unusual.
Tup Island
By now it was almost late evening and we were headed for the final destination of our 2 island sunset bbq tour with a delicious barbeque preparation awaiting at Tup Island. It is a small island with white sand and blue crystal clear water around. Tup Island is connected to another small island (Thale Waek) on the opposite side though narrow sand bar which sometimes is submerged in calf deep water. If you reach amongst the first few ferries to reach, it will be less crowded and you can enjoy the silent beautiful view of sun setting over the horizon while your tour guide prepares the pre-cooked grills. Our meal comprised of boiled rice, grilled chicken with seasoning and shrimps. We saw some other tour operators prepare fresh meal for their group. Also since they are carrying specific quantity, you will have to be cognizant about the extra quantity you request for. Once done with the meal, the tour operators got together and entertained us with some interesting fire acrobatics in the dark.
The only light source available on the island by the time we were heading out was the light bulb aboard the ferry. Just when we sat on the deck to enjoy the cool breeze on the way back, our speed boat engine and lights were turned off near an island. We thought there was some malfunction, but our guide briefed us about our last and most spectacular experience of the tour – witnessing phospherscent plankton underwater. For once we all thought he was kidding when he asked us to jump into the water despite it being pitch black. Soon he filled a bucket of water and splashed it on the deck and we could see what he was talking about. Even though it might scare you, but don’t think twice before jumping into the water. As we jumped in with our snorkeling gear, all we could see under the water in the abyss were glowing fireflies. The guide very aptly described the experience as one that the camera inside our memory will never forget. We reached the dock around 8 p.m. and had a cab waiting to drop us back to the hotel.
Bioluminescent Plankton Credit: Maldives.net

In case you are wondering which was the 4thisland? – it was Railay beach which we crossed right in the beginning and since it was crowded, we all requested the guide to skip it and utilise that time at Tup island instead.

A few things to keep in mind in order to enjoy this memorable experience:
  1. Check in advance with the tour operator on the availability and if it’s not too crowded, you can actually pay them when you arrive at the docking station
  2. Since the tour starts during the peak afternoon, it is advisable to carry your shades put lots of sunscreen on
  3. Things to carry – towel, sunscreen (atleast SPF 50), sunglasses, waterproof bag, snacks, swimming trunks
  4. The tour operator will provide you – snorkeling kit, fruits (watermelon), water bottles, food at Tup Island, pick up and drop from hotel, Insurance
 Also read about our experience at Railay Beach while at Krabi.
If you have any questions, dont hesitate to mail us at info.nameplaceanimalthing@gmail.com 

KONG Puppy – One toy with multiple benefits for your growing puppy

“As a pup, I used to gobble up my food from the bowl in flat less than 1 minute. Yeah, it took me a while to develop that speed JBut then one day, instead of the food in bowl, I had a strange caterpillar lookalike thing landing in front of me when I barked for food. I could smell the food and on treading further, realised that my food was stuffed inside this thing which I later came to know was called KONG Puppy. It took me some effort to finally figure out how it works, the material was quite sturdy and I was unable to bite it. Eventually I realised that I can either use my two paws to squeeze the food out of it, or press it between my jaws. Once some amount of food was out, then it was a combination of my paws, jaws, tongue and most importantly … perseverance.
No longer was eating food a task which could be completed in a minute; by the time I finished cleaning up the entire food from the KONG Puppy, I was tired. I would drink some water and then take a nap.” Moose
 
 
The KONG Puppy toy is the original toy that started the KONG Puppy product line made with exclusive teething rubber formula. The material used is extremely sturdy, non-toxic, not easy to chew off but at the same time soft for a puppy’s gums. Ideal for pups from the age of 2 uptil they turn 9 months old. Depending on the breed and size of the pup, you can choose from S (< 20 lbs), M (15-35 lbs) and L (30-50 lbs) sizes. Ideally upto the point he has got rid of his milk-teeth. After that he can graduate to other products KONG has in larger size and stronger rubber based on durability. The KONG Classic is perfect for dogs who love to chew and KONG Extreme range is ideal for dogs that have a stronger bite and chew more than others.

If you are feeding your dog home cooked meal like rice, chicken stock, curd and meat, you can mash the mixture and stuff it inside the KONG Puppy. If you are feeding him packaged food from Royal Canin or Pedgiree, keep the food portion soaked in water for 5-8 minutes. You will notice that it starts absorbing the water and becomes softer. Now you can stuff it inside the toy and let you pup enjoy his meal. KONG also offers KONG Stuff’n treat separately which are specifically for these tours. What else, once he is done with the meal, you can also use the toy to play fetch and even stuff his treats inside it.

More often than not, people invest money in picking up other rubber toys which might not provide any mental stimulation and not be of a good quality. But spending between INR 400-800 is a worthwhile investment for the benefits it offers. When we wanted to purchase ours, it was available only on Heads Up for Tails.
A few benefits of the KONG Puppy:
  1. Better use and coordination with paws while balancing KONG Puppy to dispense food
  2. Unusual shape aids in unpredictable bounce while playing fetch
  3. Soft puppy rubber formula great for soothing sore gums
  4. Instils a discipline while eating meals
  5. Promoted proper chewing behaviour
“Stay tuned as I share more of my experiences” – Moose