All posts filed under: Thailand

New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai: A Thousand Lanterns and Wishes in the Sky!

New Years eve Chiang Mai 2017: I found myself at the Chiang Mai lantern festival on 31st December as the clock announced New Year’s eve! In this post, I’ve penned down tips for Chiang Mai in December and Chiang Mai on New Years. IMPORTANT – Update 2018: After learning about the harmful impact of the Chiang Mai lantern festival, I highly recommend that you don’t buy a sky lantern and release it into the sky. It causes air pollution, adds to the city’s growing waste problem and is a fire hazard. I’ve also learnt that Yee Peng and the lantern release on New Year’s Eve in Chiang Mai are not traditional festivities – but devised for tourists. Please read this detailed post on “Why I don’t recommend celebrating the Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai” and make an informed decision. *** I stood on a parapet watching in awe, surrounded by people as they cheered and counted down to the New Year. Almost everyone had lit their paper lanterns by now, and as the clock ticked …

In Photos: The Countryside of Northern Thailand.

There are very few places in the world that feel like home to me, and northern Thailand is one of them. I showed up there with a tired soul, on an impulsive trip that I hoped would rejuvenate me (Read: Going Back to The Places we Love). And what can I say? Thailand gave me the time, space and natural beauty to think, write, and appreciate the little joys of life again. I pen this post from a little gourmet cafe in Singapore, and these photos, taken with my Sony Cybershot camera, are to be my sunshine on dark and dull days in the year ahead. I hope they’ll make you yearn as much for the Thai countryside. *** 1. TEARING INTO THE POSTCARD THAT IS NORTHERN THAILAND  for such surreal views of the hills, river, paddies, and sunsets that are now etched in my mind forever. *** 2. SAMPLING HOME-COOKED VEGETARIAN THAI FOOD  at Ban Lom Jen Homestay – Penang Curry and steamed rice. Delicious! *** 3. MARVELING AT THE WHITE TEMPLE  of Chiang …

Going Back to The Places We Love.

Since my trip to Thailand in March last year, I’ve nursed a longing for the serenity of the Thai countryside and a taste of home-cooked Thai curries. I impulsively decided to give in after a series of not-so-awesome events. When the rest of the world was toasting to 2014, I was standing in the visa-on-arrival queue at Bangkok airport! Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.

Koh Mak beaches, Koh Mak island, Thailand hidden beaches

Koh Mak Island: Of Hidden Beaches, Broken Boats and Beer.

There it lay. A mile long beach with pebbly white sand. The sea had receded into low tide, inviting us to wade into the shallow waters. Broken boats lay on patches of the sea bed that would otherwise be submerged in water. In the distance, islands gently rose from the horizon; islands that should technically mark the start of Cambodia. We were on the eastern edge of Koh Mak island, one of Thailand’s better-kept secrets, and giving us company were only three water-loving dogs. We had set out earlier that evening, from our cosy hideout at Bamboo Hideaway, a rustic bamboo lodge run by an Italian couple who made the island their home three years ago. We followed our tiny map to the dot, and I maneuvered our scooter up a hill, on a dirt road, and into the bushes, till it would go no further. As per the map, this route should have led us to a stunning view of the sea, and all the way down to a beach on the other end …