Hello again. Well, this photoblog covers some of my recent trips to Visakhapatnam – the port city and industrial epicenter in Andhra Pradesh. As always, the purpose of this blog is to collate the fragments of personal memories. This might even help regular travelers looking for affordable hotels and vacation options. Of course, You wouldn’t find fancy photographs, fancy selfies, fancy designer clothes, and fancy travel itinerary in here.
The Summer and Winter Visits
So I was in Visakhapatnam twice, mostly for work. Once in the month of January, when most of North India experiences extreme winters. The second visit was in June when most of South India literally gets baked in the scorching heat. The location of Visakhapatnam is neither too south nor too North. The winters are warm and comfortable. The summers aren’t unbearable either.
Most of the city seems moderately planned and clean. At least significantly cleaner than most other Indian cities. You would find a lot of hospitals and medical centers all around the city. Dental care, Ayurveda and pain management being the most significant services offered. The Ram Krishna beach road is outlined with several hotels. Ranging from the Novotel and ITC variants to the very affordable Guest Houses. Though, some of the cheaper hotels and lodges look shady. I personally prefer intensive online research before booking a hotel. Safety and clean food are my top priorities.
Hotel Winsar Park: The First Vizag Visit
On my first visit, I stayed at Hotel Winsar Park just opposite King George Hospital on the Collector’s Office Road.
Moderate room sizes, cozy and clean, centrally air-conditioned, good food with a variety of options and courteous staff – – Winsar Park is a mid-ranged hotel (INR 2800-3200, tax and breakfast inclusive). The hotel is well-located, especially if you are a business traveler. The RK beach is around 7-10 minutes’ walk. An Uber ride would typically cost you INR 60-90 during the peak hours. Most popular spots such as Kailashgiri and Rushikonda are far off from the main city area. You would need to hire a round-trip cab (or an Uber) to visit these places.
The Perfect Food Options for Solo Travellers
The food options available at Winsar Park is perfect for solo travelers. I keep highlighting this point.
We reviewed this hotel on TripAdvisor. Here’s the link to the review page.
Thali meals at reasonable prices are best for solo travelers. While staying at a hotel for 3-4 days, you are typically dependent on the hotel for at least two main meals – breakfast and dinner. For a single person, restaurant styled full-plate Chicken/ Mutton gravy items are surplus in quantity and tend to wreak havoc on your digestive schedules over 3-4 days. Thalis are more balanced, homely and offer variety. You get to taste a little of everything.
I also tried a few other items, including the continental variants. All of them were cooked to perfection and served well.
Most hotels offering CP (Continental Plan) usually have an impressive breakfast spread. Winsar Park didn’t disappoint either. The breakfast options included fruits, bread, and eggs, juice, salads, cereals, dosa, idlis, north Indian puri/sabzi and a lot more.
The Ram Krishna Beach and Percolator Coffee House
The Ram Krishna beach is situated on the East coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is the most easily accessible beach, usually bustling with shops, hotels, visitors, tourists, and hawkers. Few of the common tourist spots such as Vuda Park, INS Kurusura Submarine Museum, Matsya Darshini, etc. are right there on this beach. However, these are overwhelmingly crowded and not worth the effort. The RK Beach road continues along the beachfront and connects other beaches such as Tenneti Beach and Rushikonda beach.
One interesting snacks and coffee parlor standing right on the RK Beach is the Percolator Coffee House. I have been here twice. The laid-back ambiance and the variety of snacks available make this a perfect place to hang out with friends. The open balcony arrangement is smoker friendly. I mostly had Pizzas and cold-coffees during the two visits.
Brisk Visit to Kailashgiri and Tenati Park
Kailashgiri is around 26 KM from King George Hospital on the Collector’s Office Road. An Uber ride costs you approximately INR 170-190 with an additional INR 50 entry fee for four-wheelers. Kailashgiri is a hill-top public park that offers an amazing view of the sea and the city far below. In addition to acres of well-maintained gardens and trees, the park also has a toy train that takes you around the park in around 20 minutes. The electric toy train has two compartments – A.C and Non-A.C with a seating capacity of 40-50 people each. The other interesting activity here is the Ropeway ride that takes you all the way down to the main road below. Unfortunately, the ropeway ride was closed for maintenance, the day we visited Kailashgiri.
Tenetti Park and Beach: Clean and Serene
On my way back from Kailashgiri, I made a chance to stop at Tenetti Park. This is another stretch of beach that was significantly less crowded. Probably because it wasn’t right in the middle of the city. And regular chaotic tourists weren’t aware of its existence.
In the next post, you could read about our second trip to Vizag. This time we stayed at Hotel Rockdale Clarkes Inn Suites. I also managed to squeeze out some time to visit the Rushikonda beach. A little far off from the city and wonderfully scenic.