96. Kash Bhattacharya: The Budget Traveller, Grand Hostels, Finnish Cloudberries and Ancient Samurai Kingdoms - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 96
May 16 , 2020

96. Kash Bhattacharya: The Budget Traveller, Grand Hostels, Finnish Cloudberries and Ancient Samurai Kingdoms

The travel writing of Kash Battacharya, the Budget Traveller, has won him accolades including National Geographic Traveller Writer of the Year, filming for Lonely Planet and the BBC and resulted in his book The Grand Hostels, Luxury Hostels of the World. On this episode Kash, in easing-lockdown Berlin, talks budget travel, the culture shock of moving Kent to Calcuttta age 9, being ‘the English kid’ at a 18,000-pupil school, Dutch houses in Scotland, hanging with Rastas in South Africa and a rather surreal encounter with Tommy Lee Jones in an ancient Japanese Samurai Kingdom.


On this episode we cover:


Moving to Berlin

How he became The Budget Traveller

Quitting his job to make his dream work

Travel being therapy

Being born in England to Indian parents

The massive culture shock of leaving Kent for Calcutta age 9

Moving to Dundee at 18

Travel as a child can be like a game

18,000 people in his school! 100 in his class

Being bullied as ‘the English kid’

Calcutta being an assault on the senses

The architectural legacy of Colonial India

The incredible food culture in Calcutta

Not appreciating the culture as a child

How the tough life in India helped toughen him for life

Lisa’s Indian-Fijian father not imparting much Indian culture

Dundee being full of fun, culture and Desperate Dan

The East Neuk of Fife Dutch fisherman’s cottages

Anstruther having the best fish and chips in Britain

Finding Scottish people relaxed and more welcoming

Lisa being uprooted age 7 from England to Spain

Appreciating travel being a gift and a privilege even more during the Coronavirus

Not counting the countries he has been to

Japan being magical and surreal

The Japanese man who went that extra mile

Travelling through his stomach

Fresh sushi at Tsukiji Japanese fish market

Filming Hidden Japan for the BBC and Lonely Planet

The life-changing experience of visiting Kanazawa ancient Samurai Kingdom

A surreal encounter with Tommy-Lee Jones in the ancient kingdom

Celebrities advertising random products in in Asian countries

Filming a road trip through South Africa’s Garden Route

The beautiful Buccaneers backpackers hostel on the wild coast

The reason Lisa hasn’t yet been to South Africa)

Paragliding over stunning scenery (despite being terrified of heights)

Hanging out with a Rastafarian Community in Sedgefield
Backpacking along the Garden Route

South Africa going through a tough time at the moment

Kash getting excited when he finds someone (like Lisa!) who has never stayed in a hostel

His book The Grand Hostels, Luxury Hostels of the World Lisa being happy to sleep on a park bench to get her out of the Borough right now

The midnight sun in The 7 Fells Hostel deep in the woods in Finnish Lapland

Picking cloud berries by the lake in the midnight sun

Lisa having specialised a lot in luxury travel

The Steel House design hostel in Copenhagen with a pool and cinema

Luxury nowadays being about experiences

Travel being about meeting people and learning about the culture

What does the future of travel look like now?

Crazy nights out in Berlin (Lisa’s visit to the infamous KitKatClub)

Kash Winning National Geographic Traveller of the Year

Being at a low point in his life when he moved to Berlin

Berlin being very diverse and accepting

One half of Mogwai the band owning a bar in Berlin

Morcheeba Down by the Sea being the appropriate soundtrack to a magical trip to Tuscany and the hostel that opening him to the world of travel


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