The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #116


A reader writes:

First-timer here. The buses, parking, lot lights, and the green fields scream Japan to me (28 year resident). The hotel in the distance (probably a love hotel), greenery to the left, balcony above and light fixture in the reflection combine to make me guess somewhere just outside Narita airport. Not close enough to win, but worth a try.

Another writes:

Something about the mixture of sleek newer highway busses and worn out old school busses reminds me of the bus station at Chetumal, Mexico. The nice busses get you to the Belize border. The decrepit ones take you into Belize. Just a hunch … although I don’t remember the large trees.


I’m guessing that’s a football stadium in the distance, but googling “central american football stadiums” hasn’t given me a match, and I don’t really have time to look at other regions.  I’m just going to guess Tegucigalpa, Honduras.


It’s missing a large lake in the center of town, and I can’t figure out where this photo would have been taken from, but to me this looks like the small eco-tourist community of Las Terrazas in the Piñar del Rio province of Cuba. I visited a few years ago when I was studying in Havana and the foliage and the color of the buildings in the distance ring true to me.

Then again, my girlfriend says Ecuador, so there’s that.

Another gets much closer:

I was in Nepal two years ago hiking in the Annapurna range and I remember how the buses seemed to be independent from one another – similar to taxis – with all different shapes and colors, which this picture reminded me of.  The drivers would go on a route, and would just wait at major stops, packing as many customers in as possible (even on the roofs!!) until another bus came along and honked at them to get moving. So I think this one is Nepali but I don’t have the time to research much this week (and I’m not sure I’d get anywhere with this one!!) so I’m going to guess Pokhara.

Another nails the right country:

I saw the picture and it screamed India.

The mix of old and new buses made me guess that way. The yellow and blue bus in the lower center and red and cream bus in the lower left were major hints. As I am unable to narrow down after that, I am taking a guess that it is the Southern Hill station of Munnar. (I haven’t seen bus like these in Northern India, hence the guess towards Southern India.)


The buses are what prompted me to write in (for the very first time!), since I’m convinced this has to be India. The vegetation checks out too (is that a banana or plantain tree in the bottom right?). So assuming this is India, it’s a reasonable guess that the stadium in the distance is a cricket stadium. Googling for images of cricket stadia around the country brought me to the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune, Maharashtra, India. The Google satellite image seems to corroborate the guess – the stadium is indeed ringed by hills and fields, and what appears to be a large parking lot. Unfortunately, that’s the limit of my sleuthing skills, so I’ll leave it to your other readers to pin-down the location to the nearest window, as I’m sure someone will.

The winner was the only reader to get the right city – and in great detail:

My first entry … always wanted to take part, never found anything that I found even familiar till now.  The minute I saw the photo it seemed familiar, spent some time searching on the Internet and now am quite sure it is the Margao Bus Terminal, in Margao, Goa, India. It is also known as the Kadamba Bus Terminal. The picture is taken from the Sapphire Comfort Hotel, opposite the bus stand across the main road (Margao Panaji Highway). Not sure about the exact floor / room from which the picture was taken, for my best guess, see attached photo with my markup:


I started with the assumption that it was most likely the Margao Bus stand. First I confirmed the color combination of the state transport buses (the one standing in front of the building with red tiled roof in the middle) so I was quite sure my guess was in the right direction. Then compared the building with red tiles and the shed opposite it with satellite photos. The stadium in the background with floodlights also helped confirm the location. Lastly, in the top left of the photo, the building extends out and its distinctive pattern confirmed the hotel and the likely location from which the photo was taken.

I have been to Goa many times, mostly on backpacking trips, and I was last there about two years ago. Great blog, keep up the good work. I have been addicted to your blog for many years.

Details from the submitter:

India Goa Margoa Sapphire Comfort Hotel VFYW RoomThe photograph was taken from my room on the fourth floor (fifth floor, American style) of the Sapphire Comfort Hotel in the town of Margao in the Indian state of Goa. I teach at a university in Japan, and I am spending the month of August in Margao at the invitation of a college here. This is my first visit to India and I came straight to Margao, so the view from my hotel was one of my first impressions of this country.

You have previously posted window photos taken from my house in Yokohama (a photo that also appeared in your book), my office in Tokyo, and, my personal favorite, a hotel room in Osaka. I had hoped that the Osaka photo would be chosen for the contest, because the abandoned, unfinished building outside the window is so haunting (though, I should add, atypical of that section of Osaka). But I suppose this Goa photo was a better contest choice. While I would not be able to identify the location if I had not taken the photo myself, I hope that it contains enough clues for some of your intrepid readers to solve it.

I have attached a photograph of the hotel taken from across the street, as well as a satellite photograph showing the location of the hotel:

India Goa Margoa Sapphire Comfort Hotel VFYW Map