It’s been about 17 years since I have been traveling by myself or with friends and family. Every trip has its mix of good and bad experiences, fortunately, more good than bad. This journey of journeys has been a great teacher. Everyone falls into tourist traps and I have as well. Over the years, I have learned my bit on how to identify them. That … Continue reading Avoiding Tourist Traps
The drive to our hotel in Nusa Dua was surprisingly smooth and raised some hopes for finding less traffic for the remaining half of the trip. The hotel was fabulous and luxurious. The ground floor rooms opened into a lawn with direct access to the beach – that was amazing. The food was more expensive than the smaller places we had been to, but it … Continue reading Bali – serenity of Nusa Dua and some hidden gems
Bali is exactly what happens when a rich cultural heritage meets a lot of tourists. It takes some very deep cultural roots to survive as an island dominated by one religion in a country populated by another. Indonesia is a fast developing country going through all the challenges that come with it – an over-crowded capital, pollution, and overpopulation leading to overutilization of resources. Jakarta … Continue reading Bali – Culture, food, temples and some traffic
I got out of the tiny airport and walked straight to the rental car counter. My car was ready in no time and while it wasn’t fancy, it was spacious and from a brand that I hadn’t heard off. A simple inquiry on the car return process got me an amusing response – the guy calmly said he would meet me on the driveway, “don’t … Continue reading Langkawi – A Small beach town with a twist
There is a lot to do in Langkawi, beautiful beaches, amazing food, local markets, and some very touristy infrastructure that is still fun. We found time to do most of these, enjoy a dip in a local waterfall, drive around a lot, and witness some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The one thing that still comes to memory first when I think of the trip is … Continue reading Langkawi – A lesson in life…
Most people I know haven’t heard the name of this city and hardly anyone has ever been able to associate it with Laos. I didn’t know much of what to expect when we drove in a little after dark. We had a room blocked off in a villa that was rated in the high nines on most 10 point ratings. It boasted of a Mekong … Continue reading Luang Prabang- A stunning small town
About a decade ago this small town was the hub of sinful travel in SE Asia. It was a drug-heaven, a center for flesh trade, and a place for wealthy backpackers to enjoy various gifts of nature. A swift government action took away all the crime and what was left was a lot of tourist infrastructure and the beautiful nature. Soon Vang Vieng found a … Continue reading Vang Vieng – The Reformed Tourist Destination
Laos is a small country that sits quietly among its very prominent and loud neighbors like Thailand and Vietnam. Vientiane is its befitting capital! A quiet place where all the buzz and the nightlife in Bangkok is replaced by awesome local food and beautiful temples all around. You can look across the river to see a Thai town known for its flesh trade. In Vientiane, … Continue reading Vientiane – Food, temples and do you need anything else?
This one looks jaded on paper when you compare it to the two tourism magnet countries that surround it. The lack of popularity can be a boon or a bane – there is not as much infrastructure but there aren’t the crowds either. The planning part was easy. There are 3 major cities. Vientiane is the capital with amazing food and numerous ornate but small … Continue reading Laos – A road less travelled!
Every drive in Iceland is spectacular and it’s hard to pick anyone to be better than others. This drive does stand out a bit for the number of known and named attraction it gives access to. Once we ended up at the wrong trailhead and still ended up finding a beautiful glacier at the end. We did do a day trip to Vik and back, … Continue reading Vik – The journey is the destination