Ocher & Blue Sur, Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Shab, Qalhat; Oman

For the next two days, we based ourselves in Sur, which is a convenient location from where to explore the coast. In Sur itself there’s not a lot to do except maybe for taking a walk across the suspension bridge to the lighthouse or to one of the watchtowers that look out over the city…

Reminders of Centuries Past Nizwa, Bahla, Jabreen, Misfat al Abriyyin, Al Ayn; Oman

A 1.5 hours drive from Muscat brings you to Nizwa, a town at the foot of the Western Hajar mountains. It was once a center for trade and education and is still an important town – the biggest in the region – due to its good location at the roads linking Muscat with the interior and the…

Plain of History Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars, Laos

It’s only 260 km from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan but even the “fast” minivan takes a good six hours for the journey. If you only get a little bit motion sick, be prepared to get badly motion sick here. The road has approximately 1000 bends. At least. The Plain of Jars Phonsavan is on a…

Sri Lanka: Culture, Caves, and Rocks Kandy, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, and Pidruangala

Kandy: Drums & Buriani “Hello, my friend! Where are you from?”, is how most conversations in Kandy started. That’s how we met a guy who, after asking what we were looking for – tea in bags – lead us through Kandy and into back alleys probably no tourists ever venture into. Instead of just sending…

Angkor: Too Big To Fail? Cambodia

Angkor is an archeological site in Cambodia that stretches over some 400 km2. It was the capital – actually, several capital cities, each with a huge temple at its center – during the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th century. The remains, over 1000 temples and other structures, include the famous Angkor Wat…

Sunset over Thousands of Temples Bagan and Mandalay, Myanmar

Bagan, the ancient city of thousands of temples, is a stunning place beyond comparison and probably the reason to visit Myanmar. A rich history Built over a period of 250 years around a thousand years ago, there were once about 10’000 temples, pagodas, stupas, and monasteries built of wood and/or stone. Most of them didn’t…

Baja California Sur: La Península Bonita Mexico

I never wanted to go to Cancún (those party/beach towns just aren’t my kind of place) but Cancún has a big airport and connections to almost anywhere. Also, internal flights in Mexico are quite cheap so that’s how we ended up spending a few days there (in the city center, just to be clear) before flying…

Belize: Relax. Go Slow. Caye Caulker, the ATM Cave, and Corozal

Belize doesn’t seem to be part of Central America anymore, it’s much more a Caribbean country. People speak English and Kriol (and Spanish, and Garífuna, and a whole lot of other languages), rice is flavored with coconut (in my opinion that should be the normal way to cook rice), the houses look different, and once…

El Mirador: A Pyramid With a View An ancient Maya city hidden in the jungle of Guatemala

About 40% of Guatemala’s 15 million inhabitants are of Mayan ancestry. “Maya” is actually a collective term for Amerindian people who, to some degree, share cultural and linguistic heritage.  Apart from Spanish, 21 Mayan languages are spoken in Guatemala but they are not recognized as official languages. A highly developed civilization The pre-Columbian Mayan civilizations…

Salta la Linda Argentina

Salta is not only miles away but also worlds apart from Patagonia. It’s a lively, bustling city surrounded by green hills, it has beautiful old buildings (though not all of them in good condition), impressive churches and a big central plaza where cultural events such as music and traditional dance take place. . A lively…

Stone Age: Ischigualasto and Talampaya Argentina

From the town of Perito Moreno, where we visited the Cueva de las Manos, we went straight to Villa Unión in order to visit the famous Talampaya and Ischigualasto parks. “Straight to Villa Unión” actually means that we spent 4 days in buses, with stops in Bariloche, Neuquén (where we happened to be there on…

Cueva de las Manos: High Five Argentina

Patagonia has been inhabited for thousands of years. The last indigenous inhabitants were the Tehuelche people, most of whom have been killed in Argentina’s Campaña del Desierto (Desert Campaign) between 1787 and 1880. The native people left traces in form of tools and rock paintings. Some of the finest paintings – in all of South America…