Stone Town Zanzibar, Tanzania

Traders used to travel the route by ship, we took the plane: From Muscat to Zanzibar. The archipelago of Zanzibar is made up of the big islands of Unguja, commonly known as Zanzibar, and Pemba, as well as many small islands. In 1698, the archipelago came under the control of the Sultanate of Oman. Even…

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…

A Unique Blend of Tradition and Modernity Muscat, Oman

Muscat has for centuries been an important trading port due to its strategic location at the Arabian Sea. Today, it’s the capital and biggest city of Oman. Don’t expect a city like Dubai or Doha however, because Muscat is different. Tradition is still very important in Oman and Omanis are proud of their culture and tradition….

Karlu Karlu: Where the Devil Dropped His Marbles Northern Territory, Australia

Karlu Karlu, or the Devils Marbles (yes, without an apostrophe. Really.) are huge granite boulders that are of great cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people of the area. After hours of driving through flat, never-really-changing landscape, the boulders come as a real surprise. Huge pieces of rock strewn over a big area rise…

Kakadu National Park: Open Air Gallery Northern Territory, Australia

The area of UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park has been continuously inhabited by Aboriginal people for over 50’000 years. Aboriginal history and culture is illustrated by some 5000 recorded rock art sites; however, only very few of them are accessible to tourists. The national park covers a huge area (about half the size…

Tana Toraja: Living Among Dead Getting to know the unique culture of the Torajan people in Sulawesi

Death is just another part of life for the Torajas. When someone dies, that person isn’t buried immediately because the deceased is not considered dead but sick and keeps on living in the family home. Dead but not really With our guide Yacob (a very kind and knowledgeable man who last year guided a National Geographic…

Born to Die: Funeral Ceremonies of the Toraja Sulawesi, Indonesia

In the land of the Toraja In Indonesia there are over 300 different ethnic groups. One of them are the Toraja, who live in the highlands of South Sulawesi. Tana Toraja, the “Land of the Toraja”, is known for its good coffee but also for the – for an outsider rather strange (or, more accurate,…

Four Nights in Bangkok Bangkok, Thailand

Stopover in Bangkok? Why not. Bangkok is a huge city which has grown very fast and with little urban planning, the roads are perpetually congested and the subway only operates in some parts of the city (but not where the tourist attractions are). Nevertheless, Bangkok is an interesting city and has that something that makes…

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…