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…

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…

Morotai: Back in Time Morotai, North Maluku, Indonesia

Exploring Morotai Daruba, Morotai’s main town, has at least one very good restaurant: Rumah Makan Irfamas (Ikan Bakar, what else.). However, apart from eating good fish there’s not much to do in Daruba. You have to get out of town. Muhlis Eso, the guy from Morotai’s WWII museum (it’s a small private collection, but a big museum…

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…

Phnom Penh: History Lesson Learning about Cambodia's past

In the first half of the 20th century, Phnom Penh was known as the “Pearl of Asia”. Today, it’s Cambodia’s largest city and its booming economic center. The Khmer Rouge regime Not so long ago however, Phnom Penh was a ghost city and the center of the Khmer Rouge’s terror regime. The Khmer Rouge wanted…

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…

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…

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…