Bikaner & Mandawa: Relics of a Rich Past Rajasthan, India

Bikaner Bikaner is situated in northwestern Rajasthan, in the middle of the Thar desert. Summer temperatures are scorching hot but in winter it can get very cold. We visited in January and while the days were pleasantly warm, the nights were quite cold and I was glad I had brought a sleeping bag because the…

Jodhpur: Blue(s) City Rajasthan, India

Ranakpur On the way from Udaipur to Jodhpur, we passed through Ranakpur, known for its big Jain temple. Our driver left us at the entrance of the temple but we didn’t enter but instead took a walk around it and then just relaxed on a bench outside the temple, enjoying the silence. Ranakpur is beautifully…

Udaipur: City of Art Rajasthan, India

Udaipur We stayed two nights in Udaipur, which was a good decision and we could have stayed a day or two more; there’s always something to see and do in the so-called City of Lakes. We stayed at Yellow Heights Hotel, which takes pride in being the cleanest hotel in India, according to the yearly…

Chittorgarh & Pushkar: A Mighty Fort & A Holy Lake Rajasthan, India

Pushkar Pushkar, a small town to the west of Jaipur, is built around holy Pushkar lake, and pilgrimage site for Hindus and Sikhs. It’s a very touristy place and the narrow streets are lined with countless shops selling textiles, leather items, jewelry, and all kinds of souvenirs, and in between the shops are myriad of…

Jaipur: Art, Culture & History Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur & Amber Fort, Rajasthan, India

Fatehpur Sikri If you have your own wheels or, more likely, a car with a driver, you can plan a few stops on the very long journey from Agra to Jaipur. The first of these should be Fatehpur Sikri: An ancient fortified city, built in the sixteenth century by the Mughal emperor Akbar and short-lived…

Taj Mahal: The Wonders of This World Vrindavan, Agra, and the Taj Mahal, India

A visit to northern India is somehow incomplete without a visit to the world-famous Taj Mahal. This iconic building regularly appears on lists of “must-see places” but it’s also frequently listed as one of the “most overrated travel destinations”, and in my opinion deservedly so. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but there are…

Jebel Shams: Mountain of the Sun Oman

Jebel Shams, the “mountain of the sun” is, with over 3000 meters above sea level, Oman’s highest mountain. Right next to it, cutting through the mountains, is Wadi Ghul, creating what is known as the Grand Canyon of Oman. Up the mountain The highest peak is military area and access is therefore restricted. It’s possible…

Sur, Wadi Tiwi, Wadi Shab, Qalhat: Ocher & Blue 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…

Nizwa, Bahla, Jabreen, Misfat al Abriyyin, Al Ayn: Reminders of Centuries Past 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 Jars & 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. It felt like more. The Plain of Jars…

Suva, Nadi, Levuka: 3 Towns, 2 Islands, 1 Ghost Fiji

Fiji should be all about lying at the beach and snorkeling or diving in this amazing turquoise water. However, if you have more time than money on your hands you’re very likely to spend quite some time in Nadi or Suva instead of at the beach. Nadi The capital city of Fiji is Suva. However,…

Efate: Music on the Beach and a Post Office under Water Vanuatu

Efate is Vanuatu’s most populous island, has an international airport, and is home to the capital city of Port Vila. Port Vila may be the capital of Vanuatu but that doesn’t mean it’s a metropolis. Probably the only thing to do here – and that’s a must-do! – is a visit to the central market. The produce…