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…

Jaisalmer: Sand Castle Rajasthan, India

A City of Golden Sand Jaisalmer, situated in the far northwestern corner of Rajasthan and close to the heavily fortified border with Pakistan, is called the Golden City. The name fits: golden buildings, the highest and most impressive one of them the fort towering over the old walled city, rise from the golden sands of…

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…

Delhi: The City That Never Sleeps India

Arriving in Delhi Whether you like Delhi or not, you have to admit it’s a fascinating place. It’s chaotic, crazy, and one of those places you will never forget no matter how short the time you’ve spent there. Everyone who’s been there has an opinion about Delhi. Mine is not a particularly good one though…

Elephants Up Close: Sri Lanka’s National Parks Minneriya and Kumana National Parks, Sri Lanka

Although Sri Lanka has one of the highest densities of elephants in Asia, these animals are threatened by habitat loss. Now they live only in quite small areas in the country’s dry zones. Minneriya National Park One of the best places to spot elephants is in the national parks Minneriya and Kaudulla close to the…

Ella: A Small Town in Sri Lanka’s Highlands Enjoy the views and a good cup of tea in Ella

Ella is a small highland village with at least as many tourists as locals. Practically every house has been turned into a guesthouse, a lot of new houses (read: guesthouses) are under construction and virtually all the restaurants and shops in town are solely aimed at tourists. Why? I’m not quite sure, to be honest….

On the Road in Sri Lanka Buses, trains and tuk-tuk

There are several ways to get around in Sri Lanka. Buses, trains, and tuk-tuk are the most common means of transportation. Cars are good as well, of course, but too expensive. And you definitely need a driver who’s familiar with the Sri Lankan way of driving. Tuk-tuk Tuk-tuks are loud, uncomfortable, not particularly good-looking, and…

Nilaveli and Arugam Bay: Fish & Surfboards Sri Lanka's East Coast

Sri Lanka has beautiful beaches. The most well known are along the west coast and the south, but the east coast is well worth a visit too. Nilaveli There’s tranquil Nilaveli for instance; a quiet (some would say boring) small village. More precisely, it’s some houses along the road, a few guesthouses and hotels, and…