Introduction and planning
“For the next trip, let’s throw a dart at the world map. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.”
OK, ready! Close your eyes… shoot! WHACK, Thud!
So, where do you think it landed?
So as the title of this page suggests, we actually went to Phuket really late given that we are from Asia, living very close to this wonderful and famous beach destination and which is usually one of the first ones for Asians would go to. Given that we went to Uzbekistan, Africa, Iceland and most of SE Asia including Bali, it has indeed been “news!!!” that we have NOT been to Phuket yet!
So ladies and gentleman, travel buddies and backpackers… yes, we finally made it to (arguably) the most famous beach destination of Asia – Phuket in 2014! Checked! Done! Been there! Marked!
To be fair (to us!), there had been a few reasons for us not going to Phuket for quite a while…
Old Market of Siem Reap
So we reached Siem Reap after a good flight actually and a very supportive Isha who was a wonderful kid during the journey. In Siem Reap there are two main attractions, Angkor Wat temples (obviously!) and Old Market Area. We went to the latter the first and it was a nice easy evening to walk around the place. It was obviously very hot during the day but evenings were much more pleasant. Not totally but sufficiently to walk around for an hour or two.
Empires rise and fall. Great empires have their peak and then they falter and while some fall slowly but surely, others simply decimate quickly and suddenly due to varied factors. Well, I am not intelligent nor well researched enough on which category the history of Cambodia falls, but what I can say is that visiting the country did showcase the Great Empire Cambodia once had and that it lost its way in between to become one of Asia’s lesser prosperous countries now (2015).
I do see signs that the country wants to get back on its feet and regain some of the lost glory and ironically, the ruins of the glorious past are its immediate catalysts that are helping it do the same. This brings us to the journey of Angkor Wat. Which we took in early 2015. Read on for more! It was surely a delightful / insightful experience.
So, day one started as a fine Saturday morning. I was told that on weekends, there is less rush on the road given that it is a holiday and Londoners like to spend weekend mornings at home relaxing while evenings can get active again. So, I thought of starting early (and it was still at 9am only, for Londoners that’s no way early). Nevertheless, I was prepared to walk more than 10-12 miles today so as to cover as much as I can and leave very little for Sunday as I also had an evening flight to catch.
Knightsbridge market, next to the Tube Station, a very central location dotted with some good hotels such as Sheraton and Mandarin Oriental, some very fine restaurants and the famous Harrods shopping mall
So, day one had the following spots I covered…
We found Taipei to have the features of a fast paced capital city most countries would have but with a blend of nature to it. In many ways, we found it closer to say, Hong Kong rather than Singapore, New York while London is in another league altogether.
Despite being our first trip to the country and not knowing Mandarin, getting around was not an issue with the very efficient public transportation. However, bus travel can be a bit of an issue given that sign boards at the bus stops were only in Chinese in a lot of locations, if not all and hence we almost always needed to ask someone for the same. Eventually, that was a non issue in what was truly a fantastic experience.
Visited December 2012
Sunday morning, a wonderful walking tour behind and a nice and bright sunny day glowing with me gleeing at the thought of summing up my London tour with another day of photo-adventures.
But, before we begin, a few comments to review the hotel I stayed in – Sheraton Park Hotel, Knightsbridge.
While I was in London for my work, I thought of making most of the little opportunity, spending one day of the weekend in Oxford, where a kind friend studying in the university agreed to show the place around while London was a wonderful walking tour all by myself. Read on for more details…
dLijiang has a rich history and the town still speaks every bit it, given the preserved look and feel of the town, partly thanks to the “UNESCO heritage site” status granted back in 1998. The town was an important waypoint during the old “tea horse” route from China to Persia and boasts of some of the world’s most scenic locales around itself.
The journey from Dali to Lijiang is actually breathtaking (though would add here that not as good as one to ).