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DestinationsSri Lanka

Sri Lanka

November 6, 2015 — 0

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Travelling in Feb 2016

Big milestones can come in simple packages. And simple is beautiful. Just like my better half 🙂

It is (well beyond) that time of the year when we start thinking about the Chinese New Year vacation which happen to best Mon-Wed meaning a one week trip is going to be super efficient. (In fact, history will be witness to the fact that 2016 is/was one of the most efficient years in terms of holidays falling adjacent to weekends).

We intend to keep it nearby and simple even though we realise this is a milestone vacation – our 25th country!!!

Yes, while I still prefer to count destinations (and for example, West and East US coasts are two destinations for me), Heena prefers to count the number of countries which are politically apart as destinations. So this is the 25th destination going by the definition of Her Highness and hence a BIG MILESTONE for us!

Going by chronological order, we would have covered the following countries incl. SARs by now:

DestinationsVietnam

Vietnam

October 30, 2015 — 0

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Travelled towards end of 2013

Vietnam trip (Saigon was the city we went to) was a memorable one for many reasons. It was one of those trips that we were planning for a long time being so close to our home (Hong Kong) but never happened to finalise it. Usually we ended up travelling to other places which were further and in our eyes, “more exotic”. Moreover, we could never get around spending a lot of money on flights for “just” 3-4 days so again it never hit the radar for us. So when we finally went there, we had a good laugh that it was always so near, yet so far a place for us.

It is also a memorable trip since it was a complete surprise from me. Vietnam is one of the few countries where Indian passport holders can apply visa online and the traveller need not come in person. Hence I could short list it as a place to surprise my better half. It was a new place, had reasonable things to offer and short enough to be a relaxing jaunt overall. With much pride, I would say that I was able to keep the destination a secret till the boarding gate itself! Yep!!!

One more reason that it was a truly memorable trip is that it was the last trip before we seriously thought of “settling down”. Not that we remember it for it or planned it accordingly, but yeah, that is nonetheless a fact to remember.

DestinationsVietnam

Ho Chi Minh Highlights

October 30, 2015 — 0

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Travelled in late 2013

Ho Chi Minh (“Ho Chi”) is an interesting city. It has all signs of an upcoming metropolis although the economists can debate how long that would take and whether it has what it takes. Nevertheless, there are ample number of new buildings coming up like many cities in India and draw the parallels of an emerging city in a fast growing country. 

That said, the city does have its old world charm as well especially with some marquee buildings still preserving the old world architecture. Our idea for the trip to Ho Chi was to do more of a walking tour and not really see many “places of attractions” etc and we are very glad we did it this way.

That said, the city does have its old world charm as well especially with some marquee buildings still preserving the old world architecture.

ChinaDestinationsYunnan

Lijiang

July 1, 2012 — 0

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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 ).

DestinationsYunnan

Shangri-La

July 1, 2012 — 0

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The city of Shangri-La is officially called Deqen, meaning “A place of blessings”. The city is a small but very beautiful place in the lap of lush green mountains and lined with sparkling streams. The town has a very warm feeling to it and the people (mostly Tibetan origin) were very warm as well. They are Buddhist by religion and they really believe in all the good things that the religion preaches. Our guide was a Tibetan Buddhist as well, and he taught us many good things what the religion stands for. We loved the conversations thoroughly.

Do see the post about the journey from Lijiang to Shangri-La. It is simply breathtaking and one that should tried not to be missed especially if coming with an extra day of travel.

ChinaDestinationsYunnan

Kunming and Dali

July 1, 2012 — 0

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Kunming can be called the modern gateway to Yunnan. The city which is also the capital of the province (state) of the country is one of the more industrialized cities in the east. The city has the fast pace and mayhem of any modern city though probably the look and feel of the city is not as perfect as Beijing and Shanghai, arguably enough. Nevertheless, the infrastructure in the city is as good as an advanced emerging country, for want of a better term.

Dali is a much lesser commercialised city and is quite picturesque. This is also reflected in the transition as you start approaching Dali. One other highlight – the people of Dali. As is typical of most people who are not yet “scandalised” by the commercialism of big cities, they are fun loving, simple, friendly people who are quite welcoming to tourists.

Read on for more fun!

ChinaDestinationsYunnan

Yunnan, China

June 18, 2012 — 0

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THE LAND OF ETERNAL SPRINGS

Yunnan is a place for natural beauty lovers. The place has an abundance of rivers, forests and hills, mountains, great dams, reservoirs, lakes and other water bodies. The place is full of rich culture with a perfect blend of Chinese Buddhism as well as Tibetan Buddhism. The government has done well to make the place a comfortable and tourist-friendly one and the infrastructure in the place is quite impressive, especially given that we are not talking about the more industrialized East.

Travelled in 2012