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The Hidden Cave of Thakhek, Laos

Posted by on 5:00 am in Asia, Laos, Spotlight | 0 comments

The Hidden Cave of Thakhek, Laos

A Hidden Cave, Thakhek, Laos Near Thakhek, Loas The area around Thakhek, Laos, is notorious for it’s limestone karst mountains and beautiful caves. There is the Buddha Cave; a small cave halfway up a cliff face that was full of more than 200 Buddha statues when it was discovered just a few years ago. There is Konglor Cave; 7km long with a river flowing all the way through it and boats available to take tourists on tour. However, my favourite cave in the area is hidden away, discovered purely by accident on a bicycle tour and completely...

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Ramadan Dubai – What You Need to Know

Posted by on 10:08 pm in Dubai, Spotlight | 0 comments

Ramadan Dubai – What You Need to Know

Ramadan Dubai – What You Need to Know Dubai is one of those bucket-list locations where everyone has to visit at least once in their lives – however, as I found out, the city is a far different place to be during Ramadan. When you think of Dubai, you think of a vibrant city with supercars whichever way you look and something going on at all times. However, that all changes during the Holy month of Ramadan, as the residents fall into a time of reflection and the city becomes peaceful. Although Dubai is famous for its laws, there are certain...

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The Strange Symbols
at Edakkal Caves

Posted by on 5:00 am in Asia, India, Spotlight | 0 comments

The Strange Symbols at Edakkal Caves

Edakkal Caves What drew me to these caves in the Wayanad district, Kerala was that it was a pre-historic site with mysterious engravings. I had read that the carvings resembled the rock impressions of Styrian Alps and that they were from the Neolithic period. So I wanted to check the site out even if it meant trudging uphill for an hour or so with my eight year old son. Wayand is typically a five hour drive from Bangalore and I reached the trek spot around 8:30 in the morning. I wanted to trek early to avoid the hot sun. At the entrance I had...

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The Reunification Express – Vietnam

Posted by on 4:00 am in Asia, Spotlight, Vietnam | 1 comment

The Reunification Express – Vietnam

Train Travel Thorough Vietnam Perhaps it is the desire to see the place that I am traveling through, perhaps it is the people I always end up meeting along the way or perhaps it is the desire to travel in an environmentally conscious way; whatever the reason, I am drawn time and again to overland travel instead of the air. So, once more I found myself desperately trying to cram my oversized rucksack into the tiny space allocated for luggage beneath the bottom bunk before I could climb up to my bed above it. This small space, with four beds...

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A Taste of Italy, in Thailand

Posted by on 5:00 am in Asia, Italy, Spotlight, Thailand | 0 comments

A Taste of Italy, in Thailand

Plans change. Sometimes for the better . On a recent Asian cruise I discovered, upon docking at Thailand’s Laem Chabang, that my selected shore excursion to Pattaya Beach had sold out. Disappointed, I chose an alternative a short drive away, which promised a visit to a winery. Since I wasn’t aware Thailand even had a wine industry, I had visions of a rustic backyard shed and a few straggly vines. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Silverlake Vineyard was established by a former Thai movie star in 2002 and is a real surprise! Jumping on the...

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A Shooting Star Over Baghdad

Posted by on 4:00 am in Announcements, Iraq, Middle East, Qatar, Spotlight | 0 comments

A Shooting Star Over Baghdad

Tonight’s flight to Doha is a bit different than last night’s flight to Istanbul from Toronto. Nine out of ten passengers are men over the age of 50 and I’m one of five women. There is a lot of snoring happening compared to this morning’s cries of small children. The flight route from Istanbul to Doha is right over Baghdad and Kuwait – the Eastern side, over Iraq and Iran. Despite being an avid traveler, this thought gives me uneasy butterflies in my stomach. My whole life, I’ve been taught to be afraid of exactly where I...

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Tales of a Solo Traveler

Posted by on 5:00 am in Asia, Philippines, Spotlight | 0 comments

Tales of a Solo Traveler

Domestic Beginnings I was twenty-four the first time I boarded a plane. It was a forty-five minute flight via Philippine Airlines from Dipolog City to Cebu, two of the many fascinating travel destinations in the Philippines. At that time I was one of those unfortunate souls who could barely tolerate traveling a mile, by land or by sea, without feeling as though a million giant butterflies are frantically trying to escape from the abyss of my Filipino gut. Nevertheless, I survived that first flight without the whole world knowing: I had to...

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Cycling in Cambodia

Posted by on 7:00 am in Announcements, Asia, Cambodia, Spotlight | 3 comments

Cycling in Cambodia

The Idea Two days earlier, I had arrived in Siem Reap with little more than an idea: to go cycle touring in northern Cambodia. With no information available online, I set off with little idea what to expect and nothing but a small rucksack filled with a single change of clothes, a few spare bike parts and enough food and water for a couple of hours. It wasn’t long before I left the busy tourist centre with its many souvenirs and hawkers and entered instead, a local’s market. Fruit stalls lined the roadside; each one with its own makeshift...

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Sukhothai, Thailand

Posted by on 8:00 am in Asia, ITKT Blogs, Spotlight, Thailand | 0 comments

Sukhothai, Thailand

There is a distinct freedom that is ever present when site seeing by bike. Maybe it is because having my own transportation allowed me to briefly escape the constant hammering of touts by the locals. During my latest bicycle trip, I explored the 800 year old UNESCO World Heritage site of Sukhothai, Thailand. Besides its other worldly temples that sat upon mirror-like lotus ponds, the main highlight was the megalithic Buddha of Wat Si Chum. Upon entering, I found several unlit incense sticks and a lighter that were on the main altar. I looked...

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The Toy-Train of Darjeeling

Posted by on 6:00 am in Asia, India, Spotlight | 0 comments

The Toy-Train of Darjeeling

For the kid in me… The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the 1st that I sat on. It’s called the Toy-Train. They are also called Mountain Railways, and there are 5 such Mountain Railways in India – Kalka-Shimla Railway [Himachal Pradesh], Darjeeling Himalayan Railway [WestBengal], Nilgiri Mountain Railway [TamilNadu], Matheran Hill Railway [Maharashtra] & Kangra Valley Railway [Himachal Pradesh]. These trains were built during the nineteenth and early twentieth century and are now operated by Indian Railways. The Train route covers...

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Giving Alms in Thailand

Posted by on 8:00 am in Asia, Spotlight, Thailand | 2 comments

Giving Alms in Thailand

I washed my hands, wore a spotless white shirt and made sure my face was cleanly shaven. Hastily checking my cellphone clock, I grabbed my bananas, chose seven gnoh (for its religious and spiritual significance) and gingerly placed each item into a plastic bag. With my heart beat steadily increasing and sweat beads forming on my forehead, I proceeded out of my apartment and embarked on the first phase of alms giving—finding a monk. Just a month before, I was taught the proper way to give alms in my Thai cultural teacher training course....

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Glass Walkway
For a Shanghai Tower

Posted by on 6:00 am in Announcements, China | 0 comments

Glass Walkway For a Shanghai Tower

Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world at 1260 feet tall. A glass walkway was added that allows visitors to walk around and admire the exterior of the top floor of the building. Tourists will be able to walk around the building, at more than 1020 feet on a transparent walkway that has no railings. With a width of only 48 inches, the bridge is not recommended for those with fear of heights. Tourists visiting the Jin Mao tower (Chinese for Golden Prosperity) will wear safety harnesses and helmets to go out on...

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For the Love of Nasi Lemak

Posted by on 6:00 am in Asia, Malaysia, Spotlight | 0 comments

For the Love of Nasi Lemak

I live in the birthplace of one fantastic dish, and it’s one that many have not heard of. Yes, a good old plate of Nasi Lemak. Where am I from? Malaysia. A country that’s filled with different walks of Asians – Indians, Chinese, Punjabis, Malays and a whole number of other races. What makes the country unique is the fact that all come together as one in festivities, cultural celebrations and yes, food. Our national dish has got to be the Nasi Lemak. How could a meal possibly represent an entire country? Well, for one, Malaysians love to eat...

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Slow Boat to Bagan, Myanmar

Posted by on 6:00 am in Asia, Myanmar, Spotlight | 0 comments

Slow Boat to Bagan, Myanmar

I always enjoy using different modes of transportation when exploring new places. Today I was taking a riverboat, leaving Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) and heading southward to Bagan. Most travelers make this journey by bus, but I chose to take the MGRG Boat instead. True, the bus would have been a bit cheaper ($9.00 vs. $45.00 US), but the chance to cruise down the Irrawaddy River was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. It would allow me a chance to kick back and relax a bit as I watched Burmese villages and life on the riverbank slide past....

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Carcass – The Thar Desert, India

Posted by on 6:00 am in Asia, India, Spotlight | 0 comments

Carcass – The Thar Desert, India

The Desert is a great leveler The Desert provides. The Desert consumes. And you do not get to decide this. The Desert decides. I photographed this Buffalo carcass on my 4th day of my trek across The Thar Desert, Jaisalmer, India with the Youth Hostel Association of India [YHAI] back in December 2014. I had set to cross the entire Thar Desert on foot. The 40km trek was divided between 5 camps. Our Base camp was at the Border Home Guards. Low flying aircrafts and Indian Army personnel were a common scene here. It was an honour to share space...

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