The Hidden Cave of Thakhek, Laos
Jun16

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...

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Desert Drive-through, Oman
Jun02

Desert Drive-through, Oman

It was not yet 8am when I zipped past the informal city limits of Muscat into open country. Traffic dropped off to a fraction of what it was a mile ago. I curbed the urge to speed up to avoid unwanted attention from speed cameras set every other mile. I was in Oman, the sprawling nation that made up the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman is less glitzy, less in the news and hence less visited than its neighbor, the...

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Horseback Trekking in the Kyrgyzstan Mountains
Apr29

Horseback Trekking in the Kyrgyzstan Mountains

Karakol Livestock Market Horsemanship runs deep through Kyrgyzstan’s veins. Traditionally a nomadic culture, the ability to ride horses and ride them well was not only esteemed, but often necessary. In today’s culture, it is common to see men and women riding their proud horses through towns and villages and mountain passes on a daily basis. Regular riding competitions are held both nationally and locally throughout the year. In...

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The Strange Symbols at Edakkal Caves
Apr07

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...

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The Reunification Express – Vietnam
Mar24

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...

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A Taste of Italy, in Thailand
Mar03

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....

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On the Shores of Lake Baikal
Feb23

On the Shores of Lake Baikal

I was sitting cross-legged on a pebble beach. My roll mat and sleeping bag were already laid out next to me, in anticipation of the night ahead sleeping under the stars. It was perhaps on the cold side to attempt a bivouac, but the flickering campfire and large pile of branches beside me would ensure I stayed warm, or at the least, survived, the night. That same fire, that I had cooked my dinner on just half an hour before, now sent...

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Tracking Sea Turtles in Oman
Feb03

Tracking Sea Turtles in Oman

Life is fragile. But even the most vulnerable of creatures can triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds. One such experience brought tears to my eyes on a cool, windy August evening in Ras Al Jinz, Oman. It was well past sunset, and the deserted beach was dark except for the light of a nearly full moon. The waves of the Indian Ocean crashed against the shore as the tour began. The first sighting was a green sea turtle – an...

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Tales of a Solo Traveler
Jan20

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...

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Cycling in Cambodia
Jan13

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...

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