Very Nasty Varanasi

  It’s a 10:00am arrival at the Varanasi Junction…and a moving swath of humanity spits us out of the Marudhar Express. The Marudhar Express. It’s a grand name for a the train that, in reality, crawls the 782 kilometres of track from  Jaipur to Varanasi like a drunk on all-fours. This being India, the 18-hour locomotive journey turns into a butt-numbing 21-hours. Because ‘Life is Suffering’ for the Buddhist, and even more so for the budget backpacker.     Architect Cheech and Tam  (a lovely gal from Amsterdam who possesses the regal ability to remain composed amid the cowpooh) fasten their backpacks,...

Paharganj: Bizarre Bazaar Mar02

Paharganj: Bizarre B...

Delhi, India   From the immaculate Lodi Gardens to the stylish Connaught Circle, from the stately Humayun’s Tomb to the posh Diplomatic Enclave, Delhi has some lovely places. Paharganj refuses to be one of them. Our Coleman cooler on wheels, with over-ambitious pretenses of being a...

Delhi-rious Feb22

Delhi-rious

Delhi, India After a moderately bumpy yet cheap flight (thanks to Tony Fernandes & AirAsia) from Kuala Lumpur, the evening landing in Delhi, last capital of the British Raj, was silky smooth and civilised. Architecturally, Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi Airport was of gleaming steel...

Peace of Phi-radise

    Phi Phi Thailand   If your idea of paradise is a tropical isle of powder white sand beaches, palm trees, aquamarine waters, and more bronze-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed bodies than a teenager’s liquid dreams, then Koh Phi Phi (pronounced Pee-Pee) is heaven on...

Chiangmai Surprise

Chiangmai, Northern Thailand Situated a breezy 316-metres up the hills and 700-kilometres from the stifling heat of Bangkok lies Thailand’s cultural jewel, Chiangmai. While considered a city, its ambient feel is that of a lovely old town of compact neighbourhoods, small alleyways, a constellation of charming Wats (temples), a colourful streetlife, a fun night scene, and energetic night bazaars. Temple at the Heart of Chiangmai’s Old Town Chiangmai is reminiscent of charming old sections of European towns but with a distinctive Thai-style. This is the beating heart of the real Thailand. Except for the dreadlocked blond and...

Pai…in the Sky Jun17

Pai…in the Sky

Pai, Thailand The Magical Mystery Tour: 100-kilometres north of Chiangmai and 762 curves through a steep mountain pass via a 150-baht Toyota Hi-Ace ride is your butt-numbing magical mystery trip to a dreamy valley of hippies, banana pancakes, dreadlocked white boys, reggae-hippie Thais,...

Phnom-k Penh-omenal

Phnom Penh, Cambodia Phnom Penh will arrive with a whisper more than a bang. More and more structures will begin to appear along the road and before you realize it, you’ll be passing a university on your left and proceeding straight to city proper. Vegetables at the morning market If...