Nepal – Once is not enough!

Nepal Tourism tagline that says, “Naturally Nepal – Once is not enough” holds absolutely true! From trekking up through a rhododendron forest, to ridge walking above 4000m with jaw-dropping views of the Annapurna Himalayas up close, to enjoying gorgeous sunrise views of the entire mountain range from a village on the foothills, to chilling in a resort on a hill overlooking Phewa Lake & Pokhara city, chasing the one horned Rhino on a jungle safari at Chitwan National Park, experiencing the living heritage city of Patan in a traditional Newari home, to devouring delicious momos, sekwa, Dal Bhat and other traditional food in Kathmandu, it was the most eventful, thrilling & enjoyable two weeks I’ve spent in any country, and I am definitely coming back for more!

Riding through the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Before we set out on our road trip through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, I was nervous about riding for the first time in a new country. It took me a while to get comfortable on the motorbike and let my eyes off the road to enjoy the scenic views. But after riding more than 1300 km through half of the country, I am convinced there is no better way to travel in Vietnam than on a motorbike! And the freedom of exploring a place riding on my own adds to the depth of my travel experiences.

Motorcycle Diaries: Offbeat Vietnam

Starting from bustling Ho Chi Minh City in the South to riding through the Vietnamese countryside with gorgeous landscapes of the Central highlands and paddy fields, rivers and emerald lakes, cruising through the misty cloud covered hills at Hai Van pass to the historic UNESCO cities of Hoi An & Hue in Central Vietnam, with excellent roads & amenities, delicious flavorful food, fresh Ca-Phe (coffee) and friendly Vietnamese people, it was an awesome experience to ride through half of Vietnam and experience the local way of life. The thrill of riding a motorbike and the freedom of going anywhere, was a dream realized… leaving me with yet another reverie, of the higher mountains of North Vietnam!

Magical Myanmar – Instagrammed

Did you know the Burmese use tea leaves as a food ingredient? Other than  brewing a tea, the leaves are fermented to make a special Burmese tea-leaf salad and its yum! Myanmar offered a varied set of experiences from historic temples to nature hikes in the hills and boat rides exploring life on a lake, but it was the delicious Burmese food, readily available salads (and avocado!) and the people who stole my heart!

Weekly photo challenge: The golden hour

The most positive & reflective moments that I’ve spent with myself have been watching the beautiful hues of the sky as the sun sets or the early morning light – the golden hour. Some of the pictures from this hour of the day, when the light is most dramatic & moody, for the Weekly photo challenge:…

Cambodia Painted

I have been enchanted by Cambodia and its colorful images so I decided to paint a few. Some of my favorite pictures that I took at Cambodia as paintings in water-color and oil. Floating house at Tonle Sap Bayon Temple The road ahead On the road A Cambodian Home Streets of Siem Reap Standing Tall…

Banteay Srei Temple

With just half a day left in Siem Reap, we decide to wake up early next morning and visit Banteay Srei. It’s 25 km away from the other temples and one hour by tuk tuk, but the ride there through the country side was the most pleasant one. The endless views of the flatlands of Cambodia, the…

Evening at Angkor

After the sunrise experience at Angkor Wat,it was a must to see the temple in the light of the setting sun. So, the next day at dusk we head to the temple on our tuk-tuk. The temple is much more crowded at this time. Everyone is eager to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Angkor…

The magnificent Angkor

It’s an early day, we’re on our way to visit the grand Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu ( Avatar) – the Preserver. Angkor Wat, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and am excited as its the first time, I’ll experience the spectacular sunrise at the temple. As we cross the bridge over the gigantic Angkor…

Bayon Temple

Prasat Bayon is the main temple of Angkor Thom, and is situated right in the center of the ancient city. As I walk to the temple, the guards at the entrance check my pass. I notice a lot of japanese tourists here, some with their faces covered in hygiene masks. Our guide explains that the temple’s conservation…

Ta Prohm : Jungle temple

In the jungle among the really tall trees is the outer wall of the ‘Jungle temple’ – Ta Prohm. The entrance gate with a Bayon head gopura, leads to a dirt track, on the sides of which are some men under a huge umbrella, playing traditional cambodian music. They are land-mine victims, who now play music,…

Baphuon – A Shiva Temple

Baphuon, a pyramid shaped temple was built in the mid 11th century as the state temple of Udayadityavarman II and was dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It is located in Angkor Thom, northwest of the Bayon in Siem Reap. In the late 15th century, the Baphuon was converted to a Buddhist temple. One side wall of the temple is in the…

The Elephant Terrace

Built by Jayavarman VII, Terrace of the Elephants is a part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, in Cambodia. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and is lost, only the foundation platform of the complex remains. The terrace is named for the carvings of elephants on its eastern face. The middle section of the…

Angkor Thom – Angkor City

The Khmer Empire, one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia flourished from around the 9th to 15th century AD. Founded by King Jayavarmana II, the whole empire covered parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma and Malaysia. It’s greatest legacy Angkor, was the capital city during the empire’s zenith. Angkor Thom, translating to Angkor…

Khmer Cuisine

Khmer cuisine from Cambodia is influenced by the food of neighboring countries of Thailand, Vietnam, China & India. Dreaming about the amalgamation of foods from all these countries, I imagined it to be a burst of exotic flavors. And extraordinary it was, but with a taste that was predominantly sweet. So if you like Asian food…

Floating magic of Tonlé Sap

End October and its the end of rainy season in Cambodia. On Tonle Sap lake,  the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia, the water has submerged the trees and flooded the plains. And yet it seems life goes on normally for the people of the ‘floating village’. Its my first experience of the floating way of life. As my water taxi moves through the village, I realize all houses are floating like rafts, swaying to the waves. They have electricity and amenities like Television, which they power by car batteries! There is a school, a water station, fish and crocodile farms, a church and a police station – all floating on the lake.