Goal for my 30th year

The big three-oh. Yes, I turned thirty this year. I told myself to get ready to do something big, scary and special to forever remember what I did during my thirtieth year. So, while I have been back in the United Kingdom I have taken this time to Learn how to ride a Motorbike among many other activities. Learning to ride a motorbike is only one part of the preparation for a bigger part of my goal I must act before my thirtieth year is over. Continue Reading

My experience as a #DigitalNomad

After a year of traveling and working when I can, I can conclude that the dream of working and traveling is a hard mix to get right. Don’t get me wrong, being able to earn while traveling makes the journey last longer. I have visited 13 countries in 13 months, learned how to scuba dive and experienced new ways of living. During my travels I have factored in a good amount of ‘down time’ to, commit some work and relax doing, well nothing. Continue Reading

Crossing in 60 seconds.

Every sixty seconds the lights at change from red to green, at this moment over 100 people cross this from all areas in Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan. Watch this short time-lapse I compiled while enjoying a Chai Tea Latte in a popular coffee shop with a good vantage point. Also, spotted Wally (a.k.a Woldo) Continue Reading

Still here

For those of you wondering, I’m still here and active, and have just been plain lazy and enjoying myself on my travels. My Instagram account is linked to my site and publishes automatically my photo updates that I hope you’re enjoying and not finding too annoying. I am working a new design for my site that displays photos bigger and better. A few draft posts are in the pipelines but yet to finish the media content completely, due to limited internet bandwidth. Continue Reading

Moalboal, the short walk out to open water.

Most people will tell me “the Philippines is a fantastic place for scuba diving” and since I have my open water scuba certifications I have no excuse to test this statement. Moalboal is a 3 hour local bus journey away from Cebu City (a short journey compared to our previous bus trips). The fair is a little over ₱110 per person, and busses run very regularly alternating between A/C and non-A/C. Continue Reading

Celebrating over 6 months of traveling

It’s such an alien feeling spending the holiday season over 10,000km (6,600 miles) away from my family. Actually this would have been the first Christmas I spent not dancing with Turkey and feasting on gorgeous food. However far I go I always think of home, I may not Skype that often as I would like to but it is nice to hear my mom, and dogs are still doing well, I do worry about my step dad Gary though. Continue Reading

Quick Update November 2014

Video update on YouTube Continue Reading

The once empty capital city of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh the capital of Cambodia. As in many places we’ve travelled to, stepping off the bus we were greeted by many tuk-tuk riders asking “where you go” in hopes to get a fare. Being savvy Kim and I decided to take the short 1.5km walk from the bus terminal to our pre-booked hotel. After dropping our bags exploration and food comes to mind, around the corner from the hotel is The Royal Palace, at the time of visiting the immediate roads around the palace were cordoned off disallowing any motorised vehicles from coming close to the palace, this made for a peaceful walk around the perimeter. Continue Reading

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City was our last stop in Vietnam, we stayed in a Cheerful Home in Siagon that’s listed on AirBnB for 1 week and our hosts made us feel very much at home. Most days we spent walking around the city, eating good food, and gathering last bit’s of souvenirs of Vietnam before we leave. Busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City formally named Siagon is the largest city in Vietnam with a population of over 8 million residents. Continue Reading

Vietnam

I am immensely proud to have visited the country of Vietnam, I never would have seen myself going Vietnam if I was not challenging South East Asia overland. The plan set out is to travel from the north of Vietnam Hanoi, to Singapore using only land transport (mostly to keep costs down from Air Fair). After spending 2 complete months in Vietnam we crossed the border into Cambodia on Wednesday 8th October 2014 - More about Cambodia later. Continue Reading

Chill Skybar

As there are many high rise buildings around a visit to view the city scape in the night could not go a miss. I decided to go Chill Skybar (Ranked #14 of 207 Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City on Tripadvisor) . Thinking I would not be allowed to enter with a my traveling t-shirt and shorts, I was not questioned once. The staff treated us with quality service, like we’re celebrities. Continue Reading

Pizza 4P's

Recommended by our hosts, Pizza 4P’s (Ranked #57 of 4,118 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City on Tripadvisor) is undoubtedly the best independent place I have been for pizza that is cooked in a traditional clay oven. We ordered two pizza’s one pepperoni & salami, and half/half tuna & sweetcorn and Teriyaki Chicken. We sat at the circle bar next to the clay oven and where the pizza’s are prepared. Continue Reading

Bahdja Restaurant

I visited Bahdja Restaurant with some friends, treating all of us to a cuisine non of us have ever experienced, Algerian (North African) Food. It was a little difficult to find as there was no major signage that made it obvious to spot. It’s tucked away under a hotel. The place only has 6 tables to cover, and we where lucky to be seated. The decoration makes for pleasant relaxation while browsing the minimal but concise menu. Continue Reading

Sax n Art Jazz Club

While in Ho Chi Minh City, we invited our hosts out for an evening of cocktails and music at Sax n Art Jazz Club (Ranked #6 of 22 Concerts & Shows in Ho Chi Minh City on Tripadvisor) . We arrived just in time to get a table, order some drinks and listen to the live Jazz performances. The layout is interesting with the side-on stage, and cool lighting. I had high expectations to have a breathtaking experience of beautiful, unique, exciting, energising music. Continue Reading

Củ Chi Tunnels

The tunnels of Củ Chi (Ranked #1 of 234 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City on Tripadvisor) are a network of connecting underground tunnels used during the Vietnam war. The locals would live under group and defend their land. I booked the tour via TheSinhTourist at the same time as booking onward tickets to Cambodia. The Củ Chi Tunnels cost 109,000VND for half a day with a tour guide and entry. Continue Reading

Ichiban Sushi

Ichiban Sushi (Ranked #110 of 4,118 Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City on Tripadvisor) rightfully ranked #1 for its attention to detail. We stat at the bar and ordered form the wide array of delicious looking dishes, Shrimp, and Salmon Nigiri. As we waited for our dishes to arrive, we watched the skilled Sushi chef’s carefully prepare the the many dishes that are printed up on a large LCD screen above. Continue Reading

The freedom of Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a quiet sandy town with plenty of sun, sand and a beach not really something to rave about. We stayed at WindFlower Boutique Hotel (Ranked #79 of 172 hotels in Phan Thiet on Tripadvisor) for 2 nights spending most the the time relaxing in the pool and watching the sun set over the South China Sea. WindFlower Beach Boutique Hotel - Mui Ne 76 Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Mũi Né, Thành phố Phan Thiết Address: 76 Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Mũi Né, Tp. Continue Reading

Da Lat

We visited Đà Lạt the capital of Lâm Đồng Province in Vietnam. Dalat with an altitude of 1500 it is much cooler than other towns and cities we visited in Vietnam. Its a popular off-track tourist destination that requires a small bus to twist and turn around tight Mountains roads and uneven surfaces. We stayed at Tulip Xanh Dalat Hotel, which the staff are nice but the sleep quality is not so good due to light and noise. Continue Reading

Good Morning Nha Trang

The is the beach capital of Vietnam, with a long beach span that makes watching the morning sunrise magical. Many travel goers flock to this beach with its high-rise resorts right along the coast line, most residents are within a short walk from the busy beach. We arrived via Train from Da Nang, the journey was very painless and not as eventful as the Journey from Hanoi to Hue. Upon arriving we took a taxi (as always with Maylin) to our hotel Golden Sea Hotel, unfortunately we was met with friendly staff which turned hostile when they insisted we pay before staying or forfeit out passport (something we have not had to do in the North of Vietnam). Continue Reading

Lanterns Vietnamese Restaurant

Lanterns is a Vietnamese restaurant (Ranked #42 of 653 Restaurants in Nha Trang on Tripadvisor) , it serves a good choice of popular Vietnamese dishes, most impressive choice would be the BBQ. Choosing a choice of meats to be cooked on your very own BBQ at your table makes an interesting experience. The meat is nicely marinated before it is brought to the table. The food is of great quality and the service is friendly and talkative that complements a comfortable atmosphere. Continue Reading

White Lion Hotel

Located down a quiet alley right behind The Summer Hotel is White Lion Hotel (Ranked #34 of 442 B&Bs / Inns in Nha Trang on Tripadvisor) . This little hotel is cheap and very very cheerful, we paid 300,000d per night half the price of a basic room in The Summer Hotel. This hotel does not provide food or breakfast, but there are plenty of places around to get food. Continue Reading

Pita GR Restaurant

Pita is a Greek restaurant (Ranked #30 of 653 Restaurants in Nha Trang on Tripadvisor) with a simple menu the food is of great quality. I went here with my partner one evening as on occasion I do like the taste of Greek cuisine, Pita delivered! The gyros (meat, fries, tomato, onion, and teatziki sauc, is served and tastes just as it does in Greece. Such a pleasure to be treated to a nostalgic meal. Continue Reading

Da Nang

We stayed in Da Nang for a 2 nights in Olina Hotel before catching the next 14+ hour train to Nha Trang. The city is spacious with many roads built waiting for properties to be built on them (future fetched), the highly of Da Nang would be the colourful bridges at night. Each night the bridges would illuminate with colourful light displays. We took a quick walk to the beach but did not stay for long as a storm was working its way in. Continue Reading

Olina Hotel

Olina Hotel (Ranked #33 of 546 B&Bs / Inns in Da Nang on Tripadvisor) is a budget hotel, after checking reviews for all hotels within our price range this hotel yields less problems. The hotel is noisy by other guests and outside construction. The rooms are large with simple mini bar old CRT television and tiled bathroom. They look tired and would benefit painting, the desk is MDF and has water ring marks which is common for this type of wood. Continue Reading

Quán Cơm Huế Ngon

We visited Quán Cơm Huế Ngon (Ranked #84 of 1,161 Restaurants in Da Nang on Tripadvisor) on a Friday night and luckily got a table. Very busy with locals no other westerners to be seen. The menu choice is extensive. We chose items familiar to us, chicken, prawns, beef, and pork. The portions are relatively small so many plates will need to be ordered to feel full enough (the chicken is just a wing chopped into 4 parts for 39,000 dong). Continue Reading

Prince Hotel

Prince Hotel (Ranked #45 of 346 hotels in Hoi An on Tripadvisor) is a fresh hotel 1km away from the city centre of Hội An. The hotel has a small swimming pool, bicycle rental and is located in a quiet area of Hội An. The staff are friendly and always willing to help guests with plans, they do ask a lot about your onward travel plans to see if they are able to help and book travel tickets. Continue Reading

Hội An

Hoi An is recognised for the UNESCO heritage site Hội An Ancient Town. The ancient city is a designated area where most the properties are well maintained and occupied by trade. Many cloths shops, restaurants, souvenir stores and travel agents. Amongst this are a few museums and attractions. I was expecting the ancient city to look and feel really old, with beautiful detail and architecture, instead I was greeted with the same stores as outside the heritage site, just items selling at higher the price. Continue Reading

Namaste - Omar's Indian Restaurant

Namaste - Omar’s Indian Restaurant (Ranked #96 of 986 Restaurants in Hoi An on Tripadvisor) that serves a good selection of dishes from all over India. We walked in around 6pm and the place was empty, (but not for long) by time we ordered more customers were seated. The place was completely full within an hour and customers had to be turned away, there is a reason for this. Continue Reading

Hola Taco

Hola Taco is a Mexican restaurant (Ranked #107 of 986 Restaurants in Hoi An on Tripadvisor) We could not be more satisfied with the food, service and price. The music and atmosphere is really relaxing, staff are friendly and food is just damn awesome! We tried the Chicken Taco, Pork Taco Guacamole with baked nachos and BBQ wings. Every flavour carefully balanced and subtly spiced. It’s rare for restaurants to serve cider so to see Magners on the menu it was hard not to have a drink. Continue Reading

Trip Nguyen Restaurant Cafe

Trip Nguyen Restaurant Cafe (Ranked #302 of 986 Restaurants in Hoi An on Tripadvisor) serves many Vietnamese dishes We walked into this place on a whim as we seen many other travellers eating and drinking there. Ordering a few plates for lunch we ordered White Rose, Cao Lầu, and Chicken Rice - all Hoi An’s specialities. This quick introduction into Hoi An’s flavours that are delivered very cheaply. The flavours and portions are very good instantly making me fall in love with Hoi An food. Continue Reading

Huế

The adventure outside of Vietnam’s capital begins with Hue, 14 hour day train took us from Hanoi to Huế and arrived in the evening after dark (20:20 PM). Maylin taxi (the green cars, heard to be the most reliable and honest) to deliver us to Than Thien Hotel. Exhausted from sitting on a train all day, we needed a filling meal before we can take Doxycycline (an anantimalarial antibiotic) - the antibiotic is rejected from the body if consumed on a empty stomach. Continue Reading

Than Thien Hotel - Friendly Hotel

Than Thien Hotel - Friendly Hotel (Ranked #29 of 183 hotels in Hue on Tripadvisor) is a hotel in a great location allowing quiet getaway while still being in the City region. Pros: Spacious rooms Rooms have windows Staff are friendly Good quiet location Great breakfast selection Huge Window with view Cons: Air-conditioning units may fail. Rooms are spacious with a quality bathroom that has a glass separator for the shower. Continue Reading

The Little Menu Resturant

After checking our Lonely Planet book and TripAdvisor we decided to eat at the Little Menu Restaurant (Ranked #104 of 986 Restaurants in Hoi An on Tripadvisor) for our first night in Hoi an. This place has a simple menu with an array of dishes ranging in price. There specials are written up on chalk boards, but they are only rotated seasonally instead of daily or weekly. We chose Rolls tasting platter, Chicken in banana leaf “special” and Banana Blossom salad with grilled chicken. Continue Reading

Zucca

Zucca is a Italian, Vietnamese Restaurant (Ranked #17 of 382 Restaurants in Hue on Tripadvisor) . We did not try any Italian food instead trying the grilled selection, and was pleasantly impressed. We had grilled chicken lemon grass skewers that are wonderfully seasoned and prepared with fresh ingredients, seasoned beans, and noodles. You have to eat here. Zucca Restaurant 3 Đội Cung, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế Address: 3 Đội Cung, Phú Hội, Thành phố Huế, Thừa Thiên Huế, Vietnam Phone: 0772 427 375 Continue Reading

Bò Nướng Xuân Xuân 47 Mã Mây

We regularly go to Bò Nướng Xuân Xuân 47 Mã Mây  (Ranked #164 of 2,812 Restaurants in Hanoi on Tripadvisor) for a simple cheap evening dinner that we can cook to our own liking. You get given a BBQ griddle, a heap of meat and vegetables, a lime chilli & salt dipping sauce and can choose to add bread or rice. The BBQ grill’s use smokeless fuel that lasts about 10-15 minutes, we usually have to ask for more fire (at no extra charge). Continue Reading

Hà Nội

Hanoi is the current capital of Vietnam and the second largest city in Vietnam with an estimated population of over 2.6 million residents. Hanoi is a popular city for tourists traveling to Sapa or Halong Bay, many tour operators and hotels will insist you book the tours. Many motorbikes taking up the sidewalk. The crowded streets make walking a test of the brave as sidewalks are mostly occupied by parked motorbikes. Continue Reading

The Moose and Roo Pub & Grill

The Moose and Roo Pub & Grill (Ranked #135 of 2,812 Restaurants in Hanoi on Tripadvisor) is a quality gastropub in the heart of the old quarter in Hanoi. We have visited twice and both times enjoyed the gluttonous food served. This restaurant serves, every good British and Australian dish you’ll miss from home. Beef and Bone Marrow Burgers, Fish and Chips, Pie and Mash, and much more. Both times I ordered the Beef Burger as they serve the best Beef Burger, on-par with burgers served in Manchester U. Continue Reading

Train from Hanoi to Hué

We booked a soft seat train from Hanoi to Hué. There is only one soft seat carriage for the entire train, the rest are hard seats or sleeper carriages. In the soft sleeper 2 televisions play movies, food programmes, music, document about the rail line and a prank show. Sometimes the programmes are really long and boring and there is no escape as it is amplified though the carriage P.A. system. Continue Reading

Tu Linh Palace Hotel 2

Tu Linh Palace Hotel 2 is in a quiet area of Hàng Buồm - great to escape the night activities. You can walk (or run) anywhere within good time. The front of house staff Lilli, Ghang, Thian, and Ming at Tu Linh, every morning will greet with smiles saying “Hello, How are you? Did you sleep well?". They are seem genuinely are happy to see you and make the stay in Hanoi good, they are very knowledgeable about places to visit and eat. Continue Reading

It arrived!

I ordered the latest Lonely Planet Southeast Asia on a shoestring book from Amazon.co.uk in hope it would arrive. Little to our despair the estimated delivery time came and gone, I started to worry that the book would not arrive in time for the next section of traveling.Luckily 2 days after the estimated date and 2 days we leave Hanoi, it arrives! Super happy, I now have something to study on the train to Hué on Saturday. Continue Reading

New Day Restaurant

New Day Restaurant on the corner of Mã Mây a few properties away from our hotel, which is really convenient. This popular place to eat offers a great choice of delicious cheap food until late in the evening - we went most nights we could not bother searching for something new. Most main dishes are between 65,000₫ - 110,000₫ and are plentiful and come with steamed rice which is very filling. Continue Reading

Bánh Mì Doner Kebab Hàng Bạc

Bánh Mỳ (Bánh Mì) Doner Kebab on the intersection of Hàng Bạc and Hàng Bè. It serves seasoned pork cooked on a rotary for 30,000₫ a sandwich. Really popular as a “drive-thru”, many motorcycles will pull up and ask a take-away. Highly recommended for a quick-lunch or sandwich on the go. Bánh Mỳ Đức Long Kebab 6 Lương Ngọc Quyến, Hàng Buồm Address: 6 Lương Ngọc Quyến, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam Phone: 024 3926 2726 Continue Reading

Joma Bakery Cafe

Joma Bakery Cafe (Ranked #9 of 157 Dessert in Hanoi on Tripadvisor) is a quality reliable café and bakery in Hanoi. We regally went to work, or chat with family on Skype as they have very reliable internet, great coffee and yummy pies and cakes. It’s calm atmosphere allows the creative to work, complementary glasses filtered water is continuously filled and Caffè Americano coffee includes a free refill. Continue Reading

Hạ Long Bay & Bái Tử Long Bay

A visit to Vietnam can not be complete without visiting the UNESCO world heritage site Hạ Long Bay. A collection over 1960 limestone islands and islets in the Gulf of Tonkin are divided into three sections, Hạ Long, Bái Tử Long and Lan Ha Bay. Ha Long Bay is the most popular section to visit for tourists, Bái Tử Long Bay is a protected national park and requires permission to take tourists to this part of Hạ Long Bay. Continue Reading

Sa Pa

Our hotel Tu Linh Palace Hotel 2 recommended us a trip to Sa Pa, the northernmost town in Vietnam. Sa Pa and sounding villages sit 1300m above sea level. One of the hotel staff Lilli claimed she is from the area of Sa Pa and visits regularly, and the staff at the hotel are nice and trustworthy. They book many tours directly with locals and friends for the adventurous tourists. Friends Anna and Chris recently visited Sa Pa and highly recommended it as it allows the traveler to experience a real simple living culture, even helping the locals with their crops and chores. Continue Reading

Embassy of Kingdom of Thailand

While in Vietnam, we applied for our Thailand Tourist Visa so we can stay up-to 60 consecutive days in Thailand. The Thailand Embassy in Hanoi are very accommodating and friendly when it comes to applying for a Visa. They speak good english and did not make unexpected requests. We applied on a whim that we may need to give more information such as, (printed bank statements, hotel booking proof, transportation in and out) non of this information was demanded. Continue Reading

Temple of Literature

While in the area near to the Embassy of Kingdom of Thailand, we went for an quick walk around the Temple of Literature. The architecture of this historical landmark is remarkable, if only I studies a little more into its meaning. A guide would have been a benefit, printed guide books are chargeable (we did not opt for). Still a nice place to visit. Entrance fee is ₫20,000 Temple Of Literature 58 Quốc Tử Giám, Văn Miếu Address: 58 Quốc Tử Giám, Văn Miếu, Đống Đa, Hà Nội 100000, Vietnam Website: vanmieu. Continue Reading

Hanoi Street Food Tour

To get a crash course into Vietnamese food we could not turn down Hanoi Street Food Tour (Ranked #21 of 405 Food & Drink in Hanoi on Tripadvisor) . Reservation was made via email and we attended the tour the next day, starting at Kim building we visited many delights around Hanoi all accessible by foot. We were in a group of 8, who have traveled from England, and Australia. Continue Reading

Tamarind Cafe

We visited Tamarind Cafe which is next door to Tu Linh Palace Hotel 2. Tamarind Cafe is a vegetarian restaurant with a relaxed couch atmosphere. We order spring rolls, both fresh and fried, the food tastes bland. I don’t think this place is good value. We stayed for a while as the place has many plug sockets, good WiFi and relaxed atmosphere.  Restaurant Front Coffee Fresh Spring Rolls Continue Reading

Pho 24

Simple, cheap, delicious. A pleasant walk around Hoan Kiem Lake you will find Pho 24 at the southern point with colourful green signage. Greeted with big smiles and welcomes, and a simple menu, ordering food is easy. A choice of beef or chicken Pho. Price is really reasonable at ₫49,000 (about £1.37) per person and you get a decent serving. I would recommend you try this place while in Vietnam. Continue Reading

Hotel Staywell Dx

We chose to stay for 7 nights at Hotel Staywell DX  (Ranked #805 of 1,222 B&Bs / Inns in New Delhi on Tripadvisor) to for our last hotel in India while we get our Vietnam VISA sorted. The hotel is clean, comfortable, and in a great location. Staffs are friendly and speak enough English to get on by but advanced conversations or requests are could to be misunderstood. Continue Reading

Incredible India

Disclaimer: The following are my own opinions and are not intended to offend. We spent a little over 3 weeks in India during July 2014 mostly with a guided tour Ain’t no mountain high enough by Geckos Adventures. The India government air an advertisement campaign “Incredible India” “Incredible India” is one way to say it, India is both incredibly great and incredibly annoying at times too - I will explain in this post. Continue Reading

Shipping from India

Before leaving India we wanted to ship the souvenirs we have purchased over the last month back to the United Kingdom. TL;DR Don’t think shipping your items from India will be easy, simple and cheap. Most souvenirs you buy will likely be rejected from main stream carriers for some silly reason. If you’re flying back home, take your souvenirs with you, don’t buy anything too big that you will have to ship (you might be disappointed). Continue Reading

Food Tour in Delhi

We booked a street food tour with (Ranked #2 of 290 Shopping in New Delhi on Tripadvisor) I liked the foods we sampled but honestly noting really blew my taste buds away. Was expecting food being prepared by simple means, popular with the locals (like the street food Rick Stein’s sampled when he visited to India in search of the true India flavours). Most places we visited are established vendors, except a couple local ‘out there’ vendors. Continue Reading

Barbeque Nation

We went to Barbeque Nation Connaught Place (Ranked #135 of 12,646 Restaurants in New Delhi on Tripadvisor) for what we expected to be a simple meal. We did not expect an all you can eat buffet with a real BBQ in the middle of the table. We got given a table and hot coals were placed in the centre, then skewers of cooked chicken, fish, and prawns to be additionally cooked to the our liking. Continue Reading

Ain't no mountain high enough.

We booked a tour with Geckos Adventures “Ain’t no mountain high enough” as it’s tour route from Nepal to India, and lowest price (£760.75 per person). Ain’t no Mountain High Enough - Geckos Adventures - Pre Departure Information (PDF) I shared this tour experience with 11 others. Leaded by Bikash Nepal (Nepal leader), Sukhjot Singh Gill (India leader) TL:DR; I enjoyed the stress free passenger experience of visiting many places which I may not have thought of. Continue Reading

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

We visited Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to learn a bit about Sikhism religion. We were shown around the kitchens where mass food production was in progress to feed those who come. We sat and listened to a prayer ritual and walked around Bangla Sahib Sarovar (a pond to wash way sin). Continue Reading

Hotel Perfect

We ended our guided tour of India at Hotel Perfect in New Delhi (The capital of India). The stay was not so perfect, the much needed air-conditioning unit did not work. The room was tired (needing some TLC). Wi-Fi worked, but only outside the room doors. Luckily we stayed here for only 1 night. Only advantage to Hotel Perfect is it is in the perfect location for retail, loads of shops to buy cloths and stuff. Continue Reading

India Gate

India gate is a war memorial which has inscribed the names of the Indian citizens who served and died in the first world war. India Gate Continue Reading

Raasta

Raasta is a Caribbean Lounge in the Haus Khas Village, New Delhi (Ranked #693 of 12,646 Restaurants in New Delhi on Tripadvisor) . We had drinks, and food. The atmosphere was fun until karaoke started. The prices seemed a bit overpriced for India, especially after calculating Tax and Service Charge, that aside I likely would go again for quiet late afternoon drinks. K Boulevard HKV 30 A, 1st Floor, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi Address: 30 A, 1st Floor, Hauz Khas Village, Deer Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, Delhi 110016, India Phone: 091558 48484 Continue Reading

Indian Cooking Session

We joined the hotel owner Shakti Singh Inda in his group cooking kitchen to learn the roots of Indian cooking. We made Chai Masala Tea, Pannier Curry, a Korma type dish, aloo biryani and Roti. We head great fun cooking and joking with Shakti and we got to eat a large lunch too. Continue Reading

Udaipur - City Palace

We visited the City Palace and had a guided tour around the paid-public sections of the palace. This palace is a neat sized building that engulfs a hill as part of its architecture so a roof top garden with large trees and a pool can exist. The palace features beautiful coloured glass, brilliantly maintained rooms and triumphant artwork. The grounds are wonderful to walk around and there are no pocket-sellers within the grounds. Continue Reading

Udaipur Boat Ride

Udaiper as seen from Lake Pichola. City Palace Taj Lake Palace Jag Mandir Continue Reading

We are OK

Hey, just a quickie letting you all know we are OK. Kim got discharged from the hospital from food poisoning after two nights and we instantly started our tour across Nepal and India. Currently in India and have not had a great WiFi and time while on a guided tour. Have so much to share, apologies for the mass update next week. Continue Reading

Aranyawas

We stopped for lunch at Aranyawas. Ordered Chicken Sandwich and French Fries (a order which should be simple enough anywhere). It was awful, the French Fries tasted like they were re-fried from the last nights batch. The chicken sandwich had a small amount of chicken in bread only, and the chicken was awful tasting itself. Overall not a great place to eat, would recommend to “keep on driving”. Continue Reading

Pratrap Bhawan

We checked into Pratrap Bhawan  (Ranked #26 of 353 B&Bs / Inns in Udaipur on Tripadvisor) which is a convenient short walk from the City Palace and Lake Pichola. The room we got was clean, and comfortable with a four-post king-size bed. Hot water is always available, air-conditioning is powerful and there is cable television. Wi-Fi is not available in the rooms. We had the view of the lake and palace from our top floor window. Continue Reading

Ranakpur

On our way to Udaipur we visited Ranakpur, because there where so many rules for this temple we decided it best not to enter and instead admire the temple from outside. [gallery link="file” columns="3” orderby="post_date”] Continue Reading

Leela Villas Guest House

Leela Villas Guest House  (Ranked #41 of 149 hotels in Jodhpur on Tripadvisor)  a basic clean comfortable hotel with air-conditioning, cable tv, beautiful balcony views and hot water. Wi-Fi is only available in lobby area. We slept very well here. No problems to report. Leela Villas Guest House near Circuit House, B 36, Umaid Bhawan Road, Behind Maharani Art,, near Circuit House, Jodhpur Address: B 36, Umaid Bhawan Road, Behind Maharani Art,, near Circuit House, Rai Ka Bagh, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342001, India Website: www. Continue Reading

Mehrangarh Fort

 Mehrangarh Fort is a large towering fort in Jodhpur sitting 400 ft above the city. The view from the fort is spectacular and worth the climb up the hills and stairs. Continue Reading

Pukhraj Durry Udhyog

We visited Pukhraj Durry Udhyog for a few hours in the morning, having breakfast and shown how rugs are made by hand. We loved the hospitality, the simple cooking, the brilliant flavour of the rice and pancakes. We seen a couple of rugs that taken our eye and could not resist to buy them.  As an attrition, this village also has a clay pot makers which we also had the privilege to experience. Continue Reading

Rawla Bagh

We stayed at Rawla Bagh for some village relaxation time, there is a pool and well-kept grounds to relax around. The room we were given was huge, high ceilings with colourful decorative paint, have air-conditioning and hot running water. The power rarely failed. We enjoyed staying here, highly recommended. [gallery link="file” columns="3” orderby="post_date”] Rawla Bagh, Nimaj, Tehsil Jaitaran, Pali 306303, India Tel: +91 094 13 371461 Email: bhuvan@rawlabagh.com Website: www. Continue Reading

Amber Fort

We visited Amber Fort in Jaipur (a grand fort kingdom that once held 20,000 residents). This fort is remarkable to walk around, and discover hidden secret rooms. The view around is breathtaking, seeing the wall snaking up and down the hills. There are many annoying pocket vendors trying to sell you stuff you disrupting your enjoyment of the place. As long as you have a good “GO AWAY” face you should have no problem. Continue Reading

Mughal India Crafts & Textiles

Recommended by our tuktuk driver, taken us to Mughal India Crafts & Textiles and shown the fabrics they stock. As I ripped my shorts in Tordi Grah I could do with a sturdy new pair. We were shown how hand printed fabrics were made (could watch these guys work all day) I chose the same sort of cotton and colour, got measured up for my shorts that were made that same day. Continue Reading

Palace of Winds

We stopped by Palace of Winds formally known as Hawa Mahal. We decided to not enter and climb the palace as we where tired from Amber Fort. The place is a beautiful tall structure overlooking Hawa Mahal Road, it allowed women of the royal household to see the street festivities without being seen from the outside. [gallery link="file” columns="3” orderby="post_date”] Continue Reading

Sahil Khan

While at Hotel Bissau Palace, traditional live indian music was performed while we ate our dinner and had drinks. The stringed instrument (sitar) filled the room with homonymous sound, and the instruments were not amplified. I got to try the percussion drums (tabla), the instrument has to be played very hard to get the volume of the sound.   Sahil Khan performing Nikki and Jenn Dancing Continue Reading

Hotel Palms

Hotel Palms is a basic hotel in Jaipur. The hotel did not hot running water, and weak connection wi-fi was only available in the lobby. Staff service were difficult to communicate with. The hotel was difficult to navigate, it seems there was three hotels connected together via sky tunnels. Could not find the gardens or pool pictured on the website. A basic stay in Jaipur. Rooms cost about ₹1799 per night on Agoda. Continue Reading

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania

We watched Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (A modern Bollywood film) at Raj Mandir Cinema. The experience was different than what I was expecting a Bollywood film to be like. People in the audience cheers, whistled, took photos, and talked throughout the film. Raj Mandir movie poster. Continue Reading

Raj Mandir Cinema

We went to Raj Mandir Cinema to watch Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (a bollywood movie). The cinema screen was nearly as large as an IMAX screen and featured a large red curtain that would present the screen when the movie starts. The cinema is grant with decorative lighting and large foyer. The cinema appears to show one movie at a time multiple times a day. Raj Mandir Cinema, C-16,Bhagwandas Rd, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001 Continue Reading

Tordi Garh Hotel

Tordi Garh Hotel (the only hotel in Tordi Garh) is a breathtaking hotel that the entire village welcomes you to. Families and children around the area all wave and greet you with open hearts and smiles. We are grateful to give our short time to the people here. The hospitality was exceptional, water, food and drinks all available. The rooms are spacious with air-conditioning, and own water heater. Our stay was very pleasant indeed. Continue Reading

Agra Fort

We were given a guided tour around Agra Fort, We learned how this fort was protected by a moat of crocodiles, a valley of tigers and a ramp of boulders and burning oil to stop any attacker attempting to take the fort. Apparently it was never attacked. This breathtaking fort as a wonderful place to walk around and learn the luxuries kings and queens enjoyed. Views: Diwan E Aam by Kyle Welsby Continue Reading

Hotel Royale Residency

While in Agra we stayed at Hotel Royale Residency (Ranked #34 of 285 hotels in Agra on Tripadvisor) . The stay was pleasant, there was hot water, cable TV and in a clean comfortable room with brilliant lighting. Would stay here again when in Agra. Hotel Royale Residency official room photo Hotel Royale Residency - Hotel - Bar Fatehabad Road Near TDI Mall, Agra Address: Fatehabad Road Near TDI Mall, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India Website: hotelroyaleresidency. Continue Reading

Taj Mahal

A trip to India is not complete without visiting the grant Taj Mahal, we could not miss the opportunity to visit this wonderful mausoleum. We were given a light guide introduction about the history of Taj Mahal. We leaned this white marble building designed and built within 22 years and emperor Shah Jahan ensured no other replica is constructed by retiring all the workers (paying for them to not work again). Continue Reading

Blue Lassi Shop

Located in the alleyways of central Varanasi, this little shop specialise in only Lassi (a popular, traditional, yogurt-based drink). The milk is churned by hand to a thick yoghurt consistency and served with flavouring and a layer of clotted cream. I had coffee flavour Lassi, it was nice but I did not like the texture of the clotted cream. While we where enjoying our Lassi, about 5 bodies were carried though the streets to the Ganges. Continue Reading

Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe

Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe (Ranked #23 of 348 Restaurants in Varanasi on Tripadvisor) overlooking the River Ganges we expected this place to be really good. It hosts a clay wood oven to cook the pizza’s with. However the pizza was the most horrible pizza I have tasted. It tasted like the cheese was churned with Ganges water. I would never eat here again. Pizzeria Vaatika Cafe - Pizza Restaurants in Varanasi B-1/178, Assi Ghat Road, Varanasi Address: B-1/178, Assi Ghat Rd, Shivala, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005, India Phone: 094513 97331 Continue Reading

River Ganges

We visited the Ganges river for an entire day, there was a lot of activity to take in. We watched cremation during the day and in the evening we taken a boat ride along the river. We gave lantern offerings to the river and watch the evening ceremony from a boat. Views: Ganges River boat ride by Kyle Welsby   Locals bathing in the River Gangies Continue Reading

Hotel Shakti

Hotel Shakti was a comfortable enough stay. Every-other day there is a large tour group passing though (some european youth group that all wear the same uniform). The staff was very friendly, making our stay comfortable and assisting when needed. There was hot water most times which was very welcome to enjoy a long shower after a hot day. The power was intermittent (going off 2 or three times a day). Continue Reading

Hotel Surya

Hotel Surya is the first hotel we stayed at in India, the rooms are clean, spacious with cable television, hot water, paid Wi-Fi (₹150) which is mostly available around the hotel. The staffs are friendly and willing to help. The hotel includes a pool, but we did not have the time to take a swim. We ate at the comfortable restaurant one evening and we were rather pleased with the food that they served. Continue Reading

Birthplace of Buddha

We had enough time in the evening to visit the Birth Place of Buddha. As the heat from the day is dissipating the light dimming this felt like the perfect time to visit this place. It was calm, cool and peaceful, even the turtles from the sacred pond came up to meet us. Such a wonderful scriptural place to visit. Views: Bodhi tree and pond at Lumbini by Kyle Welsby Continue Reading

Lumbini Buddha Garden Resort

Lumbini Buddha Garden Resort  (Ranked #1 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Lumbini on Tripadvisor) is a lodge type resort where each guest gets an entire lodge to themselves. Located away from any town or village this resort is very calm and quiet, the views at night are spectacular. As there is no light pollution from nearby towns, many stars seen during a clear night, truly a sight to behold. Continue Reading

CIWEC Clinic Travel Medicine Center

Our guided tour through the southern parts of Nepal was delayed because we had to admit Kim to CIWEC Clinic after she became very ill. It was identified a nasty bacterial infection (likely caused by contaminated food) caused Kim to become very ill, with diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain. This is commonly called Travellers Diarrhoea or Delhi Belly. We suspected their had been some food contamination in a meal at Thakali Kitchen. Continue Reading

Thakali Kitchen

We visited Thakali Kitchen (Ranked #57 of 1,076 Restaurants in Kathmandu on Tripadvisor) as a group, recommended by our tour leader Bikash Nepal from Himalayan Encounters. I ordered the recommended dish Mutton Thakali Set along with some other group members while Kim ordered Vegetable Thakali Set. I decided to eat how locals do, with the right hand mixing the gravy with the rice and scooping it into the mouth (I did duly wash my hands before). Continue Reading

Bodhnath Stupa

This is one of the worlds biggest Buddhist shrines (Ranked #1 of 173 things to do in Kathmandu on Tripadvisor) , it stands 118ft tall with a solid dome. Pigeons, dogs and cows are welcome guests to the shrine, and often given blessings from visitors to the shrine. A beautiful place to have a guide teach you about Buddhism. Continue Reading

Harati Devi Temple

Thursday, We took a good walk across the city to the Harati Devi Temple (A.K.A Monkey Temple) to experience a wonderful landmark standing high just outside of Kathmandu. The views from here were amazing, You can seen the entire City and surrounding Mountains. After walking though the calm streets of Dhalko and Dallu, passing schools where students shout “hello” at us. We arrive at the Swayambhu East Entrance relieved we found it with little reliance on Google Maps. Continue Reading

Pashupatinath

This significant place completes the cycle of life. Visiting this place for a short duration you will experience cremation and family members praying for there lost ones. I liked sitting and watching the ceremonies celebrating life. Views: Pashupatinath Temple by Kyle Welsby   North is to the right Calm Cow Cremation Continue Reading

Zen Bed and Breakfast

After major flight delays, We arrived into Kathmandu, Nepal and was given a complementary airport transfer to Zen Bed and Breakfast in a local taxi, Hari (the owner) personally collected us. Hari, kept in touch via SMS and had no problem with our delay, we was not charged for the unused night we missed from our delay. Views: Zen Bed and Breakfast Rooftop by Kyle Welsby The B&B is located just off the main roads which allowed some peace from the busy vendors on the roads but right in the centre of Thamel allowing convenient access to everything. Continue Reading

BK’s Place

Kim suggested a highly rated BK’s Place (Ranked #2 of 7 Quick Bites in Kathmandu on Tripadvisor) for its Chips (finger fries they call them). We ordered a simple takeaway of Small and Medium Fries to devour back in our hotel room. These fries delivered!, crispy with brilliant seasoning by standard at a tasty ₨160 for small (about 98p). We have since been a few more times and tried the Samosa’s, this place gets fried food right! Continue Reading

Black Olives Cafe and Bar

After the peaceful visit to the Gardens of Dreams, food was on the mind. Checking TripAdvisor we found a Black Olives Cafe and Bar (Ranked #53 of 1,076 Restaurants in Kathmandu on Tripadvisor) . Using this information we went in pursuit for an assumed good food experience. Initially sent down a quiet back-alley according to TripAdvisor’s map, but could not find it. We decided to go for a back-up option on Chaksibari Marg and surprise surprise, we found Black Olives Cafe. Continue Reading

Third Eye Resturant

We visited the Third Eye Restaurant (Ranked #42 of 1,076 Restaurants in Kathmandu on Tripadvisor) for evening dinner with high expectation for a decent tandoori curry. Seated upstairs we were given a plate of peanuts and menu to study. I chose Chicken Tikka Masala while Kim chose Chicken Tandoori as we wanted something simple and that would not upset our stomachs (as were already feeling fragile). Chicken Tikka Masala Continue Reading

Garden of Dreams

Monday morning we submitted our claim for the Delayed Flight that caused earlier disruption to our travels. We needed to relax a bit so we headed down the road to The Garden of Dreams. The garden was created by Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana in early 1920’s. After the demise of Kaiser Sumsher the garden was handed over to the Government of Nepal. Since then it was neglected for over 30 years until a project financed by the Australian Government restored The Garden of Dreams in the early 2000’s. Continue Reading

No! I do not want taxi

Saturday we chilled at Himalayan Java and Places catching up on the news, emails and getting some work done. It did seem a bit busier with people trying to sell you things, and the odd taxi man approaching you saying “I have taxi” (fed up with pestering taxi men, I responded “Good on you”!). It also rained today, first tropical monsoon rain we’ve experienced while being here. Places is a Vegetarian restaurant that is laid-back and chilled, most people here utilising the fast internet and creative atmosphere to get things done or just relax. Continue Reading

Places

Places Restaurant & Bar (Ranked #16 of 1,076 Restaurants in Kathmandu on Tripadvisor) is a Vegetarian restaurant that is laid-back and chilled, most people here utilising the fast internet and creative atmosphere to get things done or just relax. We order Pesto Dough MoMo, Biber Dolmasi, and Taste Platter all the dishes were prepared with care and delivered in taste experience. Vegetarian Pesto Dough MoMo's ) Biber Dolmasi (Stuffed Peppers) Continue Reading

Dusty walk

Friday we decided to expand our knowledge of the local area, we picked a direction and started walking until we decided to try a new direction. After crossing a really busy road, We found Samakhusi a more cultural area not far outside of Thamel. We got a gist of how some of Kathmandu residents live - small dark rooms, trash piles in just off the road, the odd sleeping dog and people watching us walk by. Continue Reading

Namaste Kathmandu

We’re finally here, Kathmandu! After a delayed start we arrived into the mountainous Kathmandu airport, taken away by the beautiful scene surrounding us. The Airport staff were laid back, greeting us with smiles and jokes. Kathmandu Airfield with Beautiful Mountainous Background We where kindly collected form the airport by Hari from Zen Bed & Breakfast. We crammed ourselves into this little taxi and got on our way to the Thamel district. Continue Reading

delayed...

Sadly our Jet Airways flight from London Heathrow which was scheduled to leave at 22:45 failed to successfully leave. All passengers and luggage were boarded onto the craft and ready for departure. Unfortunately due to a ‘technical issue’ we had to wait for the diagnostic, a part be ordered, and fitting to the craft. This took over 4 hours at which time was twenty past midnight. We were served our evening meal like normal service even though we were still at the departure gate. Continue Reading

...and we're off

We have now departed on our journeys, starting with a 3 hour train ride from Winsford to London Euston, then a 8 hour International flight with a 5 hour stop-over in New Delhi before another 1 hour flight ending in Kathmandu. See you on the other side… Continue Reading

Travel Insurance

A few weeks we arranged some Travel Insurance and I thought I would share our booking experience. We initially researched into many other insurers, World Nomads, Alpha Insurance, and Insure And Go, all pitching backpackers cover. We settled with True Traveller in the end after 2 weeks of reading though policy wording documents for most companies. True Traveller Policy Wording Document was simple and easy to understand with minimal back-out clauses that contradict other parts of the policy. Continue Reading

It's wonderful being at home

Where ever you are in the world, home is always where the heart is. My mom puts so much love and attention into our home, it makes it an honour to come home and look after the place while they go on a short holiday. The garden from the back, click to see the PhotoSphere Our pond with foot long fish and a frog in the water fall. Over 10 years of tinkering to get a garden that looks as colourful and delightful as this. Continue Reading

Vaccinations

We have had a full series vaccinations recommended by our National Health Service for travel into Asia. Japanese Encephalitis - a type of viral brain infection that are spread through mosquito bites. Rabies - a very serious viral infection that targets the brain and nervous system. Hepatitis A - a type of viral liver infection. Hepatitis B - a type of virus that can infect the liver. Yellow fever - a serious viral infection that’s usually spread by a type of mosquito known as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Continue Reading

Selling up

We are intending to travel for an extended and unknown duration and have spent the last month selling and packing our personal possessions in preparation for storage. We sold our Car, and a whole bunch of items on eBay, to build up some useful cash from assets that would otherwise be left gathering dust or rust while we travel. So far we’ve managed to make nearly £1500. This week we are moving out of our flat, it is an emotional time. Continue Reading