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Charisma, creativity and a kaleidoscope of colour. Sand, folk tales, and buzzing bazaars. Cuisine with spices that will tickle your taste buds. Accommodation in a heritage property, full of character.
During my second ‘round the world’ trip in 2005, I was travelling with a relentless passion, hungry to see and learn about as much of the world as I could. I was travelling slowly and rather aimlessly but after a few months I had seen a decent chunk of Southeast Asia. I was eating breakfast in the courtyard of a small hotel in Hanoi when a girl came over and asked me and the people I was sat with if we wanted to go and help out at a school for the day by teaching English. No experience was necessary and I thought it sounded interesting so off I went along with a couple from Liverpool, and a Dutch girl.
Our Far East Operations Assistant Nhi recommends this tasty traditional Vietnamese fish dish. It’s simple to make and smells delicious,we think it’s definitely worth a try.
As a keen cyclist, perhaps I’m biased towards the pleasures of holidaying on two wheels. The benefits are endless; you can travel at a pace of your choosing and stop wherever you like to catch breath, take photographs or to shake hands with the locals. It’s also very easy to get off the beaten track and see the charms of rural life in an unobtrusive fashion. Not forgetting the calories you burn in preparation for making the most of the local food that evening and of course the benefits to the environment.
Buddha Day Festival, known as Kason Pwe in Burmese, falls on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month in mid April or May. This is one of the biggest celebrations for Buddhists because it marks four important events of Buddha’s life.
When I was at home, I normally helped my mom cooking. In London I started cooking for myself by recalling my mom’s recipes in my mind. Here I give you a traditional Burmese goat curry.
I hope you will enjoy this very delicious curry. It goes very well with rice or nan bread and salad, with baby spinach or lettuce, cucumber, white or black pepper, a pinch of salt and lemon.
Beaming faces that were flickered with excitement and anticipation surrounded me. One question was burning on their lips, and hovering in the air above my head like dragonflies. “Marriage? Marriage? Marriage?” The faces fell slightly with a gentle mixture of disappointment and sadness when I replied “No.” The mehndi artists kept glancing up at these faces, before continuing their work, creating a tapestry of patterns onto my skin.
There exists in Malayalam a term for a kind of mania that Keralans succumb to en masse during the winter festival season: anapraanth, or “elephant madness”. Various manifestations of this uniquely South Indian mentality occur, but the most pervasive is the tradition of parading elephants around temple precincts during festivities – or utsavam – accompanied by ear-splitting drum orchestras and firework displays.
Tens of thousands turn up to adore the assembled tuskers, which are always caparisoned with gold headdresses (nettipattom).
Now that you are comfortable with a few words (from Hindi lesson - part 1), it is time to look at some phrases.
Arriving in Nepal, we were struck by how very calm and relaxed it is compared to bustling India, where we had spent the previous month. The pace of life slowed and we were able to get really excited about seeing my dad who would be meeting us in Kathmandu in a few days. We whiled away the time over a glasses of South African wine of course the infamous Nepali steak. Wow, what a steak it was and it only cost two English pounds for the hunk of prime beef!