Bolivia: Uyuni Salt Flats and Beyond

saltflast1I’d heard mixed reports about Salt Flat tours in Bolivia so it was with some trepidation that I booked a three day, two night tour starting in Uyuni and ending in Chile. Some people swore it was the best thing they’d done in South America while others lamented it as little more than a boring and drawn out drive. In the end my worry was for naught as, after an admittedly less than auspicious start, the tour proved to be one of the highlights of my South American adventure. Continue reading

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The Long Hard Road to Machu Picchu

MacPicLongDIstGetting to Machu Picchu on a budget is not as straightforward as you might think – the journey to this wonderful site can be a real challenge and, at times, is certainly not for the faint-hearted! If you want to visit while spending as little cash as possible be prepared for arduous walks, nerve-shredding drives and times of overwhelming exhaustion. Read on to find out how I sorted tickets and travel arrangements before I made my way from Lima to the mountain citadel via Cusco and Aguas Calientes. Continue reading

Bangalore: Thoughts and Helpful Hints

dsc00025India had never been a place that held much appeal for me and I didn’t have plans to ever visit. However, when a close friend was sent there on business and asked me to tag along at the expense of his company I jumped at the chance. My destination was Bangalore in the south of the country, affectionately known as the Garden State. This article covers my thoughts and experiences in the city and offers a few suggestions to help you prepare and survive if you decide to follow in my footsteps. Continue reading

Bangalore: Eat, Drink and Stay

Places to eat and drink

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Queen’s (Indian)

As lost and confused foreigners in hectic Bangalore, my friend and I asked a local about his favourite place to eat and he was kind enough to take us here. From the outside Queen’s Restaurant looks pretty rundown and unremarkable but once you step in and give the food a try, you’ll find that looks can be deceiving. It turned out that the local person’s recommendation was a very good one indeed! Continue reading

Q&A: Is Bhutan for me?

dscn4925Thinking about a trip to Bhutan but unsure if it will be worth it? Getting to the last Shangri-La is admittedly pricey and, owing to the manner in which you have to pay, it can be a chore to arrange. However, you are guaranteed to come away with lasting memories from one of the world’s most unique and untouched cultures. I have put this Q&A together to better help people decide if a visit to the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon is truly for them. Continue reading

Thimphu: A Jaunt Around Bhutan’s Capital

dscn4795Thimphu is Bhutan’s capital and most densely populated city with roughly 91,000 citizens residing there. It is the base for the country’s government and houses the palace of the current king and queen. When you arrive you will get your first chance to see the traditional design of Bhutanese homes, all of which must follow a certain theme as set by royal decree. Sights here include the impressive Tashichhoe Dzong and the Buddha Dordenma statue which offers some glorious bird’s-eye views of the capital nestled in the valleys below. Continue reading

Punakha: aka the Place with all the Penises

dscn4864Our second day in Bhutan involved a long and arduous drive to the district of Punakha. Although the distance between Thimphu and Punakha is only 70km or so, the drive took us well over three hours due to the terrible state of Bhutan’s mountainous road network. Punakha is famous for its picturesque dzong which is situated between the meeting point of two raging rivers and Chimi Lhakhang otherwise known as the Temple of the Divine Madman. There was, however, a far more juvenile reason for my excitement for this leg of the trip… Continue reading

Tiger’s Nest: The Jewel in Bhutan’s Crown

dscn5023Tiger’s Nest is likely to be the main factor in most visitors’ decisions to come to Bhutan. Despite being a country of almost unrivalled beauty, Taktsang is by far and away the jewel in the crown of this tiny Himalayan kingdom. Perched precariously at the very edge of a sheer mountain face, the location of the monastery almost defies belief and the views from the hike on the way up are unparalleled in their splendour. A visit to Bhutan would not be complete without stopping at this amazing landmark. Continue reading

A Step-by-Step Guide on Getting to Bhutan

DSCN3863Booking a trip to Bhutan is not straightforward. When I was looking to arrange my visit I could find very little information online about the process. I had everything explained to me by my chosen tour operator but it still sounded dodgy – my bank even said so! It was against my better judgement that I sent a large payment against their warnings. Thankfully everything turned out fine in the end, but it seemed a big risk at the time. I hope this guide helps put your mind at rest and limits the anguish you face when arranging what will surely be the trip of a lifetime – I know I could have used something like this to put my mind at ease when I was booking! Continue reading