Tag Archives: Asia

Photo Essay: Lijiang and its Old Town

21 Feb

Traveling within Yunnan, for different reasons, was full of surprises as well as misadventures and our arrival in Lijiang was no different. We stayed in the old town of Lijiang where cars are not allowed on its narrow lanes. Per the email from our B&B, we had to reach the entrance to the old town and then they were going to come and pick us up. We reached the entrance and promptly informed our hosts to come for us. But for some reason, maybe a language hassle or they were busy with something, they just wouldn’t come. We waited on the main road for almost an hour and called them multiple times and moved from one spot to the other, because we were occupying the spots of the local fruit-sellers or hindering their sale. After an hour of waiting, a local police woman came to our rescue and spoke with our B&B people. Though I didn’t understand a word but whatever she did was pretty effective. Immediately after the call our hosts came for us and we took a small local bus that drove us inside a part of the old town and left us at another gate. From there we dragged our luggage on cobbled streets to finally reach our quaint wooden B&B. Despite the rocky start we had a good trip in Lijiang.

Old Town of Lijiang, Yunnan, China

Old Town of Lijiang, Yunnan, China

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55 Random Facts about China

13 Jan

Before my recent trip to China, for some reason, I had a bunch of wrong notions and misconceptions about this country. In hindsight I feel that some were so random that I can’t even begin to fathom where did they originate from. But whatever my expectations or beliefs China proved me wrong on nearly all of them. Hence it’s not surprising that this holiday also doubled into a learning experience – that I term as China 101. I discovered many new facts, explored some different facets and met some of its amazing people. Some of these experiences / discoveries were amazing, some shocking and some downright disgusting.

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Forbidden City, Beijing, China

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Street art, murals and graffiti in Dharavi, Mumbai

28 Dec

Anyone who has ever heard of Dharavi knows that its famous for being one of the largest slums in the world and the place to go for slum tours (for tourists!). But since November this year it has added another feather to its cap – its very own street art and graffiti. For this project, 20 internationally renowned street artists from all over the world (with different art styles and techniques) came together along with the St+Art Foundation and brought street art to select areas in Mumbai – mainly Bandra and Dharavi.

One of my favorite murals by Gomez

One of my favorite murals by Gomez

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Photo Essay – From the interiors of Shangri-La county and a slice of Naxi Life

28 Dec

For our trip to Baishuitai in Yunnan region of China, we drove through some remote areas in the Shangri-La county. And during this drive, we saw some of the most gorgeous untouched mountainous landscapes and got a glimpse into the lives of local Naxi tribe that lives around these parts. And I am sharing more on them and their culture via a photo essay below-

Like India, China too has numerous ethnic groups and tribes. The Naxi tribe is an ethnic group that inhabits the northwestern part of Yunnan Province and the southwestern part of Sichuan Province in China. Originally from the nomadic clan of Qing people in North Western China, they later migrated south toward Tibet and usually live around fertile river land. In Yunnan they live around the Yangtze lands.

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My favorite pic of the trip – A local Naxi boy waving at us

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Yangtze River – Legend, Journeys and Visiting its First Bend

26 Dec

Today as I sat down to write a post I was looking for peace. Repair work at home has made the last two days full of crash, bang and vroom… and amongst this din of noises I couldn’t help but reminisce the peaceful time I had recently spent in China driving along the Yangtze (in the Yunnan region) and witnessing some of its many moves and moods.

The famous Yangtze River near the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan, China

The famous Yangtze River near the Tiger Leaping Gorge, Yunnan, China

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Top 5 Things to Do in Shangri-La (Zhongdian), China

10 Dec

Shangri-La, a small town high up in the Himalayas that for some is the beginning of a journey into Tibet, for many the end of a foray into Yunnan and for others just a taste of Tibet (if they don’t plan on going on any further). For me personally it was a mix of end of Yunnan and a taste of Tibet, coz as Indians we need additional permissions to enter mainland Tibet. And my own first impressions of the town itself were quite disappointing as all I initially saw were numerous commercial buildings and a very sleepy touristy town. However I soon realized that the way to explore Shangri-La is to keep it as a base and explore the beautiful landscape all around it.

Mountains near Shangri-La,   Tibet, China

Mountains near Shangri-La, Tibet, China

And based on our own experiences and learnings, please find below the top 5 things that you should do in Shangri-La –

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5 reasons to go on a Tiger safari, not to see the Tiger only!

6 Jun

Recently when I went to the Kanha National Park, the only image that crossed my mind was of the Tiger! This was going to be my first safari experience and according to me then, a successful jungle safari meant a good tiger sighting and that’s all. But one actual safari experience, and I was proven wrong beyond doubt. While a tiger sighting is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring sights, there are numerous other sights in the Kanha jungle that are equally breathtaking, if not more.  

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh

And I wanted to share my top 5 reasons for visiting the Kanha tiger safari, and not just for the tiger sighting: 

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Photo Essay – Celebrating World Heritage Day with 10 Heritage Monuments from India

18 Apr

Today and on the 18th April of every year , ICOMOS i.e. International Council on Monuments and Sites celebrates the “International Day for Monuments and Sites”. The aim of the International Day is to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to recognize the importance of cultural heritage in their lives, identities and communities, and to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it. And I thought what better way to celebrate it on my blog than with a photo essay on 10 of my favorite heritage monuments and sites that I have been lucky enough to visit recently. I am limiting myself to 10, as I can go on and on with these pictures and the post can be never ending.

1. The Mumbai CST Station and the heritage walk on DN Road –

Mumbai CST Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Mumbai CST Station, Mumbai, Maharashtra

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Weekly Photo Challenge – One

22 Dec

Every good photograph has a main subject, that draws the attention of the audience and communicates a story. And this week, the challenge for the weekly photo challenge is “One” i.e. to share a pic that focusses on one thing. And I decided that what better pic for this topic than a colorful and dramatic kathakali dancer in all his finery.

A Kathakali dancer, Kochi, Kerala

A Kathakali dancer, Kochi, Kerala

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Community

15 Dec

This week’s photo challenge is to post a pic on “Community” which means a social unit of any size that shares a common belief or values. Per wikipedia, the word “community” is derived from an Old French word – communité which is derived from the Latin communitas that means – com, “with/together” + munus, “gift”, a broad term for fellowship or organized society. And for this challenge the Mumbaiker in me had to post a pic of the Ganesh Festival that binds entire Mumbai into one large community.

Bringing Lord Ganesh to the pandal for the festival

Bringing Lord Ganesh to the pandal for the festival

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