After a good night rest, all thanks to the comfortable bed, working aircon and a quiet room, we got up early to have breakfast before setting off to do a bit of sightseeing. Breakfast is complimentary and it was the usual fare of baguette with eggs, pancakes, fruits and juices.
I always say this … if I can travel, anyone can travel too!. I will be 54 years old in September, have 3 kids (age 23, 20 and 15), married to an awesome guy and was involved in the food business (effective 1 Jan 2015, I have stopped doing it).
One of the most visually fascinating Inca ruins is at Moray, a popular archaeological site in Peru located approximately 50 km northwest of Cuzco. This site is visited in conjunction with Salineras Maras as they are close together and normally both sites can be done in three hours.
About 40 kilometers from Cuzco, in the Sacred Valley, lies the salt evaporation pans of Maras, Peru also known as Salineras de Maras. It is amazing how it is strategically tucked away in a valley and the amazing beautifully blended brown and yellow patch will suddenly appear as you turn a corner. These pans are built on steep terraces along one side of a narrow valley as clearly shown in my photograph above. From a distance, the whole brilliant whitish area popped up against the brownish terrain around and above it.
We visited Iguazu falls in August which is at the end of the winter season in Brazil. We were blessed with sunny weather and it was not too crowded.
We were greeted with this awesome sight when we got down from the shuttle bus. Visitors hurriedly whisked out their cameras and handphones and getting a good place to snap this spectacular scenery.
The thunderous spectacular Iguazu Falls consists of 275 individual fall which form a long picturesque spectacle of swift falling waters complemented by the greenery of the lush plants and trees. It is also known as Iguassu Falls and Iguaçu Falls. The falls originate from the Iguazu River and are located on the border between Brazil and Argentina forming the boundary between these two countries.
This is Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón, the man responsible for putting Escadaria Selaron, also known as the ‘Selaron Steps’, on the travellers’ map and made it one of the must-see places in Brazil. He traveled, lived and worked as a painter and sculptor in over 50 countries around the world before arriving and deciding to settle in Rio de Janeiro in 1983.
So… I was walking down the streets of Kangding around 8 am and was toying with the idea of a few places to visit. Suddenly a man approached me and asked me whether I want to go to Tagong in his van. In fact, Tagong was on my list to visit later and since the opportunity presented itself, I thought I might as well find out more about it. He took me to the van and there were already 7 Chinese young adults seated inside. The van driver just needed one passenger to make it a full van load. I obtained my information of how this van tour is going to be from one of the passengers who spoke little English.
Vang Vieng is a tiny riverside town in Central Laos. It has no more than three streets, no airport and a bus station. Tourists normally will break their journey between Ventiane and Luang Prabang in Vang Vieng. They are attracted by the wooden bridges over the river, the karst mountains, laid back countryside and cave-filled rock formations. Few years ago, it had the reputation of a backpacker’s haven for its famous wild parties at the many bars which could be easily found in town and along the Nam Song River. Tubing along the Nam Song River was the most popular activity in Vang Vieng. As many as 20 bars were set up by opportunist backpackers along the river to cater to tubers. Loud music, hard liquors, beers and drugs were part of the party scene. Unfortunately, in 2011, 27 tourists died while partying on the river. Some of them were too drunk or too high and thus ended up drowning in the river. Some bars set up riverside swings and “death slides” and that resulted in a number of bad accidents. The local authorities had clamped down on illegal activities such as drug and had shut down many of the tubing bars. They placed restrictions on the volume of music from the barand all the dangerous riverside swings and death slides had been dismantled. When I was there in April 2015, only a handful of bars operate along the riverside. We decided not to do the tubing because the water level was low and the idea of sitting on a big tube and slowly .. very slowly carried down the river by the very very slow current for 3 hours under the hot scorching sun was not appealing at all.
One of the highlights in the UNESCO Heritage City of Luang Prabang is to witness or participate in one of the most sacred Lao traditions, the Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony also known as Tak Dat.
Together with my 3 friends, we tumbled out of bed at 5 am and quickly walked to Sisavangvong Road where the famous night market is located to witness this ceremony. Other tourists seemed to be heading towards the same directions and by the time we arrived, the place was already crowded.