Salt Pan of Maras, Peru

Salineras de Maras, Salt Pans of Maras, Peru, Sacred Valley, How to get to Salt Pans of Maras by local transport, backpacking, budget travel, what is salt pans of Maras?

Salt Pans of Maras

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.

Read more

Iguazu Falls – Brazil Side Part 2

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.

Iguazu Falls Btazil Side, How to get to Iguazu Falls, Brazil, Backpacking, Budget Travel, How long should I spend at Iguazu Falls, Brazil side?

The beginning of the trail

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.

Read more

Introduction To Iguazu Falls – Brazil Side Part 1

Iguazu Falls Btazil Side, How to get to Iguazu Falls, Brazil, Backpacking, Budget Travel, How long should I spend at Iguazu Falls, Brazil side?

Panaromic view of Iguazu Falls

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.

Read more

Escadaria Selaron – Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Escadaria Selaron, Brazil, How to get to Escadaria Selaron, Who is Jorge Selaron, Where is Escadaria Selaron, colourful steps, backpacking, budget travel, Is Escadaria Selaron worth a visit?

Mr Jorge Selaron

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.

Read more

Road Trip : Kangding-Tagong-Kangding (China)

Kangding, Tagong, China, Road trip from Kangding to Tagong, Tagong grassland, shared van, monastery, backpacking, budget travel, prayer wheels, prayer flags

My transport and van mates for my day trip Kangding-Tag0ng-Kangding

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.

Read more

Chilling In Vang Vieng, Laos – Day 1

Vang Vieng, Laos, Introduction to Vang Vieng, Food, Accommodation, Vang Vieng Town, local food

Map of Vang Vieng (copied from Hobo Maps with permission)

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.

Read more

Alms Giving Ceremony (Tak Dat) in Luang Prabang, Laos

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.

Read more