Winding down in VANG VIENG

Vang Vieng

Surrounded by limestone mountains rising above the paddy fields, Vang Vieng is a little picturesque town by the Nam Song river. Continue reading

It’s easy to fall in love with CHIANG MAI

Chiang Mai

As with our travel motto from the start we’ve never made plans for where to go next on this journey, we’re still continuing to find new places on the advices from the people we meet on the road. This way of travelling has liberated us from all the pre-planning stress including arranging accommodation/bus/train tickets etc. We just turn up at a bus/train station on the day of travelling and book the next available seats to our next destination. Sure, sometimes this attitude has lead us to not so great transportation/accommodation options due to high season or demand but we have managed OK so far and end up having the most amazing memories regardless. So, the latest of these journeys was our last minute purchase of the train tickets from  Bangkok to Chiang Mai which put us on a slow sleeper train that took 18hrs to arrive (instead of 16!). It was a long, exhausting train journey but later we agreed it was well worth the journey for what we experienced in Chiang Mai after our three weeks there…

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A speedy week before we come to an end to our South America Adventure

Ecuador

On the way to Cuenca

By staying in Vilcabamba much longer than we had planned, we had to skip a few places on our agenda to get to Bogota, Colombia in order not to miss our flight to London,UK. Of course, the crazy idea of not catching that plane and stay in South America came to mind several times but unfortunately that wasn’t feasible for us at the time as we had another flight to catch from London to start our adventures in a new continent, Asia, the week after.

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Finding the essence of travelling in VILCABAMBA

Ecuador

We all gave each other a victorious smile when we got off at our final destination after dark, after two exhausting days on the road. Having decided that we would check in the eco-lodge 2km outside the town the next day, we checked in a hostel in the center of the town for the night.

“Yes, we need celebratory drinks and good food!” we all cheered when the lady at the reception recommended a family run pizzeria whose owner is a jolly 89 year old Italian lady. That night, we laughed with our new friends, told more stories about our lives and listened to the secrets of a long healthy life from Mama Silvia.

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Lost city of the Incas: MACHU PICCHU

Peru

First rays of sun illuminating Machu Picchu

Perched high above the Urubamba river, nestled between two mountain peaks, Machu Picchu welcomes its visitors from dawn to dusk everyday of the year except during the month of February. It is one of the most famous archaeological ruins in the world and probably on most people’s bucket list and I can tell you, it’s rightly so.

Since its discovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories of how this site was built and why it was abandoned almost 500 hundred years ago. Yet, it still raises more questions than answers. It’s hard to imagine how this massive structure was built along the ridge of a mountain, the surrounding agricultural terraces were carved and most importantly how they carried huge stones and soil to an area with such limited accessibility in an age where no heavy machinery existed and without the use of any writing materials, architectural equipment. Hence, it continues to be an enigma.

I strongly believe that everyone who comes to visit will have a different feeling and understanding of this mysterious place. Read on for how we felt during our visit…

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A Photo Story: ISLA DEL SOL, the birth place of the Incas

Isla del sol

The children of the Sun were born on these lands

The island of the Sun (La Isla del Sol) is the most sacred place and the birthplace of the sun god and the Incas. According to the myths, it was here where the god Viracocha commanded the Sun and Moon to rise from the waters.Thus he became Sun God as well as Storm God. He then created the first human beings,  Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo and instructed them to educate the world.

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Being away from it all in the Amazon Jungle and Happy Birthday to me

Bolivia

Into the wild

“Babe, I’m so excited for our Amazon Jungle trip. It will be my best birthday ever!” was the last thing I said to Ian before we got picked up from Coroico by our tour company…

While choosing the tour company we opted for a slightly different itinerary as most people fly from La Paz to Rurrenabaque (the best place to experience the Amazon jungle in Bolivia) to start their tour there. Since we really didn’t want to go back along the Coroico – La Paz route again and there were no flights from Coroico to Rurrenabaque,  we looked for a different option, ideally leaving from Coroico. What surprised us the most was that out of hundreds of tour companies offering tours into the Bolivian Amazon, there was only one company organizing a tour from Coroico considering the bus route to Rurrenabaque goes directly through Coroico. After not having had many options with tour companies, we decided to go with Deep Rainforest.

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