Date: 21st February 2018
India is a country youíll never forget. Once you step out of
the airport and hear the distant echo of beeping rickshaws and bustling cities,
the country begins to take its hold on you. Despite its reputation of being a
dangerous, dirty country, perhaps too chaotic for some - those who take the
time to get to know the magical lands often fall in love with it.
India makes you feel alive. Itís intense, surreal, and vibrant. Sometimes itís
even unfair, itís challenging, and youíll see things which will change your
perspective forever. Around every corner is something new; a rainbow of
colours, fragrant smells of herbs and spices, the buzz of bazaars, diverse
cuisines and patterns of beautiful fabrics.
Youíll see rickshaws twisting and
turning through the windy roads, just
missing someone at every swerve.Your
eyes will glimmer in the colorful bright fabrics, beads and textiles. The
beauty of the Taj Mahal will look different than the photos youíve seen so many
times before; its white marble walls will shine brightly in the sunshine,
commanding your attention. Youíll stare in awe at the mountain views and lush,
green landscapes across Kerala and the tropical blue beach paradise of Goa.
But not everything you see will dazzle you with joy. Youíll see the crowds of
homeless people sleeping at busy Indian train stations. People will squeeze
onto a chair class carriage as they embark on a 48 hour train journey with no
room to sit down. Maybe, as you walk down the side streets of Kolkata and see
hoards of homeless, hungry children, youíll realise how lucky you really are.
Youíll hear the
endless beeping and revs of tuk tuks and scooters. Chatter in Hindi, Tamil,
Kannada and English will flow past your ears as you walk through crammed
streets. Youíll get used to sound of aggressive shoppers haggling at busy
bazaars, the beating thumps of women doing laundry and the passion in religious
Then youíll bask in the calmness of the birds singing in the empty mountains.
Youíll listen to the faint sounds of water rippling while boating through
serene backwaters. And as you fall asleep in the desert of the Golden City,
youíll hear nothing but the breeze.
Youíll smell the sweetness of
Jasmine flowers which delicately decorate womenís hair, representing hope and
spirituality. Cinnamon, ginger, coriander, bay leaves, masala and every pungent
spice will fill the air as you pass by a bazaar. The savoury scent of samosas
and bhajis, or freshly brewed chai sold by busy street stalls are bound to
For every good smell in India thereís a bad. Fish rotting in
the burning sun, mounds of rubbish piled high, and walls which reek of urine
will be common occurrences. But thereís no need to worry - these smells are
quickly masked by the pleasant smell of musky sandal and lavender incense
burning from every temple, street corner and house.
Youíll taste diverse,
rich and spicy food with interesting contrasts at every corner of the country.
Vegetarians will feel like theyíre in food paradise and relish in the endless
meat-free choices. The varied taste of thalis, homely taste of street food, and
curries packed with spices will feed your soul. Youíll find yourself addicted
to Indian food, which is always infused with passion.
Thereís nothing more heart-wrenching than the touch of an Indian child beggar grasping at your hand or banging on
your window for food or money. As you stroke an Indian street dog or cat,
youíll feel their bones poke through their fur; not an inch of fat on their
A trip to India will change your perspective, it will make
you feel lucky, and it will make you want to help. Youíll be inspired by
Indianís hope and joy in the smallest of things, and their humble lifestyles
will make you think twice. India - a country of sensory overload.
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Date: 2nd November 2017
Asia has several countries that have some
of the best scenic views in the entire world. Asia is known for its natural
landscapes, iconic landmarks, and large metropolises. Asian countries are
always some of the top tourist destinations in the world. You can truly
appreciate the scenery by taking an adventure to the best viewpoints.
Thailand Ė Ang Thong National Park
Thailand has a lot of famous islands that
attract visitors year-round. Many of these islands gained their popularity
because of the amazing views that can be seen from them. Ang Thong National
Park is an area that includes a collection of limestone islands. These islands
are topped with tropical forests with some of the best beaches in the country
along their shores.
Ang Thong National Park is known for its
beaches and marine life. It is recognized as a national park in order to
preserve its natural wonder. One of the islands within the park is Ko Wua
Talap. This island serves as the parkís HQ and tourist center. Itís also where
you can get the best view. You can hike up one the cliffs on this island to be
greeted with panoramic views of the entire park.
China Ė Longji Rice Terrace
A major part of Chinaís culture is its
agricultural practices and rice has always been a major crop grown in the
country. For most, the way of farming rice has been unchanged for centuries.
Many regions of China have hilly landscape so in order to still utilize the
land, farmers developed the technique of rice terraces.
One of the most popular rice terraces to
view in China is called the Longji Rice Terrace. Itís often referred to as the
ďDragonís BackboneĒ. The rice terraces tier from the foot of the mountains to
the peaks. Taking a trip to the top of any of the mountains here will give you
a great view of the area.
Laos Ė Vang Vieng
A small town in Laos called Vang Vieng is
actually a frequent destination for tourists for several reasons. Itís
surrounded by many natural attractions such as mountains, waterfalls, and its
famous Blue Lagoon. The entire town sits in the valley which makes it a great
start point for hiking adventures.
The Phangern viewpoint is one of the best
viewpoints in Laos. Itís located at the peak of the Phangern mountain. This
viewpoint will give you panoramic views looking down to the town and all of
itís surrounding landscapes. The Phangern viewpoint is a clear view over the
Vietnam Ė Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is recognized as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site and is one of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam. This
bay consists of thousands of small islands, some with beaches, other covered
with limestone cliffs and forests. Ha Long Bay is also a common place to find
cruises and sailing. Itís a great place to explore above and below the water.
The best island to get great views of Ha
Long Bay is on Ti Top Island. There are several tours available to hike up the
islandís main mountain. Ti Top island is located in the middle of the Ha Long
Bay to give you the best viewpoint.
There are countless viewpoints to visit in
Asia. Many of the viewpoints require trekking up high in the mountains but the
resulting views definitely make any trip worth it. A great way to experience
the viewpoints is to arrive at them in time for the sunrise or sunset. Tours are
usually provided and scheduled around these times. These viewpoints in Asia
give you great photo opportunities and are even more breathtaking when seen in
Author: Bryan Shelmon
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