Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Nepal: Kathmandu

Festival of colours, "Happy Holi"
Monday 10 March: Arriving in New Delhi I immediately take my pre-booked 1st class sleeper to, Gorakhpur, near the Nepalese border.
Tuesday 11: Entering Nepal I stop overnight at the border town of Bhairawa where Hotel Glasgow is rather less appealing than it sounds.
Wednesday 12: Continuing by daytime bus I eventually reach Kathmandu, knackered.
Friday 14: I'm planning a long trek so I head first to Shonna's Alpine Designs where her Brummy husband, Andy, kits me out with a down jacket, three-season sleeping bag and down bootees for those chilly evenings (yes, I've shopped here several times before).
Saturday 15: It's the Hindu festival of colours weekend, known as Holi, where all and sundry are splashed with water and slapped with coloured powder to the chanting of "Happy Holi". It's a chilly day and the water is cold but there is no choice but to put on a happy face. Annoyingly the trekking permit office is closed until Monday but Kathmandu is a pleasant place to spend a few days.
Monday 17: Permits and passes acquired I'm off at first dawn tomorrow.
Slideshow of Kathmandu.
Slideshow of Kathmandu in April 2010.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Krabi & Phuket town

Flaming wok, Krabi night market
Tuesday 25 February: The small town of Krabi is one of my favourite destinations in Thailand. It's away from the tourist hoards, the food is fantastic, boat trips to spectacular beaches and islands are easily organised, and, well, I just like the place. The seafood at Tuk Tuk Kitchen in Krabi's cool riverside night market is both spectacularly prepared and delicious.
Thursday 27: Once again I take the enjoyable four island boat trip, my last chance to soak up the sun before heading to much cooler climes.
Sunday 1st March: I take a look at the town's temple then a tuk-tuk trip to the local fossilised beach.
Monday 3: Onto Phuket town where the food is again the main draw card.
Tuesday 4: Downtown Khao Keang, near the local bus stands, is the best restaurant for local seafood fare while Markinny Mate is great for western fare from an Ozzy trained chef who has set himself up here. Fantastic value.
Slideshow of Krabi & Phuket town.
Slideshow of in and around Krabi from December 2013.
Slideshow of Phuket town and Krabi from February 2012.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Thailand: Nakhon Si Thammarat

Wat Phra Mahathat's main stupa
Monday 24 February: Back in Thailand, once again, I head south for some beach time but en-route I stop off at the historic town of Nakhon Si Thammarat in the rarely visited southeastern province of the same name. The main draw here is, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wat Phra Mahathat. With a multitude of stupa the main central one is topped by a golden spire, impressive.
Slideshow of Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cambodia: Siem Reap

Sublime Khmer temple, Angkor Wat
Friday 31 January: My visa run, this time, is to Cambodia and to one of my favourite locations in all the world, Siem Reap, the dormitory town for Angkor Wat. I'll relax here in the Mandalay Inn for a few days before visiting the sites.
Wednesday 5 February: For three days I cycle around the outer sites stopping at Bayon and Angkor Wat.
Saturday 8: Today Angkor National Museum is a delight. Not much to see but many displays and information.
Wednesday 12: This morning I visit the interior of Angkor Wat with it's fabulous reliefs, statues and vistas and in the afternoon Bayon with it's giant Buddha faces. Early evening there are dusk views of Angkor Wat across the lily pond, sublime.
Slideshow of Angkor Wat area this time.
Slideshow of in and around Siem Reap in March 2012 and more slideshows from July 2010:
Siem Reap
Angkor's Grand Tour
Angkor's Petit Tour
Angkor Thom
Angkor Wat
Banteay Srei and beyond