All posts filed under: Asia & Middle East

[Tv Review]: The Ganges With Sue Perkins

With winter now well and truly in full swing in England and with India and the sun on my mind, I delved into my tea cupboard to make some ‘authentic’ Chai (read all about that here) and finally settled down to catch up with the rest of the country to watch BBC’s documentary following the journey of Sue Perkins travelling down the Ganges from its source in the mountains to where the mouth of the river meets the sea. I had seen so many varying reviews and comments on Twitter about the series that I was keen to see it for myself. India has had a piece of my heart since I travelled there last year and remains in my top favourite countries – it was fascinating, engaging, eye-opening and full of the warmest and friendliest of people, breathtaking architecture and a stunning plethora of colours, smells and noise. On my trip, I travelled around beautiful Rajasthan for just under three weeks and this in itself is a vast area to cover. I don’t think …

Travel Souvenirs | Authentic Indian Chai

Chai (pronounced as a single syllable and rhymes with ‘pie’) is the word for tea in many parts of the world. It is a centuries-old beverage which has played an important role in many cultures. Chai from India is a spiced milk tea that has become increasingly popular throughout the world. It is generally made up of: • rich black tea • heavy milk • a combination of various spices • a sweetener With India on my mind after watching BBC’s The Ganges with Sue Perkins, with one of my friends having just returned from an incredible trip there and another friend heading there next month, I decided to delve into the back of my overspilling tea cupboard and sieve out the Chai I bought on my travels in India. Recommended by Lonely Planet as the best spice shop in Rajasthan, we navigated the streets of Jodhpur in the search of MV Spices and it didn’t disappoint. Shelves and shelves packed full of every spice you could imagine, incredible aromas filling the tiny shop and still …

Sambhali Trust: The Importance Of Charity

As you may or may not know, I recently spent just under three weeks in India touring the country by bus with the amazing Dragoman overland travel company. As part of our amazingly detailed and full-on itinerary, we saw many incredible sights, some iconic landmarks and some more off the beaten track destinations. One of these was a half day visit to the Sambhali Trust, just outside of the blue city of Jodhpur. We spent a whole afternoon there at the centre, sat on the floor chatting to the girls about their lives whilst they prepared us a simple meal for lunch, sang and performed for us and painted beautiful Indian henna on our hands and feet. The centre, set up by the amazing Sambhali Trust charity, acts as an all-important refuge for women who live in the surrounding area. It’s open to all ages – the women we met ranged from the age of about 12 (some of these girls were married) up to late 60s, and every age in between. There were young …

India: A Photoless Reflection

I am writing this from on board Daisy, our trusty (not-so-)little truck taking us from cities to deserts to the bush on our overland trip around India, and feeling particularly reflective today. I always look forward to sharing my travels through this blog, whether that be tips on travelling that part of the world, personal stories or a photography feature. Over the past few weeks I’d had a few ideas, including a photography series of India, as I had some beautiful close up shots of people I’d met throughout my trip in the cosmopolitan cities, desert towns and countryside villages we had driven through en route. I’ve always found that interacting with the locals really is the best way to get to know a country! And India isn’t an exception. The real beauty of India is its people. Yes, the incredible architecture and intricate decor of its temples, mosques and palaces really is incomparable to anywhere else in the world. The endless beeping of horns, dodging of cows and tuk-tuks in the streets, and constant …

Out & About: My Top Travel Experiences In The Great Outdoors

Sometimes there’s no better feeling than getting out and about in a country and doing something active in the fresh air and the great outdoors. Often it’s the best way to get the feel for a place, and leaves you with memories you’re not going to forget any time soon. I’ve been lucky enough to have had many incredible once-in-a-lifetime outdoor travel experiences over the years and thought I’d do a rundown of my 5 most memorable. 1. Boating and wildlife spotting down the Kinabatangan river in Borneo Kind of like your classic safari, except instead of in a 4×4, you are on a wooden boat on the river, and instead of spotting lions and elephants, you’re on the lookout for Proboscis monkeys and alligators. With a local tour guide and two safaris a day (both very early morning and late afternoon when the wildlife is most active), it’s truly incredible to see this wildlife, a few species of which are now endangered, in their natural rainforest environment. Visit full post here 2. Dolphin spotting …

[People Of The World Series]: Women Of Sapa, North Vietnam

There is a hidden story behind every face, a smile or an expression telling a thousand stories without any words. Some of my favourite pictures from my travels are of people’s faces around the world, a snapshot of someone’s daily life captured in a split-second action shot. It is true that one of the best ways to get under the skin of a country is through its locals. In my People Of The World series, I share my photographs of people from all around the world.