• View of a crashed helicopter
    Asia,  Blog,  Travelogue,  Vietnam

    DMZ

    All is quiet on the DMZ now. The bases and bunkers are no longer there. The country is one. And the area is a major tourist attraction. View of the Ben Hai river when driving However, it wasn’t always so. When the world’s powers convened in Geneva to try and sort out the mess the French had got themselves into in Indochina, Vietnam was split in half along the 17th parallel. A strip of land, running about 5kms on either side of the Ben Hai river separated a nation and its people. During the ensuing Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese and US-supported South fought ruthlessly, trying to gain an advantage…

  • Asia,  Blog,  Laos,  Travelogue

    11 things to do in Luang Prabang

    If there is one destination in Indochina that deserves your time and money, then it must be Luang Prabang. This UNESCO World Heritage site was the ancient royal capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom until the middle of the 16th century. Today, Luang Prabang is considered to be the heart of Laotian culture, beating the capital city Vientiane as the preferred destination. Depending on your itinerary, you can choose to spend just two nights, doing a whirlwind tour of its highlights, or take it easy and stretch your stay for a week (or more) and see it at your own pace. Either way, you will be richly rewarded with sights…

  • Asia,  Blog,  India,  Travelogue

    Sailing on the Ganges

    I first visited Varanasi in 1990. I was in college, and it was the holidays. I needed to get out of the city, and explore another place, another country. It was the first time I was doing a solo trip. And while I am not a solo traveller, this was a journey I enjoyed from start to finish, if you discount the various mishaps that transpired along the way. And with a series of mishaps was how I found myself in Varanasi, after having spent a few weeks travelling in Nepal. The border guard at the Nepal-India border had taken the dollars that I was carrying, leaving me with just…