TRAVEL

This tag is associated with 13 posts

Holy smoke

Weird stuff in an ancient Himalayan village It’s easy to describe the trek to Malana. The first half is horizontal, the second half vertical — a gentle walk through a pine-forested valley, followed by a breathless struggle up a sheer mountainside in the glaring sun. You crest at the village, a collection of castle-like stone … Continue reading

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Flying colours

January 14 is the festival of Uttarayan in Gujarat, marking the end of winter, the return of the sun and the reawakening of the gods. It is also the day of the kite flying festival. Flyers hold kite fights, attempting to send competing kites crashing to the ground. They use special string, dipped in a … Continue reading

Strenuous relaxation

Angus McDonald and friend take some time out on Thailand’s Railay peninsula, where rock climbing is optional but lolling on the beach is unavoidable.  The information was accurate, if not the spelling. ‘Danger! Sliperpy area a head,’ said the sign. In front of us, a fraying rope traced a line up a wall of jungle, rock, and … Continue reading

Kalka-Shimla Railway

Life in the slow train words and photos by Angus McDonald A bus will get from Kalka to Shimla in two thirds the time taken by the train, whose maximum speed is a stately 25 kilometres per hour. But velocity, of course, is very far from the point. Nobody goes to the Himachali capital to … Continue reading

Yoga in Chiang Mai

Thailand’s second city has a thriving yoga scene. Taking some classes provides an instant community and an entry into the culture.   As many a traveller has found, there’s nothing better than yoga for ironing out those kinks in the body acquired in the course of a long haul trip. But finding a place to … Continue reading

Glass blowing in Turkey

EASY AS HONEY ON A STICK Heat, light, form, photography, travel. It all came together for Anders McDonald on a two-week glass blowing course outside Istanbul.  A while ago, I don’t remember how or where, I saw something about a place called the Glass Furnace  in Turkey that offers two-week workshops in glass blowing. Like … Continue reading

Small Indiscretions – Felicity Castagna

These twenty stories are about people displaced: Australians wandering Asia in search of something. It might all be fiction, but it has the ring of truth. ‘She gave up writing straightforward accounts of her journeys years ago. She has surrendered herself to her love of fiction.’ This is Maria, an ageing backpacker washed up amongst … Continue reading

The Tao of Travel – Paul Theroux

This collection is the exact opposite of Theroux’s other travel writing. Usually he goes abroad and writes about novels. This time he stays at home and writes about travel books. It works. Whether you’re a fan of Theroux or not – and this reviewer is not – read on. The beauty of this book is … Continue reading

Tragedy in Crimson – Tim Johnson

EARTH TREMORS AHEAD Pay no attention to the subtitle of this book, ‘How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China’. The author says relatively little about His Holiness, possibly because so much has already been written. As for losing the battle with China, if one thing emerges it is that … Continue reading

Vientiane – foodie’s paradise

Vientiane might be short on sightseeing, but it makes up for it with fabulous food and wine. And it’s cheap as chips. Although Laos is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travellers, many of them only pass through the capital, Vientiane, in their eagerness to get to other parts of the country such as Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang … Continue reading