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Author Archive | Gilles Barbier

Unexpected Highlight In The Barrio Santo Domingo

A Photo Essay

A group of twelve young dancers of the Academy of Ballet performed a medley of different dances (Salsa, Merengue, Tango, Vallenato, Brazilian Samba and even an Arabic dance), Medellin, Colombia

A group of twelve young dancers of the Academy of Ballet performed a medley of different dances (Salsa, Merengue, Tango, Vallenato, Brazilian Samba and even an Arabic dance), Medellin, Colombia

The event during the Feria de la Flores we liked best back in 2009, we literally stumbled upon! Not really surprising considering the complete lack of information for tourists, foreigners and Colombians alike. Trying to get a last good view of Medellin at sunset, we took the cable car up to Santo Domingo and bumped into a great party in the middle of this poor barrio. Continue Reading →

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Inle Lake – Fishermen In The Mist

A Photo Essay

Fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar - Them rowing their boats with one leg contributed to making the lake a legend. This technique allows them to throw / pull their nets with both hands.

Fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar – Them rowing their boats with one leg contributed to making the lake a legend. This technique allows them to throw / pull their nets with both hands.

It was brighter than what we had expected, the sun was about to rise, when we boarded the boat at 06:30 am. Despite four layers of clothes and blankets, the clammy air was penetrating our body, when the boat raced through the channels leading towards Inle Lake. Mist was climbing from the water. We could hardly see a thing, hoping the boat driver would…

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Vietnam – A Selection Of 42 Pictures

Opera House at Night, Ho Chi Minh City

Opera House at Night, Ho Chi Minh City

We visited Vietnam twice: in 2003, we spent 4 weeks there, discovering the main highlights of a country that was already popular but not overrun: Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels, the Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay and last but not least SaPa.

In 2015, Gilles spent 5 weeks there alone, and tried to visit, along with the main “highlights”, some lesser known parts of the country: Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Tam Coc, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Sapa & Bac Ha. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Vietnam

An Amazing Experience… If You Go Off The Beaten Track!

Full Moon Festival, Old Town of Hoi An, Vietnam

Full Moon Festival, Old Town of Hoi An

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

We visited Vietnam twice: in 2003, we spent 4 weeks there, discovering the main highlights of a country that was already popular but not overrun: Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels, the Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay and last but not least SaPa.

In 2015, Gilles spent 5 weeks there alone, and tried to visit, along with the main “highlights”, some lesser known parts of the country: Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Danang, Hue, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Tam Coc, Halong Bay, Hanoi, Sapa & Bac Ha.

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Vietnam

Easy To Travel On A Budget

Van Long Nature Reserve, Tam Coc, Ninh Binh, Vietnam

Van Long Nature Reserve, Tam Coc, Ninh Binh

Type Of Travel

We are basically Flashpackers and this is how we traveled both times we visited Vietnam, in 2003 & 2015. We prefer to stay in hostels or local guesthouses, but always stay in private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Longer distance we covered by plane, like Ho Chi Minh City to Danang. Good food is important to us, this can be a food stall, small local restaurants and maybe a cocktail sipped on the roof terrace of an international hotel. Continue Reading →

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Jodhpur, The Blue City – Just Get Lost!

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajsthan, India

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajsthan

Do not even try to read a map when strolling the Old City of Jodhpur, simply useless in this maze of narrow streets lined with shops, street vendors and houses that were once blue. Add honking auto-rickshaws, motorbikes, bikes, pedestrians, men pushing heavy carts, cows, dogs and you realize – Jodhpur is a city to stroll aimlessly. Continue Reading →

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9 Hidden Highlights In Yangon

Shwedagon Paya, Yangon, Myanmar

Shwedagon Paya, Yangon, Myanmar

As many Asian capital cities, Yangon at first sight is a nondescript, hot & chaotic city, not an inviting place to stay. Distances are significant, motorbikes and tuk tuk are banned, so your only options are walking in the heat or paying for expensive taxi rides.

Nevertheless, Yangon to us seemed a fascinating crossroad between Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. And if you scratch below the surface and take the time to dive into this surprising city, it has a lot to offer. Three days in Yangon are just right, especially since you will want to find some retreat during the hot hours of the day. Continue Reading →

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Udaipur’s Many Highlights

Udaipur-101

View of the City Palace, during a Boat Ride at Sunset, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan

With its stunning lake view, its magnificent temples, its Havelis and palaces turned into museums or hotels and Rajasthan’s largest palace, it made Udaipur to one of our favorite places in Rajasthan. The stunning view of Lake Pichola is what really got us hooked. It made such an impression on us when we stepped onto the terrace of our hotel! We simply held our breath. But there is a lot more to Udaipur…

 

 

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Happy Holi!

HoliFestival-101

Holi Festival, when Indus celebrate the beginning of Spring, by throwing coloured water and gulal (powder) at anyone within range, Bundi, Rajasthan

The Holi Festival heralds the arrival of spring. At this Hindu “Festival of Colors”, Indians throw color onto each other and wish each other “Happy Holi”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jaipur – The Jewels of The Pink City

Jaipur-101

Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of Winds”, Jaipur, Rajasthan

At first sight a chaotic, congested, hot city, but Jaipur abounds with highlights and is definitely worth spending several days to somewhat scratch below the surface. The good news, if you have enough time to explore more of the city than just the Amber Fort, the City Palace and Palace of the Winds (visited by groups in this very order), you will meet very few tourists.

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