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The Cultural Triangle

Seating Buddha, which depicts the Dhyana Mudra, Gal Vihara, near Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Seating Buddha, which depicts the Dhyana Mudra, Gal Vihara, near Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

The 5 historical sites of the Cultural Triangle, some of them 2.300 years old, are definitely worth the 5+ days necessary to discover them. They are the remains of a great civilization that developed an architecture unique in Asia. They were also built at different periods of time and hence display completely different styles and features, making it impossible to recommend one over the other. Simply put, each one should be visited! Continue Reading →

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Wildlife Watching In Sri Lanka

Ceylon Spotted Deer (Axis Axis Ceylonensis), Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka

Ceylon Spotted Deer (Axis Axis Ceylonensis), Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is famous for its excellent wildlife watching opportunities, but with only 10 days at hand, we had to make choices… Wildlife came short! Obviously, Leopard spotting is still easily possible if you have enough time in the National Parks (and there are not that many places where your odds are good), and Asian Elephants are a common sight. Continue Reading →

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The 15 Best Markets For Taking Stunning Pictures

A Personal Selection of Markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle-East and South America

Woman smoking at the 5-Day Market on Inle Lake, Myanmar - The five villages on the shore of Lake Inle take turns, so there is actually a market each day of the week.

Woman smoking at the 5-Day Market on Inle Lake, Myanmar – The five villages on the shore of Lake Inle take turns, so there is actually a market each day of the week.

No matter where I travel, I immensely enjoy visiting markets. Many of them, especially in Africa & in Asia, but also in the Middle East & in South America, are an assault on your senses: colorful and at times disorientating, aromatic or even intoxicating, vibrant and eventually hectic places… But this is where “the real life” can be found, so different from touristic highlights (though some markets have turned extremely popular in the last years, also amongst tour groups…) Continue Reading →

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Myanmar – A Selection Of 63 Pictures

Floating over Bagan's 4.000 temples in a Hot Air Balloon, Bagan, Myanmar

Floating over Bagan’s 4.000 temples in a Hot Air Balloon, Bagan, Myanmar

I used every single one of the 28 days the eVisa was allowing me to stay in Myanmar in February 2015 and visited first the Southeast of the country (Golden Rock, Hpa An & Mawlamyine), before heading to the Northeast (Pyin Oo Lwin, train over the Gokteik Viaduct, Hsipaw) and finally discovered during the last two weeks the more popular and touristic part of the country (Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake & last but not least Yangon). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Myanmar

No Longer A Well Kept Secret – But With So Much To Offer!

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

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

I used every single one of the 28 days the eVisa was allowing me to stay in Myanmar in February 2015 and visited first the Southeast of the country (Golden Rock, Hpa An & Mawlamyine), before heading to the Northeast (Pyin Oo Lwin, train over the Gokteik Viaduct, Hsipaw) and finally discovered during the last two weeks the more popular and touristic part of the country (Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake & last but not least Yangon). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Myanmar

Expensive For Asia

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Hot Air Balloon Flight with Balloons Over Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar

Type Of Travel

I am basically a Flashpacker and this is how I traveled in Myanmar in February 2015. I prefer to stay in hostels or local guesthouses, but (almost) always stay in private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Longer distance I covered by plane, like Bagan to Inle Lake and Inle Lake to Yangon. Good food is important to me, this can be a food stall, small local restaurants and maybe a cocktail sipped on the roof terrace of an international hotel. And I do not hesitate to “do something special” when justified: in Myanmar it was a tour in a Hot Air Balloon in Bagan, an experience of a lifetime! Continue Reading →

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Rajasthan – A Selection of 70 Pictures

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

In April 2012 I had my first brush with India, to be precise Eastern Rajasthan: for 11 days I gazed at the most incredible Moghul architecture in Agra and Jaipur. I also threw in a bit of wildlife by visiting Ranthambhore National Park. When I returned in March 2013, I headed for the Southwest of Rajasthan for 12 days, to marvel at these impressive forts & palaces in Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Bundi, Chittorgarh and last but not least Pushkar & Ajmer. Delhi was my hub during both trips.

In March 2015, I went back to Rajasthan for one full month, and made an extensive loop through this area of India: Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Abhaneri, Jaipur, Pushkar & Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Kumbalgarh & Ranakpur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner & Nawalgarh. I ended the trip in Amritsar (Punjab) to marvel at the Golden Temple.

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Rajasthan

Grand Architecture, Vivid & Colorful Street Life And Holy Cows

Witnessing one of the many processions (this time for peace in the world...) in Jaipur, the Pink City, Rajasthan, India

Witnessing one of the many processions (this time for peace in the world…) in Jaipur, the Pink City, Rajasthan, India

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In April 2012 I had my first brush with India, to be precise Eastern Rajasthan: for 11 days I gazed at the most incredible Moghul architecture in Agra and Jaipur. I also threw in a bit of wildlife by visiting Ranthambhore National Park. When I returned in March 2013, I headed for the Southwest of Rajasthan for 12 days, to marvel at these impressive forts & palaces in Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Bundi, Chittorgarh and last but not least Pushkar & Ajmer. Delhi was my hub during both trips. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Rajasthan

One Of The Cheapest Places To Splurge A Little Or Upgrade Your Travel Style…

In the streets of Bundi, Rajasthan, India

In the streets of Bundi, Rajasthan

Type Of Travel

The 3 trips to Rajasthan were quite different, and this shows in the budget spent:

  • During the first 2 trips, with limited time at hand (each time 12 days) and India being a rather cheap country, I opted against traveling low budget. Instead I frequented “mid-range” hotels or Havelis and pleasant local restaurants (classic Flashpacking trip). This trip could definitely be done a lot cheaper than spending 44 and 48 Euros per person per day (this amount does not include the international flight or the visa fees).
  • The third trip, I was traveling with my 77 year old father and went for the “upper mid-range” type of travel to ensure a nice level of comfort and enhance the mobility: nice Havelis or small Boutique hotels, nice restaurants, at times a car with driver… The budget almost doubled.

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