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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Rwanda

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans

“The Switzerland Of Africa”

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda. Of course I went to the Parc National des Volcans & Tracked Mountain Gorillas – This was one of my motivations for returning to Uganda & discovering Rwanda.

I also visited 4 different Memorials of the Genocide, one of the darkest episodes in Human History, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center, Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali), Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye) and Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Colombia

South America’s Most Diverse Country?

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

Colonial City of Cartagena de Indias

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In summer 2009, I spent 7 weeks in Colombia and discovered Salento & the Zona Cafetera; Popayan, San Agustin, Tierradentro & the Desierto de Tatacoa; Bogota; Villa de Leyva, San Gil, Barichara & Bucaramanga; Medellin (during the Feria de las Flores); Santa Marta, Taganga & Tayrona National Park; Rioacha & La Guajira (up to Punta Gallinas) and last but not least Cartagena de Indias. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Ethiopia

The Most Diverse African Experience?

Bet Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, Lalibela

Bet Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, Lalibela

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

I visited Ethiopia 3 times over the last 5 years and spent approx. 2 months there. Nonetheless, I still have the impression that I haven’t seen it all:

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Sri Lanka

Easy To Travel & Full Of Highlights

Train from Kandy to Nuwera Eliya, Sri Lanka

Train from Kandy to Nuwera Eliya, Sri Lanka

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

Never have we bought a long-haul plane ticket 6 days before departure… But when a window of opportunity of 12 days in February 2016 aroused, the decision was quick. With only 10 days in Sri Lanka, we had to make some bitter choices, as this is not nearly enough for a country that would ideally require 3 weeks or more… Beaches were immediately out of focus, as was soon wildlife watching, because of the lack of time. 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’ 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’ Travel Guide To Brazil

Breathtaking Beaches, Splendid Colonial Cities, Unique Wildlife, Rio de Janeiro & … The Greatest Melting Pot!

View of Rio de Janeiro & the Pao de Acucar from Morro de Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

View of Rio de Janeiro & the Pao de Acucar from Morro de Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In 2007, I spent 4 weeks in Brazil and entered the country from Venezuela, discovering Manaus, Recife & Olinda, Fernando de Noronha, Salvador de Bahia & Morro de Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo. In 2015, I spent 6 weeks there and visited Salvador de Bahia & Morro de Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto & Tiradentes), Rio de Janeiro & Ilha Grande, Iguazu (both Brazilian & Argentinian sides), Bonito, the Northern Pantanal (entering from Cuiaba and going to Porto Jofre), Brasilia & last but not least Sao Paulo. 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’ Travel Guide To Cambodia

There Is Much More Than “Only” Angkor Wat

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

Monks in Front of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Monks in Front of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Our two trips to Cambodia could not have been more different from each other. In July 2008, during our Round The World Trip, we spent two weeks there. We crossed the border from Laos on foot and checked out mainly Phnom Penh and of course Siem Reap, where we spent one week exploring many Angkor Temples. We finally crossed Tonlé Sap to reach Battambang, from where we headed overland to Thailand.

In December 2014, Gilles accompanied his father on his “Bucket List Trip” through Cambodia for three weeks, going On and Off The Beaten Track. We first spent one week in Siem Reap to see the most famous and the more remote temples of Angkor. Then we did a 10 day loop through the Northwest of Cambodia, where we were the only tourists. The common trip ended with several days in Phnom Penh, before Gilles headed alone to Kampot & Kep on the Coast and finally to Vietnam. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Laos

Asia’s Most Relaxed Destination

Hmong New Year's Celebration - Phonsavanh

Hmong New Year’s Celebration – Phonsavanh

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

Our two trips to Laos could not have been more different from each other. In June 2008, during our Round The World Trip, we spent one month in this charming country. We crossed the border from China on foot and started in Luang Nam Tha, where we trekked Luang Nam Tha National Park, then headed for popular Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng & Vientiane. Some of the lesser-known places we visited were Phonsavanh & the Plain of Jars, Kong Lo Cave, Pakse & the Bolaven Plateau and last but not least 4.000 Islands.

In November 2014, Gilles accompanied his father on his “Bucket List Trip” during 10 days in Laos, focusing more on well-trodden paths: Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Phonsavanh and finally Luang Prabang.

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