All posts filed under: Places Travelled

My Journey Through Cambodia’s Depressing Past

[I visited Cambodia in 2016, but this is an edited version of the original story provided (by me) to and published by the print version of… Harmony – Celebrate Age, in May 2017] The mugshot of several dozen victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide lay in front of me. Some appeared to have a broken jawbone, and some, a few missing teeth. I winced every time I looked at a new face. The man next to me, however, stood still, though he appeared twitching from time to time. He looked Cambodian, and unlike me, I realised, he might just be finding the entire sight a lot more tormenting. A few faces might perhaps be familiar to him. I’d arrived in Phnom Penh only a day before, and I was already inside the infamous site of S-21 Tuol Sleng Jail. The place had some appeal, after all, S-21 of Phnom Penh is the reason why so many tourists come to Cambodia, at first place. After struggling with the thoughts and studying different faces for a few long minutes, …

What To See In Budapest, And How

Nesting in the heart of Europe, Budapest offers its visitors an unlimited treasury of experiences. Budapest is one of those European metropolis,  popular for its wealth of sights, sounds and experiences. And what makes it better is that the city has something for everyone — from good food to charming architecture, to world-famous spas. In fact,the city has such rich experiences that visitors — especially those travelling for a short time and looking for offbeat experiences — often get so much peckish during their visit that they end up being confused about what to choose and what not. And if so is the case with you too and you’re in Budapest for only for a few nights (give Budapest at least three days, as less than that would be a total injustice to the city), here’s how I’d suggest you to plan your trip: Before Anything… Welcome to Budapest! Home to world-famous artists, mouth-watering food, and above all — cheap beer! Budapest, as a city, is vibrant. It’s comparatively much, raw, wilder, and backpacking friendly. I personally favored …

Exploring The Iconic Budapest Metro

The Hungarian National museum, if you want to see it all, appear to be much bigger and overwhelming than you can imagine. A long stretch of art and artifacts and centuries old history. Don’t plan to see and absorb it all, in a day, just like I did. You need more time than that. And then certainly not plan an evening show in the city’s Opera House later, the same day — something that I ended up doing, again. I remember my second day in Budapest was long and tiring. I mean the city had too much to offer, and I had only a week to explore it all. But the good thing about Budapest was an efficient public transport, and among its public transport system is the Underground Metro System, that is not just beautiful and iconic, but has a long history associated to it. Yes, we are talking about the history that takes you back in 19th century — when Budapest, or the entire European continent, at large, got its first metro line. In many cities, the underground commute involves boring …

How To See Prague In One Day

Prague is one of those destinations that always seems to be in vogue. It’s been on the tourist map for a long time, and the crowds show no signs of abating – particularly when it comes to women. And I understand the fascination. Prague is, after all, gorgeous; has a Vegas-style nightlife; and speaks, from its all nooks and corners, but a hint of romance. But where on one side, the city is beautiful and vibrant, its well-preserved medieval city is abundant of rich history and stories. In fact, there is just so much to see and absorb here that if you’re staying here for only a few days, you’re going to miss a lot, unless you plan better. Since I stayed in Prague for only 3 days, out of which, I spent a day in the Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland Park, I was out of luck too. So very carefully, I opted for a full-day guided tour around the city (despite not being a big fan of guided tours) for I did not want to leave the city …

What To Do In Bratislava: Perhaps Some Target Shooting!

Dodging with the idea of how to make your trip to Bratislava memorable? Wondering what to do in the city? I recommend: Some Target Shooting! Now I really can’t say that guns are quite my cup of tea, I mean how can anyone fancy the idea of playing with those dangerous chunks of metal, that make designed for nothing but kill people, but as it was one of the highlights of traveling in Slovalia, and Bratislava in particular, I thought “why not!” Before you read further, please leave your all prejudices behind, and try to absorb it in the form of a new, healthy experience, after all, I was not hunt people! I think during my backpacking trip across Europe, guns were designed to feature somewhere in the itinerary. After all, you do not get to travel to a land, every now and then, where shooting, as a activity, has quiet a charm. So yea, shooting guns in Bratislava, was high in my list, especially when I was one of those people who had never …

What To See And Do In Vienna

To an outsider, Vienna may just appear to be quite city-like, for it is now one of fastest growing towns in central Europe, but if you try to see and absorb the city in its more real and conscious form, it may appear as a town you’d still want to call as ‘historic’. As you walk along the Grand Ringstrasse (a one way street that encircles the Vienna’s 1st district, or the city-center) you literally go back in 19th century – the time when Vienna was still developing as the capital of Austrian empire, and started shaping itself into a city, we are much familiar to, today. Walking along its many elegant pedestrian thoroughfares, particularly in and around the first district, there was not a single moment when I did not find myself awestruck by its ever-impressive architectural marvels. Whether in the historic city center, in the traditional wine taverns or on the other side of the Danube — its many contemporary and historic buildings coexist in a strikingly innovative manner. But that doesn’t mean that Vienna is …

Vienna: In Pictures

Before anything, I confess that Vienna wasn’t on the original travel itinerary during my backpacking trip across Europe. Its ‘old people city’ charm was, in fact, the demotivation. I mean why would a 20-something solo traveller would want to visit an European town where all he can expect is an overdose of imperial grandeur of the Habsburg-era. But as an invitation from ViennaTourism landed in my inbox, recommending me a ballet performance and a guided tour in world’s one of the historical and most reputable horse riding schools, I thought, “Why Not!” The next thing I remember was booking a whirlwind trip to Vienna (from Prague) — and spending three days just wandering around its many royal and imperial streets. It turned out that walking around the city was one of the best things to do — because Vienna is drenched in incredible architecture. And now that I’ve concluded my visit to this royal city, I thought of putting up at least one picture post on Vienna where I can tell some stories via pictures. So here we go… …

Bohemian And Saxon Switzerland Park

I always admire beautiful and distinct landscapes. Landscapes that put me in a moment of awe, and offer me a sense of wonderment, even if for a fraction of second. And it was one of those days as I happened to explore a part of the Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland Park and walked along its many giant sandstone cliffs and steep canyons. Before anything, I’d like to clear out that the Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland Park is, in no way, a part of Switzerland. It got its name in the 18th century, when two Swiss artists called it Saxon Switzerland, as it reminded them of the landscape back home in Switzerland. Straddling between the Czech and German border, the park is divided, almost evenly, between the two countries, with just a slightly bigger portion of it falling on the German side (where it’s known as the Saxon Switzerland Park) and the remaining in the Czech Republic (where it’s known as Bohemian Switzerland National Park). Amazingly, the two countries work together to manage and protect the entire region, and you barely find a difference between the landscape and its sheer …

Frankfurt: More Than Just Stock Exchanges, Money And Business

Walking along the far side of the glittering Main River, I heard a song-like melody coming down my way. I did not see her face, as she went past me, in the same direction, but her humming sounded much familiar. Every sound she made with her flawless throat felt hear-soothing. Perhaps I was overwhelmed by the moment. The magic of the riverside Frankfurt had totally overpowered me. Love was in the air! The next thing I know is that I go on a boat tour down the Main River. I sit next to the window, stare out the window and meditate while the larger-than-life landscape slowly passes by. Frankfurt, at large, appeared to me like a small village with a “touch of city”, and that’s what it is. It’s one of those remarkable places in the northern hemisphere with a metropolitan, yet a relaxing flair. People were busy living their own personal lives, unknown to any intrusion. Frankfurt am Main, more commonly known as Frankfurt, has indeed come a long way since its foundation in the 1st century. Today, the city might just …

Day Trip To Rüdesheim and The Town Of Bingen

Rüdesheim, as a town, is one of the most touristy places in Germany due to its location on the Rhine River and centuries of history. Tourists start pouring in as early as 8 in the morning, as the many souvenir shops prepare themselves with a mix of wine and craft items. Dozens of restaurants — mostly with traditional German cuisine — look fancy, and already full, before you even decide on your favorite place. Speaking of a tour, one of the delights of Rüdesheim and the Rheingau can be a walking wine-tasting tour with one of the many local wine farmers (or guides), as they tell you about the history of the region, and escort you to some of the top wine estates and vineyards. Or, you can create your own wine-tasting tour, and give your itinerary a new form than any guidebook rather suggests (as I ended up doing) by wandering through a few popular streets, trying some traditional German food (with a bit of wine-tasting, of course) and taking a boat-ride along the Binger Loch. While an experienced guide will definitely enrich the experience, it’s not as …