Entries from 'Asia'

When the “yaksit” hits the fan

“IS THIS NORMAL?!” Her shouted to our guide, Lakpa Sherpa, as the plane bounced violently in an updraft. In fact, it was very normal. We had just crossed a mountain ridge (only a couple hundred feet separated us from the trees below), and the windy updraft on the far side of the mountain ridge jostled…

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Your Everest Base Camp trek packing list

I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but let me repeat: I have NEVER been as cold as I was on the Everest Base Camp trek — not even during that Disney half-marathon when we ran with Him’s parents through the rain, hail, sleet and snow in shorts, and his dad defrosted with a hair dryer…

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Some pros and cons of hiring a tour company for your Everest Base Camp trek

Planning an Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek through Sagarmatha National Park can be intimidating, and like many travelers setting out to complete the 62-kilometer hike from Lukla, Him and I were torn between hiring a tour company and going at it on our own. We ultimately decided to play it safe and hired the Amazing…

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Some Kathman-do’s and don’t’s when planning your Everest Base Camp trek

I peered around the corner. The band of marauders seemed to be turning away from me, so I crept out from my hiding spot and walked flat against the wall to stay out of view of the snipers on the rooftops. In this fashion, I crept closer to my destination — an ATM deep in…

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A wedding anniversary shrouded by death

I don’t imagine many American couples celebrate their first wedding anniversary in Varanasi, India. We certainly didn’t plan to, but we honestly didn’t spare much thought to the occasion because we had a single objective on our minds: exiting India as quickly as possible. After just two weeks, we were physically and mentally exhausted by…

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Tiger! Tiger!

Sweat beaded on my forehead as we sat silently in the back seat of our safari vehicle, an Isuzu Gypsy with no roof and two rows of bench seats in the back for passengers to play lookout. We had been parked, engine off, for several minutes now waiting, watching…listening. The penetrating silence was interrupted only…

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I’m not an ATM

“Can I have 100 rupees?” asked the young boy. He appeared no more than 7 though he assured me he was 13. He and his friends had just finished playing cricket in the field behind our abode in Khajuraho, the Hotel Isabel Palace. “No, I don’t think that would be OK,” I responded, taken aback…

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Adventures in India train travel, Part II: A stampede

I hear India train travel can be luxurious. We never experienced that kind of travel. Luxury, to us, was the air conditioning units within the stuffy, submarine-like train cars that ferried us between New Delhi and Agra and later, between Agra and Khajuraho. We rode both routes 3AC, meaning our doorless nooks within the cars…

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You look like an idiot pinching the Taj Mahal’s dome (and other observations from Agra)

There were only two occasions on the World Trip during which I felt my life was actually in danger. One of the incidents took place during our Everest Base Camp trek (more on that later). The other took place in Agra. We arrived in Agra after a two-hour train ride from New Delhi, our inaugural…

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Adventures in India train travel, Part I: Shit on the tracks

The New Delhi station was swarming with people and stray dogs, and the smell of sewage was pervasive. I assumed the stench emanated from the bathroom (perhaps an overflowing latrine?) – until I watched a man suspend his son over the tracks and followed the stream to the rails below. Yep, there was shit on…

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