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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kolkata: The Grand Marble Structure of Victoria Memorial Hall

Escaping the overpowering energy of Kolkata's streets, we followed the distant sight of the towering dome and statues that lead us to a quiet spot dominated by the sheer grandeur of this grand marble structure, known as the Victoria Memorial Hall. Dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria, this impressive edifice started construction in 1906 and opened to the public in 1921 and now remains as one of the ostentatious remains of the British rule. Today it is one of the city's tourist attraction with a museum that houses historical artifacts of the Victorian era. 


Monday, December 29, 2014

Hiking with the Hill People in the Scenic Sapa Region of Vietnam

Tired and cold from the previous night's hike from the city center to our homestay located in a village deep in the hillside of Sapa, I exulted at the sight of sunlight creeping in our spacious second floor room. Because this means the temperature is hovering near 10 degrees compared to the almost 2 or negative 2 degrees that chilled us the night before when I lay shaking even under a thick blanket. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Where to Stay in Vigan: The Heritage House of Villa Angela

It was still dark when we arrived at the front gates of Villa Angela and fortunately the caretaker was waiting for us already. She opened the gates and let us enter a long driveway flanked by gardens on both sides leading to a short staircase going to the upper level of the house. Stepping on creaking wooden floors we were ushered inside our spacious room furnished with two double beds and a lone single bed. It was the fatigue from our long bus trip that had us dozing off in no time - at that moment still unmindful of the rustic charm of Villa Angela, whose historic walls we just walked by under the mask of darkness.


Friday, December 19, 2014

A Cyclo Ride Around Hanoi

During my first visit to Hanoi last year I was able to ride its famous rickshaw or "cyclo" as they call it there, on a brief pedal from the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum back to the old quarters. Other than that, I wasn't able to hop on it and pass through the busier parts of the city, as I opted to spend most of my time moving and dodging motorcycles on foot.