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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Howrah 8:00 Night Train to Varanasi

"no reservation ticket. No problem" I tell myself as we boarded one of Kolkata's iconic yellow Ambassador cabs. I feel confident that our first experience of India's massive railway system will be a walk in the park. That swagger vanishes when our cab started crawling along the slow traffic over Howrah Bridge, where Aileen and I saw a sea of people dwarfing all other commuter crowds I've ever seen, walking along on both sides of the bridge towards one destination: Howrah Junction Railway Station.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Inside the Walls of Amer Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan

During the height of the Mughal Empire, the invasion of kingdoms are so commonplace, that the Maharaja rulers and their followers defended their own domains madly and as hard as the fortified walls of Forts all over Rajasthan. Amer Fort is one of them. Rising over a scenic lake overlooking a town inhabited many centuries ago by the Meenas before it was taken over by the Kachwahas - in an act termed "as most coward and shameful in history of Rajasthan", The Fort now stands as mightily as ever. Magnificent at its best and architecturally mind-blowing. 

© Nomadic Experiences

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Adoring the Ancient Art and History of the Golden Temple of Dambulla

Consisting of a five-cave monastery perched atop a hill 160 meters high, the impressive ancient structures and paintings found inside the caves gives you a major reason to make the slow uphill hike and see it for yourself. Under the torrid shine of the sun, I work my way, as dozens of monkeys goofed at each other around me at the wide stair trail. I meet other travelers brimming with smiles on their faces - a sign of delight at what they've seen, I figured. Once atop a smiling local guard signaled me to take off my shoes as I prepare to enter the first cave. 

© Nomadic Experiences

Monday, May 25, 2015

Malacañang of the North: Ageing Reminder of a Dark Regime

Being the home province of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who was born in Sarrat - Ilocos Province held almost the same amount of power as the ones enjoyed by the few in Manila. One true representation of it was the symbolic Malacañang of the North - which by any other name, would pass as an ordinary summer house built in true heritage fashion, highlighted by its Spanish colonial architecture. But, the Marcoses as history jotted down is by no means any ordinary family. Being previous owners of this mansion, which sits squarely on a flat green lawn overlooking the tranquil Paoay Lake, makes it a very significant landmark that stood witness to the years, of what many refer to as the dark regime. 

My girlfriend Monnette at the steps of the mansion © Nomadic Experiences