One of Hanoi’s most revered temple complex is the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu). The temple’s plan is modelled on that of Confucius’s birthplace in Qufu, China and has five courtyards. I was fascinated by the Third Courtyard temple’s 82 stone slabs mounted on tortoises. Each stone slab records the results of a state examination held at the National Academy between 1442 and 1779. Don’t go there on a weekend – it tends to be crowded. Some youngsters go there to take their graduation shots!Read more
Hanoi is a street food paradise and the Old Quarter with it hundred over streets is just so crammed with stalls and makeshift shops. The “baby” plastic stools and tables, the bold signboards, the hard-working women, the smell, the noise and the total ambience of the streets in Hanoi is just not easy to describe…..you need to experience it!! You see vendors washing their vegetables, meat and crockery on the roadside and wonder if it is safe to eat the street food – I would scream “It is safe!”Read more
I love people watching especially when I am on a holiday. It is harmless and enriching. I say “enriching” because I learn so much by just observing how people go about their daily lives. It becomes even better when you strike an eye contact with whom you are watching and exchange smiles. But then it can turn out to be a nasty experience sometimes when the party stares back at you!
The Hawke’s Bay farmers’ market happens every Saturday morning right in the centre of Napier city. Here is where you get to enjoy real freshly roasted coffee, decadent cakes and buy all the good produce of the farmers from the nearby farms. Perfect place to mingle with the locals. There are also stalls selling children’s clothes, second hand books and hand made crafts.
The Jeppiaar Fishing Harbour is located at Muttom, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu. I went there at 5 am to catch the lively life. The boats were coming in with the catch and the fishermen were busily engaged in shifting the fish to the land. The middle men were auctioning the catch while the others were bargaining at the top of their voices. Here and there I saw women selling the fish. It was truly an exhilarating experience.Read more
Everyone who has gone to Rome would have probably tossed a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Everyday thousands of people visit the fountain just so that they can throw a coin into the fountain and wish that they will return to Rome! There are many legends around the coin throwing practise and one of it says you should stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin over your left shoulder to guarantee a return trip to Rome.Read more
Set in a restored late 19th-century building, this hotel is a 15-minute walk from the medieval structures at Piazza Maggiore and a 15-minute walk from the 12th-century Towers of Bologna. It is only 5 minutes from the train station and 8 minutes from the centre of the city and therefore the hotel is the perfect starting point for any outing. The hotel is in the centre of the shopping district just a short stroll to lots of restaurants.Read more
A visit to the Vatican City is a must if you are in Rome. You need to spend at least a full day there to see the whole place. I spent only a few hours here as I went at the peak time and it was unbearably crowded!! Apart from the thousands of tourists who flock there daily, the Vatican City is also home to more than 900 full-time residents and about 3000 over people who work there.
Most people go to the Vatican City to see the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. Sunday is a good day to visit Vatican City if you want to catch the Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and the mass takes place every hour. Read more
The beautiful Scalina Spagna or Spanish Steps is certainly one of the must see places in Rome. The irregular butterfly design is a good example of the Roman Boroque style. The place is always crowded with people just sitting around and soaking in the vies of the Eternal City. There are about 138 steps in the form of terraces, curves and straight flights of steps. The Spanish steps were built from 1723 to 1725 and it links to the Trinità dei Monti church.