Meghalaya in Pictures: India’s Most Beautiful State

Meghalaya in Pictures: India’s Most Beautiful State

Part of India’s wild Northeastern states, Meghalaya is blessed with beautiful landscapes, thick forests and plunging waterfalls, as it towers over the plains of Bangladesh below. However, lacking the dramatic isolation of its regional sister states, Meghalaya does not lend itself to cultural and societal exploration like its Western neighbours. Instead, its greatest draw is in its vibrant colours: the splashes of green and blue that illuminate its picturesque scenes of natural beauty; for Meghalaya may very well be the…

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Vittoria, Sicily: in Celebration of a Europe Less Travelled

Vittoria, Sicily: in Celebration of a Europe Less Travelled

It is a fine Italian Spring evening, crowds mill about the local square as the descending sun casts its honeyed glow across the delicate curves and columns of the local church… The recipe for a thousand instagram posts. Yet this is not Venice, or Florence, or Rome, it is Sicily; Vittoria to be exact. A forgotten corner of an island (which deserves far more tourism than it receives), whose waters lap at the coastlines of Africa. There is little to…

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Bangladesh: Reflections From East Bengal

Bangladesh: Reflections From East Bengal

Bangladesh: emerald green rice paddies and famine. These are the contrasting motifs gifted to popular public perception abroad, and rather fitting for this flat and chaotic nation on the Bay of Bengal. Since 1947 and the partition of British India, the area now known as Bangladesh, has been in repeated and deep trouble. A geographical and cultural outcast as a fragment of Bengal pushed into political union with Urdu dominated West Pakistan, Bangladesh emerged from a liberation war in 1971, independent…

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‘Beg-Packing:’ an Oriental Fantasy Too Far?

‘Beg-Packing:’ an Oriental Fantasy Too Far?

Recently a handful of blurry pictures showing young white tourist’s begging, busking and hawking on the streets on Southeast Asia, prompted a slew of vitriolic articles deriding this latest trend in travelling: ‘beg-packing.’ These heavily opinionated posts, filled with angry quotes from locals, seemed, for the most part, designed to stir up hatred, comments, and shares on social media. By repeating worn out stereotypes about millennials and counter culture, whilst splashing the same three photographs again and again throughout text that…

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Inspirational Travel Quotes Gone Wrong

Inspirational Travel Quotes Gone Wrong

In our materialistic modern age of social media, society is increasingly without substance or depth, especially in how it chooses to express itself. As such, the contextless quote now reigns supreme: delightfully short for those ever decreasing powers of concentration, it is simple, catchy and saccharine. Travel is sadly not immune. With more and more people now on the road, quotes are proliferating rapidly, tragically seizing upon the writings of history’s finest poets and writers, and misrepresenting them wonderfully and…

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Mizoram: a Forgotten Corner of India

Mizoram: a Forgotten Corner of India

The Indian Northeast, a land of indigenous tribes and impenetrable forests. Seven sister states — Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, — that are perhaps the least visited areas in the country by tourists. But of course they are less visited, in the popular imagination India is the Taj Mahal, beautiful, soaring, and splendid; it is cosmopolitan Kolkata, holy Varanasi, magnificent Delhi; and, if the mind is not on the sweeping Gangetic plains of beaten golden earth,…

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The Art of Tea Making in Bangladesh

The Art of Tea Making in Bangladesh

India. The very name evokes an image: the Taj Mahal, Mahatma Gandhi, the Himalaya… But what of Bangladesh? The densely populated delta lands of East Bengal, carved from both British India (1947), then Pakistan (1971), is perhaps most famous for flooding and poverty. Unsurprisingly, after as little as a week in Bangladesh I can say that such a disparaging view is outdated and wrong — although a cursory google search could discover that, — but a land which can conjure…

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Kolkata: Imperial Splendour Meets Modern Bengal

Kolkata: Imperial Splendour Meets Modern Bengal

Do not forgot to check my corresponding article on Bangladesh, the Bengal counterpoint to this text on Kolkata. It is 1686, and British merchant Job Charnock is sailing up the Hooghly river. Searching for a defendable river site to trade from, amongst tiger filled bamboo forests and far from the clutches of the still powerful Mughal Murshidabad, little did Charnock know that he was founding the future capital of colonial India, and one of the most powerful cities in the…

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Is Thailand Too Touristy?

Is Thailand Too Touristy?

Thailand was never part of my Southeast Asia itinerary, in fact I did not even want to visit at all. But due to its large international airports, multiple embassies, and by the nature of regional geography, I have visited four times in the past five months, including: Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, and Nong Khai. Yet all those visa stamps in my passport have not gone to waste, as these scattered fragments of travelling have begun to weave themselves into thoughts…

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Literary Travel: In Search of George Orwell in Burma

Literary Travel: In Search of George Orwell in Burma

Travelling is undoubtedly an enlightening and fascinating experience, but literary travel is even more special; a sort of thoughtful pilgrimage, where pages come to life, and an extra, more visceral, dimension is introduced to one’s favourite books and authors. Instead of the usual confusion and wonder at arriving in a new place, literary travel inspires a sense of belonging and understanding, as if time and location are transcended as you visit the settings and homes of novels and writers much…

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