China 2017

Pingyao, Shanxi, China

Initially, I had planned to spend the whole week in Beijing, but my friends suggested a short trip to Pingyao in the Shanxi province. Pingyao is a walled city that dates from the 15th century. It has preserved almost intact its traditional architecture, so it is a good option to see what Imperial China was like.… Continue reading Pingyao, Shanxi, China

India, India 2017

Bodhgaya, Bihar

Bodhgaya is the most sacred place in Buddhism. Tradition tells that prince Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha, meditated under a bodhi tree during 49 days, at the end of which he reached enlightenment. King Ashoka was the first to build a shrine in this place around 250 BCE. The present temple was built during the Gupta Empire around… Continue reading Bodhgaya, Bihar

Sri Lanka 2017

Dambulla, Sri Lanka

After our short visit to Galle, we returned to Colombo to spend the night. The next morning, we started our ride to Dambulla in Central Sri Lanka, 150 km from Colombo. Along the way, we stopped at the Elephant Orphanage of Pinawalla. This place was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife… Continue reading Dambulla, Sri Lanka

India, India 2017

Ellora, Maharashtra

The morning after our visit to Ajanta, we went to Ellora Caves, another UNESCO World Heritage Site located 29 km from Aurangabad. While the monuments and artwork in  Ajanta are all Buddhist, Ellora includes Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments dating from the 600-1000 CE.     The most impressive of all is monuments is Cave 16,… Continue reading Ellora, Maharashtra

Thailand 2017

Ayutthaya, Thailand

During our stay in Bangkok, we made a day trip to Ayutthaya, 80 km north from the city. Ayutthaya was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The city was destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767. The ruins, known today as Ayutthaya Historical Park, were declared a UNESCO… Continue reading Ayutthaya, Thailand

India, India 2017

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

On the last weekend of March, I visited Khajuraho with some friends. We took the overnight train from Delhi, which takes approximately 11 hours to get there. The Khajuraho group of temples has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it includes both Hindu and Jain temples. Most of them were built around… Continue reading Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

India, India 2017

Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab

Chandigarh, the capital city of the states of Haryana and Punjab, is an Indian city unlike any other. It was planned during the first years of India's independence with the support of Primer Minister Nehru. The first layout was done by the architects Albert Mayer and  Matthew Nowicki, but it was the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier… Continue reading Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab

India, India 2016

Kochi, Kerala

After a day tour through the backwaters of Kerala, I spent a couple of days in Kochi. This city was once one of the most important trading centers of India. Traders and explores came here from very different places. It was occupied by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century, and later by the… Continue reading Kochi, Kerala