A Travellerspoint blog

Tokyo

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From Hong Kong we flew via Taipei to narita airport in Tokyo. Japan has always been on my list of places to visit and it exceeded my expectations. I loved Tokyo and can go as far as saying it is now in my top 3 cities That I have ever visited.

We only had 2 nights in Tokyo then one night at the end but we really packed it all in. We saw as much of the city as we could and would love to have spent more time in japan but just as well we couldn't because we would have spent every cent we have, it is the most expensive city/ country we have been to so far.

On our first night we wandered the streets of shinjuku. It's such a vibrant neighbourhood which was buzzing. We people watched for ages and just walked up and down the fascinating streets. the fashions in Tokyo are incredible and so different to anything else in the world! We stumbled across a very local little restaurant for some dinner where we had lots of different dishes but the best was the tuna sashimi with avo.
That night we started to learn our way around the subway system the hard way. It is the most complicated metro to work out so we got rather lost but eventually found our hotel which was near Nihonbashi station in a lovely quiet neighbourhood . The hotel we stayed in was the cheapest we could find, besides the famous capsule hotels which I decided would be too claustrophobic. It was clean but you really couldn't swing a cat in the room!

hotel room
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shinjuku area
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dinner
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The next morning we got up at 5am to get to the tsukiji fish market. We just wandered in to the main area with out being stopped but hadn't noticed we were the only tourists there until we were asked by the police to leave the restricted area. They don't allow tourists into the area where they fillet the fish after the auctions finish because its dangerous. We were so lucky to have got into that area, it was amazing to see the huge tuna before they get sold off. we wandered around the market and looked at all the knife shops (Byron has a fetish for kitchen knives) and had a lovely sushi breakfast as you do in Japan!

fish market
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That day we walked the streets of Tokyo flat. We explored the area of Ginza which is very smart with incredible department stores and fancy food halls.
Then we headed to the area that is considered the centre of the cities teen culture called shibuya where all the young people flock for its vibrant fashion shops.
The main attraction in this neighbourhood is the shibuya crossing which is one of the worlds busiest pedestrian crossings in the world with an estimated 100 000 people passing through each hour. We found a Starbucks that had a birds eye view of the crossing to sit and watch while our feet took a break.
From there we went to harajuku which was our favourite part of Tokyo. It is famous for its fashion and the goth-Loli girls who hang out in there " goth little bo peep" style outfits. This area has one Main Street which is like the 5th avenue of Tokyo with Gucci/Louis Vuitton etc. but off this Main Street are lots of awesome little alleys with funky shops and cafes. It's very trendy and has a great vibe!

shibuya crossing
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fashions
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We had read and heard that seeing a baseball game is one of the highlights in Tokyo so we booked tickets to see a game at the Tokyo dome on our second night. We didn't even know who was playing but we got lucky and it was a huge game with the Tokyo giants vs dragons. The stadium was packed ( we were the only non japanese people there) and the crowd went mad when the giants won! It was our first baseball experience but such a fun one, great night out.

baseball at tokyo dome
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Byron was desperate to watch sumo wrestling while we were there but it proved a lot harder than we thought. There were no matches on but we heard you could watch the training sessions. We looked online and tried to call a few places but in the end we thought we should wake up early and try go to the address we found online so at 7.am we got a cab to the address but we couldn't find anything. So after the disappointment we went back to Harajuku for a walk around before going back to the hotel, collecting our bags, running to the subway to get to Shinjuku station to catch a bus to our next stop.

After a few nights exploring other parts of Japan we returned to Tokyo for one night. The hotel we stayed in for the first 2 nights was cheap ( Tokyo standards ) and clean even though it was so tiny.Unfortunately it was fully booked for our last night so we booked the cheapest place that was available. We arrived at about 22.30 to check in and luckily no later because the guy behind the front desk handed us a sheet of printed out rules in English and one of them was that the hotel had a curfew of 12 o'clock. The doors would get locked and there is no way of getting in, what a joke. The hotel stank of smoke, the bathrooms were 2 floors down from our room and The room was a futon mattress on the floor with No space for bags or even to walk around the bed. We loved Japan but it is not the easiest place to travel on a budget!

smallest hotel room ever
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On our last day we had a delicious ramen lunch in shibuya and walked around the imperial palace gardens, a lovely day and a good way to tire ourselves out before the 7hr flight To Hawaii that night.

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Posted by karenandbyron 06:36 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

Hong Kong

semi-overcast 28 °C

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After being so disappointed because we learnt our round the world air ticket didnt include a stop in Hong Kong we made another plan and booked a Hong Kong airlines flight from Taipei and flew there on the Monday afternoon.
We took the airport express to the IFC building in central HK where our welcome team ( bridge, James and Katie) were waiting.
Bridge and James have a car and have recently moved to a gorgeous apartment in an area just outside central which is on the sea overlooking denis island. We stayed with the Saunders for 3 nights which was like being in a luxury hotel, bridge has done up their home beautifully.
On our first night they took us to soho for a lovely dinner Followed by a fro yo (frozen yogurt). On our second night we had Viatemese at a place called Niatrang off the escalators followed by another amazing fro yo, delicious meal!

Bridge and James flat
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out in soho with a fro yo
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The first day we were in Hong Kong we unfortunately had admin to do. We had to do banking at hsbc ( which was a nightmare ) and I had to get a Japanese visa so Bridge patiently waited for us while we ran around central trying to print of bank statements and get passport photos. After searching for a internet cafe which doesn't exist in central HK, bridge sweet talked the chemist to print our statements. getting the Japanese visa was an example of the efficiency and good service in HK... Back in June, I tried to get a visa in the Netherlands as you have to apply in your country of residence but they wouldn't issue it for me as it was more than 3 months until our travel. So Byron called the embassy in hk in June to ask if we could apply from there. The lady on the phone said it was no problem and she would remember us. What are the chances?? Well when we walked into the embassy in hk the lady behind the counter said oh I remember your husband called in June. She knew all about us and had printed out all our details out and had the piece of paper next to her desk! I handed in the necessary documents and collected my visa 3 days later, amazing!
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I have been in search of a hand bag that I asked for as a 30th birthday present (my birthday was 6 months ago) but I never got round to choosing one so what better place to find one than in Hong kong. Luckily bridge knew how to go about it and took us to the "ladies market" in Kowloon. We had to find someone in the market who had a catalogue then they took us up to an apartment in a building nearby where they had the bags displayed . There were no police around so it wasn't too difficult but local knowledge is such a help. I got a stunning AAA genuine leather Celine and Prada rip off. Very happy girl,what a treat to do some shopping! After wandering the market we had a very local lunch in Kowloon.

lunch in kowloon
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fashion show
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That night we had a great dinner at a Thai spot followed by drinks at a cool bar with a few friends. Everyone was incredibly generous and treated us back packers to dinner and drinks!
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After a good nights sleep, we met James in his lunch hour for delicious dim sum at dragon eye then moved over to the hawinkles apartment!
Katie and Steve have a stunning apartment in the mid levels area that they have done out beautifully. Just like the Saunders, the hawinkles were great hosts and we were treated to Luxury there too!

Tea that turned into champas at Katies
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Katie and Steve took us to a lovely Moroccan place for dinner in soho that night, yum food and good vibe.
On Friday Katie took some time off work to show us around. We had a great day... we walked up to the peak and then around it while admiring the stunning views of HK.Their apartment is right at the top of mid levels so they have the walkway to the peak right on their doorstep. It is surprising how much greenery there is in hk, eventhough the city feels very built up and busy, 70% is still undeveloped and unspoiled which is great. There are Lots of awesome outdoor activities to keep you busy in HK.
After a good walk and a shower Katie took us to Stanley where we walked around the market and had a delicious lunch on the beach front. Stanley isnt like HK at all, it is very quiet and feels like a little beach town!

walk to the peak
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day in Stanley
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On Friday night we met up with all the people we know in hk for dinner and drinks. there were 13 of us at a lovely restaurant in causeway bay, it was great catching up and seeing the HK crew. After dinner we went to a bar that is famous for their strawberry daquaries. They are incredible huge daquaries and the glasses are covered with chocolate that you lick off, yum yum but my head felt the rum the next day!

Night on the town
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The next morning after only 1 hr sleep ( long story... Stevie ran a marathon, katie had to collect a bag at. 5am from police station that was left in the cab) the hawinkels left for japan and kindly let us stay on in their home so after saying farewell we went back to sleep until midday!
After a good sleep in, we met bridge and James in central for a bite then we took a Sunday drive with them along the coast. We checked out shoko bay and big wave beach and had a great Thai lunch.
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On our last night we got the star ferry with bridge and James over to Kowloon where they had booked a table at a lovely bar with a perfect position to watch the light show which was awesome. After a few drinks we went to michilan star dim sum restaurant which was so delicious. What a Great ending to a lovely week!
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I loved Hong Kong, it's got a mixture of everything. It has the Big city life with shops etc. and the outdoors with lots of hikes and beaches. It was such fun to see our friends and get a taste of how they live. Thanks Saunders and Hawinkels for a lovely week!

Posted by karenandbyron 07:46 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (1)

Taiwan

Visiting Benson and Jess

We flew from Delhi to Taipei via Hong Kong. The transit time was so short that when we got on the plane to Taipei we knew our bags wouldn't make it. Sure enough we arrived in Taipei with no luggage but we were so excited to see Benson and Jess that we didn't dwell over it and got a bus into the centre to meet them.
We met jess and benson at the Howard plaza hotel where we had beers and tea while having the 1st of many catch ups!

Benson had organised us a deluxe room at a very posh hotel for us, it was the best place we have stayed so far! We had been travelling for 30hrs so we used the hotel tooth brushes, freshened up and hit the shops to buy something to wear that night as our bags still hadn't been located. Luckily we were travelling in jeans so we bought a new shirt and shoes each and it felt so good to wear jeans again and be in some "normal clothes" instead of practical dirty travel gear!!
We had an awesome night outin Taipei. Benson took us to a very cool Chinese place for the first of many amazing meals. We had a great bottle of South African wine which was a treat and then headed to an awesome trendy local bar for a couple of wiskys. Jess and I then headed back to the hotel and let the boys hit the clubs.
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After a late hung over start the next morning our "tour guides" benson and jess took us to the British memorial which was cool and then for a Michilan star brunch
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Best dim sum
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. That evening we took the high speed train down to benson's home town Kaohsiung. The train took 1 hr 40mins to do 550km, what a pleasure!
Kaohsiung is a great city, it's clean, efficient and it has wide streets that make it feel a lot less overcrowded and less hectic than some of the other Asian cities we had visited.

Our week in Kaohsiung was one of pure luxury and enjoyment.it was such a nice change from what we were used to and having a tour guide was such a pleasure. Benson and jess had a lovely apartment. We arrived to a pair of slippers each and a stocked fridge.it was awesome to stay in a home again with our own bathroom fully stocked with products and a lovely room! The block of flats they live in has a pool and a gym that we used twice in the week! They also have the cutest hyperactive jack Russell named mika that we lived with for the week!

MIKA
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Mika in the "I love Durban" hat
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benson's apartment
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Horse riding machine in gym
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Our tour guide drove us around town in style. We cruised around in a 7 seater Toyota preva while watching DVDs in between stops! Jess is a student and benson managed to take off a few days from work and they had planned an action packed week for us.
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The Taiwanese don't like to chill at bars like we do they like to partake in various activities so there is so much to do there. We tried out a few local activities...........
Night market and department stores. Lots of shopping, Asia is obsessed with shopping.
Fun and games!
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Fishing. This entails night indoor fishing for prawns and then eating them! Such fun and the locals take it very seriously and even bring their own gear!
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Basketball and Baseball. Benson and Byron hitting a few balls in the nets.
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Most amazing movie experience. You lie in huge chairs with foot rests that recline and they even bring you blankets. You pre order your food which is amazing restaurant quality and then they bring it to you in the movie. I sipped on earl grey tea in the cinema, what a treat.

Ferry to beach. Visited the local Taiwan beach and ate amazing fresh seafood, delish!
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Massages. Had the most amazing foot massage while watching tv and sipping on smoothies. Loved it!

Touch rugby. Byron joined benson's Sunday touch team while I had my hair done! Nearly a drama with the hair but it was later sorted out. Byron loved the touch and was welcomed with a Taiwanese Hakka..

Byron went to benson's companies steel galvanising factory.
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Buddah memorial. Visited the huge amazing Buddha memorial.
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View from Highest building in kouashiung. 295 meters up.
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Walk around park, watching kite flying using Marilyn fishing equipment....

The food and restaurants that benson took us to we're amazing. We tried so many different types of food and they were all brilliant.
These were just some of our fine dining experiences........

Koren Barbecue. We went to 2 different places where you braai your own food. Great meat and fish on the grill.
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Fresh seafood at the beach. Amazing calamari dish was my best!

Bubble tea. This is a big thing in Taiwan. Milk tea with gelatine/jelly tot balls.

Shaved ice. Best desert ever!!! Fine shaved ice with what ever topping you want. We had custard and fruit, so good.
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Japanese. Incredible sushi.
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Prawn fishing. Great fresh prawns that we caught. I am allergic so order chicken and beef instead but still great.

Worlds biggest buffet ever. A buffet restaurant with every type of food possible. So hard to choose what to go because you want to try everything.

On our last weekend we set off on a road trip up the east coast of Taiwan. We watched 2 DVDs while our driver benson took to the road.we stayed at a lovely coastal place in wood cabins just outside the toroko national park. Benson and jess said it was Taiwanese camping but it was the cleanest place we have stayed in a long time.
The following day we set off to explore bits of the national park. It was simply beautiful, with a lovely waterfall, gorge and caves!
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After an active morning walking in the park and a 7/11 lunch we said our sad goodbyes to benson and jess and headed back to Taipei on the train.
On our last night we walked the streets of Taipei, had a lovely take out dinner and browsed the shops for one last time.
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Taiwan was a fabulous stop! Phenomenal to have been spoilt by benson's generosity and awesome to spend time with jess.We were so lucky to see how they live and experience their culture and have local fun with good friends. They went over and beyond to entertain us and were extremely generous. Thanks bens and jess, we loved it!

Posted by karenandbyron 09:58 Archived in Taiwan Comments (1)

Rishikesh and Nainital

Back to India

Back to Delhi for what was supposed to be one night but ended up being two. I had to get a visa for Taiwan which we were hoping to do in Hong Kong but after a mess up with our round the world flights we had to fly directly from Delhi to Taiwan.
We arrived at Delhi airport at 11am so there was not enough time to get to the Taiwan embassy before there closing time of 12 o'clock so we decided to be "brat packers" and spend the day at a nice pool in the 37degree weather. We payed a fee at the fancy shangrila hotel and pretended we stayed there until the sun went Down.
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The next morning we got to the Taiwan embassy as it opened. After getting so many visas in our lives we are used to the process so I had all the documents needed and it wasn't too difficult. They said I could pay for a 1 day visa and pick it up that afternoon at 5pm. So what better way to spend the day then back at the pool!Ha ha!

With only about 10 days left in India we had decided to either go to pushkar in Rajasthan or rishikesh in Uttarakhand. We had read that the trains from Delhi to either place go all the time so as soon as we collected my passport we headed to the train station to try get a ticket to leave that night. A guy at the station said we couldn't book there and sent us to some tourist office. ( you never know in India who is telling the truth and get the feeling all the time you being ripped off but sometimes you have no choice but to listen and follow). The guy at the ticket office just shook his head and said the next train to either place was in 4 days time. Ganesh festival was on at the time so the trains to both holy cities were booked up. What to do?? We found a coffee day ( our favourite hang out, a bit like starbucks) and read our lonely planet. To get anywhere in India takes ages. Indians will often tell you, "it's close" which means 12hrs on a train or bus but we didn't want to travel longer than 12hrs to get anywhere.
When we returned to the ticket office with blank faces the guy there said why don't you get a taxi to rishikesh which takes 6hrs.We blew our budget and forked out Rs7000 (about £80) for a private car which we later learnt was double the price we should have paid. I hate being ripped off!!!

Back to the hotel in Delhi for the night but the hotel was full so we had to walk around and find another hotel and then in the morning walk back to the original hotel to meet our driver!
The drive to rishikesh was easy. We stopped for breakfast, slept a little and the 6hrs that ended up being 7 went quite fast.

Rishikesh is in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Himalayas. It is located around 25 km north of holy city, haridwar.
Rishikesh is a beautiful place with two sides of the town set on either side of the mother Ganga which are joined by a bridge. The bridge is nicknamed "monkey bridge" because so many monkeys chill on it and try steal people's food. I didn't like the bridge at all, it's only about 2mtrs wide and there are cows, loads of people and scooters trying to cross this dodgy bridge . Plus I am petrified of monkeys, they carry all sorts of disease!!!

monkey bridge
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Being along the Ganges and close to the source of the river makes it a very holy city where millions of pilgrims make there way all through the year and lots of Indian tourists make it a weekend destination. We heard that lots of people drive up from Delhi for a Saturday night and Sunday (6hrs is so close for them).
Everywhere you look in rishikesh there are holy men and lots of fruity Westerners that have gone there to find themselves and try be holy men. Both holy men are fascinating . Some of them walk all the way from Varanasi and they live off nothing. We saw places like soup kitchens that feed these men and some woman that are apparently funded by wealthy Indians. These holy men just chill all day, meditating along the side of the Ganges, smoking hash, practicing yoga and sleeping. There is no other place in the world like this!

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We stayed in a place called green hotel which was about a half an hour walk from the Main Street which has lots of restaurants, tour agents, massage parlours and shops that sell yoga clothes, yoga mats and lots of hippy stuff!
In the 3 days we spent in rishikesh we spent a lot of time embracing the chilled out cafe life. We found a few good restaurants with river views to chill at. A lot of the foreigners there are studying yoga so in between morning and evening lessons everyone hangs out at the cafes. Being a holy place there is no meat or alcohol served anywhere in rishikesh or haridwar but the food was excellent. There is such a variety of India vegetarian food that we didn't miss meat, chicken or fish at all. There are so many Israelis there that most of the places have Israeli food on the menu so we enjoyed lots of humus and pita bread with our fresh lemon sodas that have become a new addiction.

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In the evening, spiritual men, pilgrims and tourists prepare for the nightly ganga aarti ceremony all along the banks of the river. The temple bells ring, people light candles and sing and everyone gathers to participate in these ceremonies, it's really beautiful.

just one of the many ceremonies
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Ever since the Beatles rocked up at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ’60s, Rishikesh has been a magnet for spiritual seekers. It is known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ so as there are masses of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes. One evening we thought we better try a yoga class so we found a drop in class to go to. It's hard to find a beginner class and since both of us are new to yoga we were rather nervous. We arrived in the class and all the others looked like regulars with there blocks, pillows, ropes etc, it was intimidating. The class was 2hrs and started at 5.30 but by 6pm it hadn't started. Everyone was stretching and meditating so we just thought this was standard practice but eventually one woman went to check and it turned out the teacher wasn't coming and the class was cancelled. We would have stayed there for 2hrs doing random stretches, haha. So our yoga attempt wasn't too successful but a good laugh anyway.

Rishikesh is not all spiritual, there are lots of activities you can do like rafting, trekking and paragliding. One morning Byron went kayaking down the river with a guide who taught him how to Eskimo roll which he loved! After 5hrs he came back with cut hands and exhausted but it was a highlight! While he was riding rapids I went for a full body massage which was lovely but the lady covered my whole body in a whole bottle of baby oil which In the heat was rather uncomfortable!

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Rishikesh was great and we were sad to leave but it was time to get our last sleeper train to a place called nainital. We booked a train ticketed from haridwar (about half an hour from rishikesh)to kathgadon but our train was only departing at Haridwar at 12.30am so we decided we would go there after lunch and see the famous ceremony that takes place in this very holy city as it is where the 3 main sources of the Ganges meet.Haridwar is a little like Varanasi, it's busy and hectic. With about 8hrs to kill we left our bags at the station and found a lovely hotel to chill at. It was a great decision as the hotel offered to take us to the evening ceremony so we had a guide for free even though we were not guests. Another lady from Durban joined us and we headed down the busy streets to the mother Ganga for this amazing ceremony that takes place with thousands of people every single night of the year. Again, people travel from all over the country to partake in this very religious evening on the holy river. We had our heads dotted, got prayed for and met lots of interesting people who took photos of us! We had the most delicious dinner at the hotel then went back to the train station. Got on the train and went straight to sleep for 6 hrs. I was getting the hang of these trains but still won't miss them!

famous Haridwar ceremony
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haridwar train station
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In the morning we took at taxi for about an hour from kathgadon to nainital which was the scariest drive of my life. The roads or so narrow and windy and the driver was a maniac. Byron eventually shouted at the guy and told him to slow down as we both had visions of the car falling off the cliff! Was so happy to arrive alive!

Situated at an altitude of 2,084 metres above sea level, Nainital is set in a valley containing a pear-shaped lake, approximately two miles in circumference, and surrounded by mountains.Nainital is a very popular holiday town filled with lots of honeymooners and people getting a weekend break from Delhi. It is a lot quieter than anywhere we had been in India but you still hear the buzzing sound of car hooters all day and night.
While we were there it was a national holiday for Ghandi's birthday so lots of people had come for the long weekend and it was very busy.all the hotels were full so We stayed in a very average hotel on the main strip but after one night with a filthy stinky bathroom we payed £5 more a night and moved to a much cleaner place that cost (Rs 2500 )double what we payed in rishikesh.

ghandi dressed up for his birthday
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We went for some lovely walks up the mountains and took the cable car up to the view point but we didn't manage to get any glimpse of the Himalayas due to the heavy fog but since we had just come from Nepal we didn't mind as we still enjoyed the hikes and the cooler temperatures.
We spent time watching the cricket World Cup, playing cards in coffee day and walking around town. The Main Street is lined with shops (some very upmarket expensive clothes to the rubbish cheap curios) and restaurants.we found some great restaurants and tried out some delicious South Indian food. We went back to the same place 3 times for their masala dosa, yum!

on the lake in Nainital
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After a 6hr train we arrived back in Delhi and had the afternoon there before flying to Taipei via Hong Kong. We had a costa coffee in Connaught place, left our bags at a travel company, bought a table cloth at a bazaar, watched the sun set and people at India gate and then had a lovely dinner and caught the cricket semi final. It was a great afternoon in Delhi to end off our amazing visit to India.
In the auto rickshaw on the way to the airport we felt sad but ready to leave India. We only saw a tiny portion on this incredible country. A country with lots contrasts, great food, lots of beauty, friendly people, poverty and religion. But while reminiscing I looked down at the pair of "pink " shorts That had now turned brown and I realised how excited I was to get clean and visit friends.

last day in delhi
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game of cricket at india gate
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Posted by karenandbyron 21:47 Archived in India Comments (1)

Kathmandu valley

Nepal

semi-overcast 30 °C

After trekking we returned to Phokara for 2 nights where we got 6kgs of very damp smelling laundry done, ate some decent food again, paddled a boat out on the lake, climbed up to a view point and chilled! 
There were 3 options to get to Kathmandu from Phokara.... Local bus, tourist bus with AC and fly so we opted for the 8hr tourist bus. the day we left Phokara was the most perfectly clear day we had seen the whole time in Nepal (typical). We were spoiled with a stunning view of the mountains from the bus stop! The bus ride was so bumpy and windy and we were delayed by about an hour due to a land slide but it was way better than a local bus!

Lake in phokara
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Bus stop view
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Kathmandu is chaotic, dusty and  dirty city. There are about 1 million people living in the city. Walking around the streets of the old city  we had to cover our mouthes and noses because we choked a few times on dust and the stench of fish and rubbish was enough to make you gag, i  nearly considered  buying a doctors mask! We checked out Dunbar square and wandered the narrow streets crowded with stores and restaurants before hiding out at a lovely roof top restaurant where we had the most delishious cottage cheese burger!

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for the next 2 nights we explored Kathmandu valley. We Took a taxi costing 1600 NPR ( approx. £ 17) to Nargakot which is a village located 32 km east of kathmandu. At an elevation of 2,195 meters, it is considered one of the most scenic spots and is renowned for its sunrise/sunset view of the Himalayas including Everest. The evening we arrived it was cloudy and so was the  next morning so we didn't get to see Everest and only a glimpse of the other mountains but it was still a cool view of Kathmandu valley. The hotels in the area are so over priced and awful. We spent USD3O on a room in the hotel view point which was the most horrendous night we have had in a long time. The smell of damp was so bad and all the sheets and pillow cases were wet and smelly. We resorted to both sleeping in one single bed with our own towels as pillows and no sheets! A Chinese rally group had booked out the hotel next door and dominated our hotel so both places we're serving a Chinese buffet for dinner but we had no choice but to join in. Just when we thought we had left china!! After dinner We eventually fell asleep but we got up before sun rise and ran out of that siff hotel as fast as we could. That day we hiked for about 4 hrs down the mountain which was lovely but extremely hot and then took a local bus down the very narrow roads to a town called Bhaktupur.

View point in nargakot
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In the bus after our walk
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Bhaktapur is an ancient Newar town in the east of the Kathmandu Valley. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal until the second half of the 15th century. We had to pay NPR 1200 (£10) each to enter the city and it looked average so we were not sure if we wanted to go in but we were pleased that we decided to pay the money. It is a lovely old town with lots of character and action. We wandered the streets, had a much needed good sleep and then got a bus back to Kathmandu. 

Bhaktupur
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Love this guy chilling at the bus station......Check out my teeth
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It was over 30degrees that day so when we got back to Kathmandu we decided to escape the dust and heat and treat ourselves to a day at the pool. We payed a fee at the Yak and Yeti hotel and had a lovely afternoon swimming and reading.

The next day we left nepal on a very high note. We flew from katmandu to delhi and were so So fortunate to be treated to a incredible view of the himalaya for a 1hr  long flight while Cruising at 11000 km.  You can pay a lot of money to hire a private plane to see the Himalayas so the flight for £60 each was the best money spent! 

View from the plane
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Posted by karenandbyron 10:00 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

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