Cultural integration, racism in Nepal & the great white elephant syndrome

A Nepalese Elephant

Is social integration in Nepal possible for a foreigner? Racism in Nepal –  does it exist?  Or is it a reality everywhere today? Could racism in Nepal really be all that different? Perhaps living here as a foreigner has taught me too much about really integrating with an open society over the long-term. I’m desperately writing this before it’s …

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The lady who traditionally makes yarn with a spindle in Bhaktapur

Woman spinning yarn in Nepal

Making yarn with a spindle one of many traditional textiles in Nepal Bhaktapur is one of the most fascinating cities in Nepal. Ancient, protected, touristy it still holds onto old traditional ways. Indeed staying in Bhaktapur can be like taking a step back in time. As romantic a notion as this can be there are things that really …

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The decaying decadence of Nepal’s caste system

Old lady from Bhaktapur

The Nepali caste system is alive & active even if it doesn’t officially exist Today there is still a very active caste system in Nepal. Primarily associated with India, caste systems in one form or another are evident the world over. The difference with Nepal is that the ideals behind the caste system were made illegal in …

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What is it like to return to a country and travel it again? – Nepal

Stupa in downtown Kathmandu

Expectations of traveling back to Nepal There’s a lot to be said about leaving good memories in the past. Going back to relive them rarely, if ever, measures up. So what should you do when you go back to a country that had just so many of these good memories? For me my guesthouse in Nepal is …

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Destination Thailand: First impressions of Bangkok

Bangkok city from a temple HDR

First impressions of Bangkok city Bangkok has had an unwritten history with me. More than 15 years ago I first began reading about this destination X for all travelers and tourists. A hub of culture, shopping, history and everything in between. Bangkok was dubbed the mecca of backpacking and travel. Pundits escape sharp tongues by …

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The slums around Kota Kinabalu – Part 1 – Tourists don’t come here

Wooden walkway in Kota Kinabalu

Visiting the amazing slums around Kota Kinabalu Sabah, Malaysia Yes, I find myself once again, attracted too, and visiting slum areas. This time in Sabah, Malaysia. At first glance this pristine tourist town seems devoid of such areas. But, they await just a short bus ride away. And, the story behind them is fascinating. The non …

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The wonders of Gaya Street, Sabah’s fun time weekly market

Parcels of food for sale on Gaya Street Market

Gaya Street Sunday Market is worth the visit I’ve a tainted view of markets. They are either very local. Or, if hyped up a lot – very touristy. Just stay in the city to see it. The Italian pizza maker told me. Yes, I’m cheating on Malaysian food already and taking a break. Actually the …

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