All posts filed under: Asia

Asia related ( Except India)

A snapshot of Japanese cuisine

This page has links to two posts I wrote for my friend Prateek’s blog. Also, some of the experiences that highlighted my short vacation in Japan may be read here . Itadakimasu! Read Part 1 here : http://www.flavorofspice.com/2016/11/guest-post-a-taste-of-japan-part-1/ and Part 2 may be found here : http://www.flavorofspice.com/2016/12/guest-post-a-taste-of-japan-part-2/ Gochiso sama deshita

Trekking to the World’s End and back!

“Yeah, All is quiet on New Year’s Day” Thus sang the Irish rock band – U2. New Year’s Day 2015. My first outside India and what a place to be in : the UNESCO World Heritage site of Horton Plains National Park in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka! It is a place to respect nature and maintain silence because I was in a silent-zone of a national park – lest the fauna got disturbed! So the words of U2 echoed in my mind. The previous evening I was negotiating with a couple of Tuk-Tuk drivers in Nuwara Eliya regarding travel cost to Horton and back. After some discussions I finally negotiated with one and requested him to reach our Homestay in the wee hours of the morning. I was staying with my senior from Under-Grad school- Arman-bhai but he did not prefer to do the trek that day as he had already done it before with his Sri Lankan wife and did for free then.The tuk-tuk guy (let’s call him Mr. Kumar – I just couldn’t …

Japan – First impressions

In my very first job, the first dedicated customer project that I worked for was a Japanese one- Suzuki and ever since then always wanted to visit that country. Finally I could arrive there in the summer of 2016 (June) for a short vacation of 9 days. If I have to summarize : Japan is magical. Japan is mind-boggling. Japan is mesmerizing! Here are some of the things and experiences that highlighted my stay there: 1. Courtesy: The people in Japan in general are very polite. Bowing to others is almost a routine. I have bowed to almost every person after saying : “Arigatou gozaimasu!” (Thank you!) ( Pronounced – Ari-gato go-zai-mas) . The conductor in the Shinkansen (Bullet train) will bow after he leaves your coach, the food attendant girl/lady will bow after she leaves your coach. Even the people who clean the Shinkansen train at its final destination will bow at the train coach after they are done with their job. Though many people won’t understand English, they will try to help you …

4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a day!

Day 2 of my Nepal (Kathmandu Valley) Trip : Kathmandu Valley is one of the densest places as far as UNESCO World Heritage sites are concerned. The maximum World Heritage sites that I have covered in one day before was 2. (Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (including India’s largest stupa) and Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka – paintings from different periods (Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic,Chalcolithic, Early Historic and Medieval). They are in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh) This time I could manage 4 ! I started off early from my hostel and thought of walking the whole way of around 4 km to the Swayambhunath or the Monkey Temple as it is popularly known owing to the proliferation of the holy monkeys staying there. I decided to fuel me up with a tasty sandwich of canned tuna in a nearby Sandwich joint. After a while of walking I thought it’s better to hire a cycle rickshaw which would take me not exactly close to the temple but drop me to a nearby place as I could then …

Whale-Watching off Sri Lanka’s southern coast!

“Sri Lanka’s tourist board boasts that only in this country can one see the world’s biggest land mammal, the elephant, and its largest marine mammal, the blue whale, in a single day!” – Philip Hoare – author of ‘Leviathan or The Whale’ (Fourth Estate), winner of the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction If you are based out of India, the cheapest  and most convenient way to catch sight of a whale (Blue Whale , Sperm Whale) is to hop off to the ‘tear-drop shaped’ island of Sri Lanka. I’ll tell you what – it will bring you tears of joy when you spot your first whale (ok a bit of Hyperbole here!) Tail of most probably the Blue Whale While discussing my Sri Lankan itinerary with couple of my friends, they suggested that if time permits, I should go whale-watching ( and with some luck may spot even the tail of a whale!). After debating on whether I should take : 1) a small whale watching vessel (operated by numerous tour operators off …