The summer of 2013 i planned and travelled around Asia. This tour would be around 3 weeks in different countries i had visited and not visited. The route was something like this: Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and East Timor.
I started off flying from Europe down to Sri Lanka. In advance i had booked a driver named Chamindra to take me around the country for a few days. The driver met me in the Bandaranaike Int Airport with a poster saying “welcome to Sri Lanka, Hans Petter”. Next we had a drive into the center of town where my hotel was, this was the early hours off rush hour traffic, aka (crazy traffic) so it took some time to get there. The 5 star Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo was one of the top hotels in the center with a massive pool, good service and a clean room that was waiting for me. Here i chilled out by the pool the rest of the day with some local beers and some music, i also managed to walk around downtown Colombo the same afternoon.
The next days me and Chamindra drove around to different citys, villages, highlands, southern beaches, tea plantations, unesco sites while seeing incredible things along the way.
We visited Kandy, Sigiriya, Negombo, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa. Without a driver this trip would have been impossible or less adventurous. This because travelling can consume a lot of time and while not having enough time, things can get a bit hectic.
After some time in Sri Lanka i travelled up to Kathmandu, Nepal. Nepal for me has a special feeling because the nature and the mountains here are so beautiful and i also had my first visit here in 2005. This visit was a bit short but necesarry for my flight to Bhutan.
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal at 1400 meters in the Kathmandu valley. Nepal is famous for the highest mountains, sherpaa culture, buddhism and for not having a rectangular flag. Nepal is a country of records. It has the highest mountain in the world, the highest lake in the world, the highest concentration of world heritage sites in the world and many more. Nepal is truly a god’s playground and the country is beautiful with stunning landscapes, charismatic mountains and mesmerizing lakes
Next off was Bhutan and i flew with Druk air from Kathmandu down to Thimpu.
Bhutan is a tiny, remote, and impoverished country between two powerful neighbors, India and China. Violent storms coming off the Himalaya gave the country its name, meaning “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” This conservative Buddhist kingdom high in the Himalaya had no paved roads until the 1960s, was off-limits to foreigners until 1974, and launched television service only in 1999. Fertile valleys (less than 10 percent of the land) feed all the Bhutanese. Bhutan’s ancient Buddhist culture and mountain scenery make it attractive for tourists, whose numbers are limited by the government.
To get here you need to book a tour thru one of the official agencys in Thimpu, Bhutan. There is no other way in. This because the government want to limit its visitors to preserve the nature and keep the culture as it is for future generations. Bhutan is a real adventure with no influence by western culture at all.
My tour was a 3 day tour with a guide and a driver, we went to the capital Thimpu and Paro, we visited the Tigers Nest (Taktsang Monastery), went on a trek, visited the National Textile Museum, a school for making pottery, woodcarvings and paintings and other Monasterys around. A tour here in Bhutan includes guide, driver, hotels, meals and some entrys to monasterys etc.
On my way back to Nepal we flew on the south side of Mt. Everest seeing the highest top in the world from my flight window, this was incredible to witness. Just one of many dreams i hace achieved while travelling the world.
Malaysia is a large country in south east asia and was up next, here i had a day in between Bhutan and Taiwan. I booked a luxury hotel in the center with great views over the Petronas Towers, the towers from the movie “Entrapment”. I dident know when i arrived that it was Merdeka day (Malaysias National Day), but i had a great time in the sky bar that night and met up with people from all over. Ended up going out that night, missing my flight the next morning when waking up 1 hour before departure. Had to buy another flight ticket, this time with air Asia.
While landing at Taipei international airport i felt like moving into the future again, some countrys in Asia for me is more modern than others. South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan is the more modern and futuristic. Taiwan is an island which has for all practical purposes been independent since 1950, but which China regards as a rebel region that must be reunited with the mainland – by force if necessary. Its former name is Formosa named by the portugees sailors who found the island in 1544, the meaning “the beautiful island”.
Singapore is a hi-tech, wealthy city-state in south-east Asia, also known for the conservatism of its leaders and its strict social controls. The country comprises the main island – linked by a causeway and a bridge to the southern tip of Malaysia – and around 50 smaller islands. Once a colonial outpost of Britain, Singapore has become one of the world’s most prosperous places – with glittering skyscrapers and a thriving port.
Off to the last country on this tour and the second newest country in the world i jumped on a plane in Singapre for a direct route down to Dili, East Timor.
East Timor’s road to independence – achieved on 20 May 2002 – was long and traumatic.The people of the first new nation of the century suffered some of the worst atrocities of modern times. An independent report commissioned by the UN transitional administration in East Timor said that at least 100,000 Timorese died as a result of Indonesia’s 25-year occupation, which ended in 1999.
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