South Asia

Pre-2016 Election: Interview with “Jay” in India about the U.S., Americans, and American Politics
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Pre-2016 Election: Interview with “Jay” in India about the U.S., Americans, and American Politics

In August, before the 2016 elections, Jennifer interviewed people of different countries about their perception of America, Americans, and American politics. How do Indians view the United States (as of fall 2016)? Jay works in technology in Chennai, India and some of his views on Americans will probably surprise you. ...
Our Delhi Vacation Rental: Photo Gallery
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Our Delhi Vacation Rental: Photo Gallery

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Outside Looking In — Lydian Shipp
AsiaIndiaSouth Asia

Outside Looking In — Lydian Shipp

The sounds here are intoxicating. Downstairs (or down the hall, I can’t tell) I can hear the sounds of drums and flutes playing vibrantly, and the murmur of many people’s voices. Occasionally, I’ll hear a car horn from outside going, wee-o-wee-o-wee-o. And then a bird cooing in the distance. And people shouting to each other from across the courtyard down on the bottom level of the apartment complex. The ...
Inflating the Couch Before the Mcleodganj Nightmare
AsiaHotelIndiaSouth Asia

Inflating the Couch Before the Mcleodganj Nightmare

Jennifer blows up the inflatable couch to make the Naddi Village vacation rental tolerable. It was a nice thought. Unfortunately, even inflatable furnishings couldn't make that place habitable.Related Posts:Worst Vacation Rental Experience Ever: Moldy Mattresses in the Himalayan Mountains -- By Jennifer Shipp ...
Jogging in Chennai, India
AsiaIndiaSouth Asia

Jogging in Chennai, India

We'd traveled primarily in northern India before going to Chennai in the south. In all of the cities we'd seen in northern India, the presence of other people, weird traffic patterns, cows, and trash made jogging outside impossible. But in Chennai, we stayed at an apartment complex with a very clean parking garage around which we jogged each morning. ...
Varanasi, India: Workers on the Rooftop
AsiaHotelIndiaSouth Asia

Varanasi, India: Workers on the Rooftop

Every day, we sat at our giant window watched the workers on the building across the street as we ate lunch. Note the scaffolding and hot it's made out of sticks. The workers worked on this scaffolding without harnesses or any kind of safety "net" of any kind. In this video, one of the workers swings around a big stick on top of the building next door. Maybe he's angry about his job...or maybe he's just ...
Chipmunk in Delhi, India
AsiaHotelIndiaSouth Asia

Chipmunk in Delhi, India

In this video, a chipmunk chirps on the porch of our vacation rental in Delhi, India. The landlord, an educated man, told us that one of the tenants before us was a Korean Buddhist monk who claimed to be able to talk to animals. One day, the landlord walked in on the monk who was sitting quietly on the porch, surrounded by birds. The monk told the landlord that the birds in Delhi were "sad". ...
Varanasi, India: The Burning Ghats along the Ganges River
AsiaIndiaSouth AsiaTrips

Varanasi, India: The Burning Ghats along the Ganges River

The burning ghats (also known as Manikarnika ghat) in Varanasi are a sacred place where the Hindu funeral rituals take place. After the body is burned, the ashes are pushed into the Ganges River, which is also considered sacred. We'd visited the burning ghats in Kathmandu a few weeks before this trip to see Pashupatinath along the sacred Basmati River. Cremations take place within full public view in these ...
Kathmandu Airport: Photo Gallery
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Kathmandu Airport: Photo Gallery

On our August 2014 trip to Kathmandu we had quite an experience at the airport... We had read online that we'd be able to purchase our visa to enter Nepal at the airport after we arrived. But, when we got to Kathmandu we discovered that we needed actual cash to pay for the visa since we weren't able to use our card (the airport's card readers weren't working). We did eventually get things figured out, but ...
How to Get to Chitwan National Park from Kathmandu
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

How to Get to Chitwan National Park from Kathmandu

We traveled to Nepal in 2014, before the big Kathmandu earthquake. We spent a month in Kathmandu getting rabies vaccinations because they were much cheaper there than in the United States. Toward the end of our trip, we booked a flight on YetiAir to fly to Bharatpur near Chitwan National Park. It was a coin-toss between taking YetiAir and BuddhaAir, but BuddhaAir had the most grim reputation of the two. A ...
Chitwan National Park: Boarding and Riding an Elephant
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Chitwan National Park: Boarding and Riding an Elephant

Though there's some controversy regarding the use of elephants for safaris in places like Chitwan National Park, we weren't really a part of that dialogue when we visited Nepal. Going by elephant was the only option for us in terms of transportation into certain parts of the park. We watched the elephants and the people who cared for them walking along the rivers each morning and our elephant-experience in ...
Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Ride Part II
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Ride Part II

Our Chitwan Jungle Safari began with a dug-out canoe ride down the Narayani River. Two guides took us into the jungle to look for rhinoceros and tigers. We didn't see either of these things, but that was in part because our safari took place later in the morning. Early morning safaris at Chitwan are more likely to yield good wild-life viewing. We travel enough that we weren't stressed out about "missed ...
Chitwan National Park: Plant That Responds to Human Touch
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park: Plant That Responds to Human Touch

Our guide at Chitwan National Park showed us a unique plant on our way to the elephant sanctuary. The plant curls its leaves in response to human touch.Related Posts: Chitwan National Park: Boarding and Riding an Elephant (video) Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Ride into the Jungle Part II (video) Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Ride into the Jungle Part III (video) How to Get from ...
Chitwan National Park Jungle Safari
AsiaNepalSouth AsiaTrips

Chitwan National Park Jungle Safari

We had no idea what to expect when we set out for the day in a canoe down the Narayani River at Chitwan National Park for our jungle safari. The goal was to find rhinoceros and tigers. Two guides rode into the jungle with us and they searched diligently, but it was too late in the morning. Still, it was an amazing experience.Related Posts: Chitwan National Park: Boarding and Riding an ...
Pondicherry India Tourism: Impressions
AsiaIndiaSouth Asia

Pondicherry India Tourism: Impressions

Pondicherry (sometimes also known as Puducherry) is located in southern India near Auroville (a place where tourists can go to observe a cult in-action...In this video, we took a moment to stop and note our impressions of Pondicherry (or Puducherry, whatever you prefer) before bombarding ourselves with Auroville (because we knew Auroville was going to be a little weird). We'd already been in India for a few ...
Chitwan National Park: Lydi Gets Custom-Made Nepali Clothes Part II
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park: Lydi Gets Custom-Made Nepali Clothes Part II

We stayed at the Sapana Village Lodge near Chitwan National Park in 2014. The lodge offered "custom-made" clothing as one of their "experiential packages". This was exciting to Lydian, who was 14 years old at the time. She and I had shared a very small and boring wardrobe during our month-long sojourn in Nepal so John and I decided that some new clothes might be fun for her.Related Posts:Chitwan ...
Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Through the Jungle
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Through the Jungle

We visited in Nepal in 2014, one year before the Kathmandu earthquake. During our time there, our main goal was to get the rabies vaccination series which was available for about 1/10th of the cost that we'd pay in the U.S. Unfortunately, though the rabies vaccines made us sick. When we visited Chitwan National Park, we'd just had the last of three shots in the series. Rather than have a terrible time, we ...
Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Ride Through the Jungle Part III
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park: Dug-Out Canoe Ride Through the Jungle Part III

John wore a GoPro into Chitwan National Park so that we wouldn't feel compelled to be taking pictures the whole day. In this video, we drift down the Narayani River toward the jungle. Unfortunately, we didn't see any rhinoceros or tigers on our Chitwan Jungle Safari, but we were okay with that. A year later, we went on safari in South Africa at Pilanesberg National Park and saw rhinoceros and other animlas ...
Chitwan National Park: Lydi Gets Custom-Made Nepali Clothes
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park: Lydi Gets Custom-Made Nepali Clothes

From Kathmandu, we traveled by air to the airport in Bharatpur. From Bharatpur, we traveled by taxi to Sauraha, a village in the Chitwan district of Nepal. We stayed at Sapana Village Lodge, which offered all kinds of different "packages" to visitors. After having spent the past month in Nepal with only 3 changes of clothes, Lydi was immediately interested in the "custom clothing" option on offer at Sapana ...
Chitwan National Park Safari: Riding Elephants
AsiaNepalSouth Asia

Chitwan National Park Safari: Riding Elephants

In the late afternoon, we lined up to board elephants at Chitwan National Park. Our guide, an employee at Sapana Village Lodge, brought us to this location near the jungle where we were assigned an elephant that then took us into the jungle.Although there's a negative dialogue going on about the treatment of trained elephants, we weren't a part of this discussion when we visited Nepal. We walked past ...
Bruised Banana