Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo island attracts quite fewer tourists compared to other parts of the country, which made it a great place to start our journey in Indonesia. It was really easy to find a small village where English was not spoken and we spent a week wandering through the jungle and trying to learn a bit Indonesian language – Bahasa Indonesia. We did not learn a lot and when we visited one of the floating markets near Banjarmasin, we were only spectators of the lively colorful event.
Kulala Lumpur is really a fine place to get on or off a budget flight, get a visa for a neighboring country, get yourself any product or service offered in the modern world or simply spent hours watching the fountain show in front of the Petronas towers. But for pedestrians wishing to go sightseeing, it is just a nightmare.
We didn’t see elephants in Taman Negara National Park, but we saw it in the eyes of the park staff that there definitely were. We were told that elephants do go out at night and it’s good for us to pitch our tent out of their way. Apart from the gorgeous rain forest itself, we saw plenty of insects, reptiles and birds. Oh, and leeches, plenty of leeches, which didn’t waste a second trying to get us the moment we stopped moving.
Penang was the first stop on our journey in Malaysia. Yes, it’s an island, but there is no clear turquoise water, no romantic tropical beaches, but lots of art, a mixture of cultures and all kinds of architecture from colonial buildings to modern skyscrapers.
The islands of Thailand are gorgeous and exotic, but the infinite number of colorful fishes and corals really makes me forget about my camera and submerge into the underwater world. And what’s best in a bad weather is that it is only good for strolling through the palm forests and white beaches.
Although Thailand’s biggest draw is, of course, the islands and beaches, the rest of the country should definitely not be missed. Bangkok, floating markets, nature, temples, street food – of course there are tourist everywhere, but the everyday life of the Thai people is at least a bit exposed.
The flower market which just popped up in front of us on our last day in Kolkata and in India as well, was just as colourful and diverse as the county itself. But not only that it was as peaceful and relaxed as many other places in India, which is so controversial to the huge crowds common for the whole county.
Wandering in a strange city has always had its charm for me. In Kolkata you can see street baths and man powered rickshaws everywhere, but behind that the city has its secrets, revealed to the lucky ones and the one who don’t spare time and energy to explore. Like in many other cities, there are whole streets and even blocks dedicated to manufacturing or just trading a specific garment such as shoes. Then you just turn around the corner and there everything changes – there are no shoes, but only sculptures workshops all around you.
When I first arrived in Kolkata in the beginning of the spring, I found the idea of hanging hundreds of fans in such a vast space as a train station, with a ceiling some twenty meters above, to be quite bizarre. Only a month later that idea looked brilliant. Despite the heat, the raw meat sold on streets and markets sells out long before it gets rotten and the lack of refrigerators keeps the animals alive a few hours longer.
Unlike, other parts of Arunachal Pradesh, where you can see the church house from far away and the locals greet you with the words “Hi, what is your religion, we are all Christians”, in the villages around Tawang the people are Buddhists. Most of them work on their land, and there is any small business it’s owned by the Indians coming from the more developed states.