My Cuban roadtrip hasn’t even started yet, when the first problems already appeared. Who would have thought it is that complicated to rent a car? But with that first challenge mastered I was looking forward to an intriguing ride over the Caribbean island to see it’s broad spectrum and beauty. What followed were 18 days and 3,000 km of adventure, nearly no internet access, coping with the permanent shortage of everything, the indifferent road conditions and even a a visit at the local police station after an attempted fraud – but also highly enjoyable nature, beautiful pastel colored towns, beaches with turquoise water, interesting historic insights, hospitable locals and quiet a few Mojito’s! Cuba is absolutely worth a trip but be prepared for a country incomparable to other places in the world and an adventure that I would call the ‘charming challenge of improvisation’.
4000 Islands is the area in the south of Laos right at the border to Cambodia, where the Mekong river is about 14km wide and you can stay on one of the many islands on the river. The perfect place to do nothing but lie in a hammock, swim, chill and enjoy the silence. Unagitated and beautiful. Plus there are even dolphins!
The first thing you probably hear about Vang Vieng is: Let’s go tubing on the Nam Song river! And although that is definitely a ‘must-do’ for every tourist who visits that riverside town, there is a lot more: Vang Vieng hypnotizes you with its great nature assets during the day and its crazy party scene during the night. A lot of travelers, especially younger backpackers, get stuck in that circle of adrenaline, whisky and the wild beauty of nature – they call it the Vang Vieng Vortex…
Luang Prabang (ຫລວງພະບາງ) is not the capital of Laos – but it’s safe to say it is the heart. The city, which is belongs to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, is located in the north of the country on a peninsula framed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. It captivates with its relaxed atmosphere, versatile culture, excellent street food, a fantastic night market, sophisticated temples and the most impressive waterfall I’ve ever seen in my life.
Laos was originally not on my itinerary, but it turned out to be one of my favorite countries in Southeast Asia. I traveled it from north to south and started with floating down the Mekong River for two days… quiet an adventure but also a great time to relax, to observe the passing scenery, to have some me-time or to talk with fellow travelers. Continue reading “Laos Pt. 1: The Slowboat Experience”
After spending some time in a buddhist country like Thailand you inevitably see dozens of temples and they can’t really get you frenetically excited anymore… after a while it’s more like “ah, nice – another one…”. But I promise, that is certainly not the reaction when you see the crazy, creative and pretty contemporary “White Temple” in Chiang Rai (Northern Thailand). Continue reading ““White Temple” in Thailand: bizarre and breathtaking”
One night at the baltic sea, in a small town called Kühlungsborn: A trip as short as a Snapchat story – but quiet contrary to the brief lifespan of those digital moments the real life impressions from this little getaway last way longer than 24 hours. Waaaaay longer. They will persist in my revitalized mind and my cured heart… because quality time has no expiry date.
As much as I love traveling around – I honestly have some difficulties with certain vehicles… boats are for example always a challenge – and so are the minivans in Thailand! Therefor it was quiet a tough journey to reach Pai – this tiny, charming town in northern Thailand. But why did I still fell in love with that place and why is it absolutely worth a visit?
When somebody asks me where I’m originally from in Germany, I often hesitate to answer frankly… too many prejudices and negative stereotypes come with it. Many make fun of the accent, claim the people there from are narrow-minded and criticize (actually not unjustified) the political movements going on there. Nevertheless it’s the place where I grew up, where I had a great childhood, where I went to school and where I got shaped. A place I will always have a connection to. Because it’s home.
There’s always carnival in Berlin… at least that’s what people say (yeah, quoting Taylor Swift here). And they’re not too wrong: Berlin is loud, colorful (exept on those aweful rainy November days – they don’t count) and there is ALWAYS a party going on somewhere. Just like carnival in Rio or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. But once a year over the Whitsunday Weekend the city turns into a real and foremost multicultural carnival: it’s “Karneval der Kulturen”.