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Asia is an amazing continent to visit. It has a total of 49 countries and a population of 4.3 billion. The most spoken languages in Asia are Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Malay, Vietnamese, Korean, Cantonese, Wei, Thai, and English.

Travel articles about Asia

Sacred and Religious Places to visit in Iran

Sacred and Religious Places to visit in Iran

Religious Places to visit in Iran Iran is a deeply religious nation. Although the country’s official name is the Islamic Republic of Iran – not everyone is Muslim. There are other strong faith practitioners such as Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jewish. In fact, the Iranian Jewish community is the second largest in the Middle East just after Israel. Iranian people seem to have a deeply ingrained trust and love for their set of religious beliefs, living their lives by the integrity and commitment their faith requires. I have been to many Muslim countries, and I have noticed that people in Iran take their religion more seriously. So, why list these places in particular? Each location on this list is unique and remarkable on its way. They draw an accurate picture of Iranian culture and lifestyle, which are strongly linked to the religion of Islam, particularly to its Shi’ite branch, to the Christian…

31 Lesser-Known Destinations to Visit in Iraqi Kurdistan – Part 1

Visit the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Visit Iraqi Kurdistan Iraqi Kurdistan is known to almost all adventure travelers. Officially named Kurdistan Region of Iraq by the country’s constitution, it is an autonomous region located in northern Iraq. As you probably guess, not many people travel to Iraq, so how come I decided to make a page about the off the beaten path destinations in Iraqi Kurdistan? Isn’t everything in this part of the world off the beat already? Well, the fact is that in the past decade a few adventure travelers did go to Northern Iraq, but the reality is that most people just want to check Iraq off their bucket list. Consequently, they end up visiting the same places they find mentioned on the Internet, without really exploring other destinations on their own. Famous places in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Erbil Sulaymaniyah Halabja Dohuk Amedi Rawanduz On this page, I focus on the least famous…

Petra, The Lost City of the Nabateans – Jordan

PETRA JORDAN

Petra – Jordan Who has not dreamed of visiting Petra since watching the famous movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? No doubt that Petra is a magical destination and one of the most beautiful places in the World. “The archaeological site of Petra lies in a large valley that runs from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba in southwestern Jordan.” An influential city for Nabatean trade, inhabited since ancient times, Petra lies in the heart of a rocky valley with breathtaking views. Petra was an Edomite city before becoming the capital of the Nabataean kingdom and at the same time a crucial crossroad between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria. On this page, I share with you a small photo gallery of Petra, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jordan, and one of the 7 Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. If you are looking for some images of Petra,…

The Greco-Roman city of Ephesus: a magnificent return to the past

EPHESUS

In the summer of 2003, I had the opportunity to visit Turkey for the first time. In possession of an Interrail ticket across Europe and during my train trip, I secured a rental car along with two Polish guys I had met previously at a hostel. Later, we drove from Istanbul down the west coast of Turkey to explore several of its noted historical sites. As time passed and memories faded, Ephesus became like many other places – a victim of my forgetfulness due to the recent years’ extreme traveling. Greco-Roman city of Ephesus “HOWEVER, ONE THOUGHT WAS ALWAYS CONSCIOUS: ONE DAY I WOULD RETURN TO EPHESUS.” So, this is what happened. Thanks to Blogger Casting, and an invitation from the City of Izmir via the Izmir Development Agency, I had the recent opportunity to return to Ephesus. After three days of touring Izmir Province, I must admit I was amazed…

Backpacking Travel Guide to Visit Northern Iraq

Backpacking Travel Guide to Visit Northern Iraq

Welcome to my page with information about traveling in Northern Iraq, aka Iraqi Kurdistan. Many people ask me why I visited Iraq and why I chose this country as a summer holidays destination. Most people have an Iraq with war in mind, the only Iraq they have seen on TV. In fact, many regions in Iraq do live moments of tension and war, but in some areas more than others. However, there is a different Iraq. The northern part of the country, which maintains a de facto independence since the first Gulf War in 1991, is actually very safe and well protected. In 2003, Iraqi Kurdistan was included in the new Iraqi constitution as a federal state enjoying the status of a region with its own president and its own parliament. Iraqi Kurdistan is somehow safe, protected by police and army checkpoints. This area is currently the most prosperous and richest…

Meaning of the Flags of Asia

Meaning of the Flags of Asia

The flags represent the national identity of each country. Each color has a meaning in the history of nations. Asian flags vary on color and meaning. On this page, I list all flags of Asia and their colors. Flags of Asia Flag of Afghanistan 3 colors: black, red, green. Meaning of the flag of Afghanistan: The colors of the flag of Afghanistan include the pan-Arab colors of black, green, red (and white), which represent the historical dynasties that once ruled the region. Although not everybody agrees, it is thought that black represents previous Afghan flags which symbolized the sovereign; red is as a sign of progress, copied from the Soviet flag; green represents Islam. The white coat of arms in the center is a mosque with its mihrab facing toward Mecca. The mosque is surrounded by two sheaves of wheat. Above the coat of arms, the sacred line is written, “There…

88 Reasons to visit North Korea – DPRK Explicit

88 Reasons to visit North Korea - DPRK Explicit

Visit North Korea People often point out reasons to dislike North Korea. Personally I only travel to enjoy places and things such as colors, people, little details, architecture, sounds, tastes, sunsets, smiles, etc. Because I never travel to dislike or criticize, on this page I will show you 88 images – photos – reasons that made me like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Whatever reasons you might have to criticize DPRK, I invite you to indulge yourself to discover one of the least visited countries in the world. DPRK is indeed a fascinating destination with a very beautiful culture and ancient history. What does North Korea look like? DPRK cities were heavily bombed and turned to rubble by the US during the Korean War, so most of the infrastructure in the country is built in a socialist Soviet architecture style, also called as Socialist Classicism or Stalinist architecture. Some buildings were done in…

This is why Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh is worth a visit

This is why Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh is worth a visit

Visit Dhaka Undoubtedly the most underrated country in whole Asia, Bangladesh is also the least touristy destination on the planet. Being the 8th most populous country in the world with 160 million people, it only receives around 120.000 international arrivals annually. Unsurprisingly, it has the lowest number of tourists compared to its population. Visit Dhaka – City Guide Bangladeshi history reveals the country has maintained human presence since the year 700 BC. In the Middle Ages, it adhered to Islam and became one of the richest territories of the Mongolian Empire while Dhaka became one of the wealthiest and most prosperous cities in the world. Europeans, particularly the Portuguese, arrived in Bangladesh in the fifteenth century and, only three centuries later, the British East India Company took over its land. When Pakistan failed to administer Bangladesh, independence finally arrived after conflicts between East and West Pakistan, from 1947 until 1971, when…

10 of the Best Places to Visit in Qatar

10 of the Best Places to Visit in Qatar

Visit Qatar Qatar is a fascinating country to travel. The Gulf countries are a bit unknown, as most travelers have a little notion about what there’s to visit and end up visiting major urban areas. However, outside the capitals there are always places of historical and cultural interest. Qatar surprised me because outside the capital, Doha, there are many amazing places to visit. Of course I’m a but suspicious, since I love desert landscapes and obnoxious hot destinations. Qatar, apart from several different types of desert vistas and abandoned fishermen villages, hosts some of the best petroglyphs I’ve seen in my life. Qatar’s history is first documented by the Greek historian Herodotus V, which states that the first inhabitants of this country were the Canaanites. There are not many ancient direct references to Qatar, so from here, all that is said are basically historic assumptions. However, it is clear that it…

25 of the Best Places to Visit in Oman

VISIT OMAN

Visit Oman The Sultanate of Oman is a fascinating country located on the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman is a mysterious nation since we don’t hear people speaking about it very often. It is quite easy to visit Oman because it’s very safe and full of very friendly and hospitable people. On this page, I make a list of 25 Amazing Places which are undoubtedly the country’s major tourist attractions. Visit Oman 1. Ras Musandam Fjords Ras Musandam peninsula is separated from the rest of the country. It is famous for its breathtaking fjords of desert mountains and waters of a beautiful shade of blue. In Oman, they still resort to the dhow, a traditional sailboat, for transportation but for fishing and tourism instead of for commercial trade as it was done in the past. It’s quite usual to see these boats along the coast. You’ll find a big…

Why I decided to visit Kyrgyzstan again: 22-day travel itinerary

Why I decided to visit Kyrgyzstan again

Visit Kyrgyzstan As a traveler, I have a strong necessity of returning to countries I really liked. Instead of focusing on making a new country every time I have the chance of traveling, I mostly go back to countries I want to spend more time to visit and explore places I somehow missed on previous trips. On this blog post, I’ll write about my second visit to Kyrgyzstan. You can also check my page about my first time in the country: First time in Kyrgyzstan: 10-day road trip itinerary. I spent 22 days in Kyrgyzstan and explored many of its most famous places, mainly in the west part of the country. I crossed the border coming from Kazakhstan and visited Talas, Jalal-Abad and Osh regions. I finally crossed into Tajikistan on the famous Pamir Highway road, the M41. Most fortunate for Kyrgyz culture and the country itself has been its location…

First time in Kyrgyzstan: 10-day travel itinerary

VISIT KYRGYZSTAN

Kyrgyzstan is an amazing, uncommon travel destination, most definitely “off the beaten track”. Unique in its cultural richness and unmatched natural beauty, Kyrgyzstan has been home to a variety of cultures, empires, clans, and tribes among one of the lushest terrains in all of Central Asia. With an incredible display of rivers, waterfalls and nearly 2,000 lakes, its beautiful mountainous landscape has provided the setting for over 2,000 years of history. On this blog post, I’ll write about my first visit to Kyrgyzstan. You can also check my page about my second time in the country: Why I decided to visit Kyrgyzstan again: 22-day travel itinerary. I spent 10 days in Kyrgyzstan and explored many of its most famous places. After visiting Osh, I explored the Fergana mountain range and moved east along the Chinese border. Finally I headed north to Lake Issyk-Kul, and furthermore to Bishkek, the capital city. With…

Beautiful Pyongyang – A different look at North Korea’s capital

Beautiful Pyongyang - A different look at North Korea's capital

Visit Pyongyang Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea. Hundreds of beautifully crafted monuments and memorial murals showing off political leaders and party workers are scattered throughout the city. Pyongyang is a lovely city for those who love Socialist Classicism architecture. NOTE: this page is not politically biased nor am I writing on behalf of someone or any government. This page is about DPRK traveling and tourism. The reasons why I enjoyed my time in North Korea are immense – the same way I have many reasons to enjoy all the other more than 120 countries I have visited. Visit Pyongyang – City Guide Pyongyang was heavily bombed and turned to rubble by USA during the Korean War, so most of the infrastructure in the city is built with a mix of socialist Soviet architecture style and Korean architecture. Like in all socialist influenced cities around the world, Pyongyang has…

Central Asia Rally – 6500 km / 4000 mi Road Trip Adventure

The Central Asia Rally - Adventure Race into History

Central Asia Rally Have you ever heard about a banger rally? Those crazy car rallies that cross a few countries while driving old or funny decorated vehicles? Well, I’m going to give you my personal insight about one of those unique road trips – the Central Asia Rally. Back in 2012 I participated in such a motoring event as this one. “Road trip adventure from Europe to the heart of the Silk Route.” After participating on the Caucasian Challenge Rally (crossing the Caucasus region at the border of Europe and Asia between the Black and the Caspian seas) a few years before, I ended up participating in another event of the same kind. I invited my friend João Paulo Peixoto to be my travel partner. He has been to all the countries in the world so, for him, the thrill was the experience and not really visiting these countries again. Personally…

31 Lesser-Known Destinations to Visit in Iraqi Kurdistan – Part 2

Visit the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Visit Iraqi Kurdistan Welcome to the second part of my travel guide to the unknown destinations of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. On this page, I focus on the least famous destinations in Iraqi Kurdistan: Caves, Waterfalls, Castles, Shrines, Rock-reliefs, Temples, and Archaeological Sites. If this is your arrival page, you might want to start from the first part: Kurdistan Region of Iraq Unknown Destinations Part 1 Some destinations on this page are located on disputed areas and under the control of the central government in Baghdad. Technically and by the Iraqi constitution, they don’t belong to the Kurdistan region, and are indeed controlled by the Iraqi Army and not by the Kurdish Peshmerga army. Iraqi Kurdistan Off the Beaten Path Destinations – Part 2 17. Chami Razan جيمي ريزان Chami Razan (Jami Rezan) is a very nice place surrounded by incredible mountains, several large caves, and numerous waterfalls. The bigger…

Driving in Iraqi Kurdistan – Amedi to Barzan Road Trip

Driving in Iraq - Amedi to Barzan Road Trip

I visited Northern Iraq for 11 days. When I was in the Kurdish town of Amedia, someone made me a proposal I just couldn’t refuse. Driving. I love to drive. Actually, this is possibly my favorite way of traveling. Next to the church of Saint Mary lives a Christian family that wanted to know more about the reasons of my visit to Amedia. Pethio, a gentleman in his sixties, introduced me to his family, offered me tea and fetched a book written in Syriac. He explained me a bit of his religion, of his history and of the history of Syriac Christians in Iraq. Pethio teaches English in the neighboring village Kani and has two sons in the USA and another one in Australia. After a joyful conversation with Pethio and some more men who had joined us, he asked me: “Do you have a driving license?” Pethio has a car,…

Photos that will make you want to visit Saudi Arabia

PHOTOS SAUDI ARABIA

Visit Saudi Arabia Lately, people are quite curious and searching for photos of Saudi Arabia. This is due to the recent Saudi Sharek e-Visa program. Saudi Arabia just recently opened its doors to foreign tourism. This unknown country has plenty of natural and historical wonders that will make most adventure travelers anxious to visit. On this blog post, I share with you some images, my Top 43 pictures that will make you want to visit Saudi Arabia. Two weeks in Saudi Arabia Small video of my two-week trip to Saudi Arabia. Read my page: Driving in Saudi Arabia: Jeddah to Riyadh Road Trip – Two Weeks/3000 km Photos of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is one of the most photogenic desert countries that I’ve ever visited and is packed with breathtaking photo locations. Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country, with a political regime that can be defined as a theocracy and where…

Driving in Afghanistan, South Asia – Road trip Survival Guide

Driving in Afghanistan - Road trip Survival Guide

Driving in Afghanistan Afghanistan Road Trip Does Driving in Afghanistan or enduring an Afghanistan Road Trip sound crazy? Afghanistan is an amazing country, with beautiful landscape scenery and friendly people. Yet it has been damaged by war for many decades. Traveling in Afghanistan is not a holiday option for most travelers, but those who actually visit it come back with great travel memoirs. Road from the Tajik border to Kunduz Taking your own car into Afghanistan is entirely possible and very doable. Writing a Survival Guide about Driving Afghanistan may seem crazy, but there are a few travelers, adventurous enough to enter the country driving their own wheels, either by car or motorcycle. Driving in Afghanistan – Survival Guide 1- Get your Road Permit » Driving in Afghanistan will require a document called road permit or permit of vehicle entrance to Afghanistan. This particular document can be issued by the consulate…

Beautiful Old Mud-Brick Villages in Saudi Arabia

BEAUTIFUL OLD MUD-BRICK VILLAGES IN SAUDI ARABIA

Villages in Saudi Arabia Do you love old mud-brick villages as much as I do? While traveling, I have a peculiar list of preferences. Give me dusty, abandoned, ruined places and you will get my attention. Saudi Arabia is in most part a desert nation, and by such, many old mud-brick villages can be found around the country. During my 2-week Saudi Arabia road trip, I was able to visit some of these ancient places, a few under renovation, some totally forgotten and other brightly finished and ready to receive visitors. Mud, sundried mud bricks, and wood are the primary materials that were used to build this type of architecture. Water, and often straw or grass, are mixed with the dirt. I didn’t really expect to visit all these places, but as I traveled by a rental car in Saudi Arabia, I was discovering most of these places on the go.…

Mesopotamian Marshes, The rebirth of Iraqi Venice

Mesopotamian Marshes, The rebirth of Iraqi Venice

The Mesopotamian Marshes are a wetland region located in southern Iraq, a natural monument that also includes part of Southwest Iran. These are considered to be Western Eurasia’s largest wetlands ecosystems. This unusual place in the desert had plenty of water, so it used to be very productive and prosperous. Throughout history, it has always been well respected, because, among the arid climate of southern Iraq, the Mesopotamian Marshes allowed human beings and livestock to have a high quality of life. In 1950 during a massive oil exploration project, the drainage of the wetlands started. This process was taken to an extreme during the mandate of Saddam Hussein. This lead to the expulsion of local tribes, creating political and social tension in the southern parts of the country. Currently, the Mesopotamian Marshes slightly recovered. Unfortunately, the last decade severe drought and the previously built infrastructure have left irreversible results in this…

Best Travel Experiences

Best Travel Experiences

Best Travel Experiences Throughout the World, there are many wonderful places to travel to. Yet, some unique experiences remain secrets, only a few people having the chance to become involved with them. On this page, I will describe some of the best travel experiences I’ve had, examples that can easily provide inspiration and motivation for your future travels. Please note: I’ve been traveling since 1999. So, some of the older photographs on this page are taken with more standard equipment and are of lesser quality than more recent images. Berber Triple Marriage in Sahara Desert I had the opportunity of being invited to an authentic Amazigh (Berber) triple marriage in the southeast Moroccan Sahara Desert. Having been living and working near the Erg Chebbi Dunes for four years, previous involvement with the local community facilitated my reception of this type of invitation. Although many people no longer marry in such a…

13 of the Best Places to Visit in Karakalpakstan, Northern Uzbekistan

VISIT KARAKALPAKSTAN

Visit Karakalpakstan Have you ever heard about the Republic of Karakalpakstan? No? Well, don’t worry, because most people don’t know about the existence of this autonomous republic in the northwest region of Uzbekistan. Yes, Karakalpakstan is in Uzbekistan. Truth said, most people don’t know much about Uzbekistan either. I entered Uzbekistan five times, and on this page, I will focus on this desert region full of beautiful places to visit. For those who know me, I have a natural connection to deserted places. I like sand, dust, and emptiness. Karakalpakstan Curiosities about Karakalpakstan Capital and largest city is Nukus Official languages are Karakalpak and Uzbek Total area of 164,900 km2 (63,700 sq mi) Karakalpak people used to be nomadic herders and fishermen The Khanate of Khiva gave Karakalpak to the Russian Empire in 1873 After the drainage of the Aral Sea, Karakalpakstan is now mostly desert The Kyzyl Kum desert is…

20 of the Best Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

18 of the Best Places to Visit in Uzbekistan

Visit Uzbekistan Uzbekistan is one of those countries many people never heard about. For most travelers, this doubly landlocked country is somehow deep inside our imaginary of being a faraway Silk Route nation, full of exotic people, ancient architecture and where Alexander the Great fell in love with Roxana- his future wife. I entered Uzbekistan five times: July 2004 – Border of KZ – fly out to IR – Backpacking Central Asia June 2012 – Border of KZ to TJ – Central Asia Rally June 2012 – Border of AF to TJ – Driving alone July 2012 – Border of TJ to KG – Driving with my wife December 2017 / January 2018 – Border of TJ to KZ – Driving with my wife Uzbek people are always very friendly and curious to talk with foreigners. My TOP 5 – Visit Uzbekistan 1. Khiva This is my favorite historical place in…

Visit Taj Mahal Mausoleum Complex in Agra – India

Pictures of the Taj Mahal that will make you want to visit India now!

Visit Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, is a magical place. Taj Mahal is located near the city of Agra, in the North of India. It’s one of the most famous manmade structures in the world, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to visit Taj Mahal, you have to go to the monument gate early morning. Try to be the first on the queue. The Taj Mahal was built by orders of emperor Shah Jahan, and it was finished in 1648. It’s a monumental compound of buildings built around the mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, the emperor’s favorite wife. She died giving birth while on a hunting trip with her husband. On her death bed, she requested that her husband built a monument that could honor their love for each other and asked him to celebrate the anniversary of her death every year onwards. That’s how…

Is Saudi Arabia a Dangerous Country to Travel?

Safety in Saudi Arabia The question of whether Saudi Arabia is a dangerous country to travel is a bit ambiguous. Usually, for westerners, this Arab kingdom is primarily known for being the motherland of one of the world’s most prominent religious, and where annually millions of people perform the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina – the Haj. Saudi Arabia is indeed a very strict country regarding following the ways of Islam, and where Sharia law rules. Segregation of women vs. men, the strict ban of practicing other religions, and the death penalty by public decapitation or crucifixion did not help to create an image of Saudi being a safe haven for foreigners. Sharīʿah, also spelled Sharia, is the fundamental religious concept of Islam, namely its law, systematized during 8th–9th centuries CE. Quote. Being Islam for most of us, a very different religion both culturally and in practice,…

Driving in Saudi Arabia: Jeddah to Riyadh Road Trip – Two Weeks/3000 km

Driving in Saudi Arabia

Driving in Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is a country traditionally closed to tourism. At least tourism as we understand it, because the pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina bring to the country millions of people a year, but they are religious tourists. Driving in Saudi Arabia came up as the perfect idea in order to explore this Arab kingdom independently. During two weeks, I drove my rental car 3000 km (1864 mi) along some of the most beautiful sites of the northern region of Saudi Arabia. Hopefully, I will visit Saudi Arabia once again, and explore the southern regions. Saudi Arabia conservative nature leads it to reduce contact with the outside to the bare minimum, especially as far as the Western world is concerned. It is one of the countries in the world for which it is almost impossible to obtain a tourist visa, especially for an independent trip, but now there…

Inspiring Places to Visit in Asia – Travel Guide

Asia Best Destinations - Travel Guide

Asia Travel Guide “Asia is a marvelous continent to visit. With a total of 49 countries and a population of 4.3 billion, the most prevalent languages in Asia are Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Malay, Vietnamese, Korean, Cantonese, Wei, Thai, and English.” My Top Asia The 16th century World Heritage square Naqsh-e Jahan in Isfahan, Iran 427 meters / 1401 ft below sea level Dead Sea salt lake, Israel – Palestine – Jordan Cave of Jesus’s Birthplace in Bethlehem, Palestine The Citadel at Erbil, the oldest continuously inhabited town in the world, Iraq 15th century Timurid architecture of Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan Hazrat Ali’s Sacred shrine and Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan 14th century Tashilhunpo Monastery and fortress in Shigatse, Tibet 15th century monasteries and monuments of Bhaktapur, Nepal 17th century fort and old district of Nizwa, Oman The endless Great Wall of China 2134 m / 7001 ft mountain top, 62…

44 of the Best Places to Visit in the United Arab Emirates

44 of the Best Places to Visit in the United Arab Emirates

Visit United Arab Emirates I was curious to travel in the UAE for quite some time. If you want to visit United Arab Emirates and don’t know where to go, this page will definitely help you. Contrary to what many people might think, the United Arab Emirates have a very rich history. This fact is sometimes forgotten and taken over by modern and famous cities such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There are seven Emirates within the UAE Abu Dhabi Ajman Dubai Fujairah Ras al-Khaimah Sharjah Umm al-Quwain In addition to several historical relics, ancient ruins and centuries-old fortresses scattered in various locations. The UAE has a unique heritage and culture of desert people. With traditional dances, music, amazing architecture, coffee drinking heritage, shipbuilding and even the tradition of caring for horses, camels and falcons. One day, I flew to the Emirate of Sharjah, rented a car and bought a road…

8 Days Tibet Tour – Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland

8 Days Tibet Tour - Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland

Tibet Tour – Kathmandu to Lhasa I traveled to Tibet in the month of August. As I was in Kathmandu – Nepal, I decided to take the opportunity of being so close to visit Tibet – China. To visit Tibet, all travelers need to buy a guided tour from a credited travel agency. So I purchased an 8-day tour from Kathmandu to Lhasa called – Roof of the World. The trips to Tibet can be made alone or in a group. You must always have a guide for you and a jeep/minibus, i.e., even if you choose to go alone you have to travel with a guide. In my case, I got the cheaper option and went with a group by minibus. In my group, there were ten interesting and very friendly travelers from different countries. Tibet is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, situated right in the…

Nomads of Kazakhstan – Ile Alatau Mountain Range

Nomads of Kazakhstan - Ile Alatau Mountain Range

Kazakhstan Nomads Nomads of Kazakhstan Central Asia is famous for its prevailing nomad lifestyle. Meeting nomads around the world is always an excellent cultural experience as you interact with people having a completely different way of life. • nomad a. A member of a people or tribe who move from place to place to find pasture and food;b. A person who continually moves from place to place; wanderer. Back in 2004, during my first visit to Kazakhstan, I stayed with some Kazakh nomads on the mountains along the Ile-Alatau Mountain Range. This was one of the best experiences during my journey. Well, actually, I have a curious story to tell you… I didn’t prepare or organize my trip to Kazakhstan. Can you believe that? In fact, I really didn’t think much about it before I actually got myself on the airplane. Why? Well, Kazakhstan was not in my travel plans –…

Best Places to Visit in Lebanon for One-Week Travel Itinerary

Best Places to Visit in Lebanon for One-Week Travel Itinerary

Visit Lebanon For a long time, I had the desire to visit Lebanon. Years passed and I somehow always postponed my trip to this Middle Eastern country. Due to recent political and regional conflict, I decided that the time has come, and I had to engage myself to organize and travel in Lebanon as soon as possible. Lebanon is a fascinating country located on the shores of the Mediterranean sea. Lebanon is a mysterious nation since we don’t hear people speaking about it very often. Visiting Lebanon is easy because it’s very developed, safe in most of its regions, and full of very friendly and hospitable people. Lebanon is divided into four distinguished geographic regions: the coastal plain, the Lebanon mountain range, the Beqaa valley and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. On this page, I make a list of 6 Amazing Places which are undoubtedly the country’s major tourist attractions, and the perfect…

How to get a Saudi Arabia tourist visa – Update 2019

Saudi Arabia tourist visa

Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa I’m sure you came to this page hoping to get further and easier information about how to get a Saudi Arabia tourist visa. Come with me, let’s go. Just until recently, getting a tourist visa to Saudi Arabia was impossible. Most travelers were basically just placing Saudi at the end of their list, not because they wouldn’t like to go, but just because there was no possible way of getting in. But you know what? Things have changed in 2018 and 2019. Recent administration change and social rules being adjusted in this strict culture, the new King Mohammed bin Salman indeed set up new orders to develop and diversify the nation’s economy, and one of his main interests is to actually open the country to foreign tourism. Visa-ban to European Schengen countries is on its way… Quote Places such as Jeddah old city, Jubbah petroglyphs, old Ad-Deerah…

Masirah, a desolated island on the coast of Oman

MASIRAH ISLAND OMAN

Masirah Island is a beautiful yet desolated place located on the coast of Oman, in the Indian Ocean. Due to its distant location and peculiar desert landscapes, probably only travelers that appreciate off the beaten path destinations will enjoy this place. I’m going to tell you about my visit to Masirah. Unexpected things happen while traveling. It seems that those destinations that are not mapped, always keep a particularly distinctive spot in our travel memories. I mostly don’t organize or plan trips, and Oman wasn’t really an exception. Masirah Island was just at the end of the road of a not planned itinerary. Late at night, after driving through the desert, I arrived at Shannah, a small village where I had dinner. The waiter told me there was a morning ferry heading to an island. As this sounded fascinating and following my instinct, I spontaneously decided to go. After sleeping in…

Best Places to Visit in Yemen for One-Week Travel Itinerary

Best Places to Visit in Yemen for One-Week Travel Itinerary

Visit Yemen Welcome to my page where I write detailed information on how to visit Yemen. In addition, I will focus on the places I’ve been so that you have a quick notion of what to see in Yemen. I will share with you my one-week trip to Yemen across some of the most amazing places in the country. This Middle Eastern nation combines some charming destinations with very welcoming people. For the last couple of years, Yemen comes on the news for the unfortunate situation of being in civil war. The country has since been torn by conflict, famine, and flourishing terrorism. Although some regions have been continuously under heavy fighting, Yemen still has some places travelers can go with minimum risk. On this page, I will review my trip to Yemen with detailed practical information. I will share with you personal insights on what to expect if you ever…

79 of the Best Places to Visit in Iran

79 of the Best Places to Visit in Iran

Visit Iran If you arrived on this page, I am sure you are curious and whiling to visit Iran right? So, let me tell you from the start, that Iran is an amazing country. Do you have any doubts about it? I know that the general opinion in the West is that Iran is a dangerous country. The NEWS in Europe and the US tell us about a different Iran. They describe a place full of violence that makes us believe the country is populated with mad, unfriendly and ferocious people. Well, we got that wrong… Why? First: Iran is one of the safest places I’ve ever been to. Crime is much lower than in most European countries and the U.S.A. Second: Iranian people are among the friendliest and most hospitable in the World; Third: Iran is quite developed, clean, and its population are well educated and have cultural / political…

Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan – Thumbing from Dohuk to Aqrah

Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan - Thumbing from Dohuk to Aqrah

If you’re thinking about Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan, I hope this travelogue motivates you for such an adventure. I visited Northern Iraq for eleven days in 2009 and again for one month in 2018 driving my campervan. Kurdish people are very welcoming and friendly, and I loved my trip to this part of the Middle East. After traveling in Iraq using shared taxis, I decided to try to hitchhike in Iraq to see if I could get a closer contact with the people, whether Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs or Assyrians. I hitchhiked two times in Iraqi Kurdistan: from Dohuk to Aqrah from Dohuk to Amedi Hitchhiking Iraqi Kurdistan It was Friday, the weekly Muslim holiday, when everything is closed between 11.00 am and 3.00 pm. I spent the morning exploring some areas of the city where I had not been yet: the amusement park Dream City and the nearby supermarket, where I bought…

Baalbek – The colossal ancient city of Lebanon

VISIT BAALBEK

The town of Baalbek is located in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, roughly 85km northeast of Beirut and 75km north of Damascus in Syria. Baalbek lies in the Anti-Lebanon foothills, and visitors arrive here mainly to visit the famous Phoenician / Roman ruins. For a long time, I had the desire to visit Lebanon. Years passed and I somehow always postponed my trip to this Middle Eastern country. During my one week trip to Lebanon, I had the pleasure of visiting sites such as Crusader Castle and the old market of Byblos, the incredible Jeita caves, the Roman ruins of Baalbek, and the ruins of Anjar on the Syrian border. Besides these beautiful historical destinations, I still had a couple of days to explore the capital city, Beirut. On this page, I will focus on the incredible ancient city of Baalbek. I hope this blog post will motivate you to visit this site…

Mazar-i-Sharif – Afghan city of the Noble Shrine

Mazar-i-Sharif - Afghan city of the Noble Shrine

Mazar-i-Sharif is a Shiite Muslim holy city located in northern Afghanistan. Without a doubt that Mazar holds its international recognition due to the famous Shrine of Ali – also known as the Blue Mosque. The population of Mazar-i-Sharif is a mix of ethnic Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, Turkmen and Uzbek, combined to establish Afghanistan fourth largest city. People, in general, are very welcoming, curious and friendly. I had a great time exploring the city. If you visit Mazar-i-Sharif, this city will stay on top of your travel achievements. Apart from visiting the Blue Mosque, one can explore the city center, the various gardens, the local Bazaar (market), buy some fabulous Afghan rugs in the endless carpet shops, and hang out with Afghans as they consecutively invite foreigners to drink fruit juices and Afghan tea. Afghans are indeed one of the most hospitable people I’ve ever had the chance of meeting. In front…

Dwin Castle, Idyllic Mountain Fortress of Saladin – Iraq

DWIN CASTLE IRAQ

Visit Dwin Castle There are those kinds of places that are able to trigger our inner adventure instincts. You know, those places we get so hypnotically focused on exploring that we somehow lose the sense of time and space. Welcome to the idyllic Dwin Castle, located in a mountainous region at about 60km northeast of Erbil, in Northern Iraq. Dwin Castle – Iraq The castle is supposed to have belonged to Jalaluddin, the grandfather of the famous Saladin, who amassed an enormous Muslim army to fight the European Crusaders out of the Levant. It was a rainy morning when I went out of Erbil and heading towards Rawanduz. I somehow felt that due to the weather, the day would not be enjoyable. On the map, I had pinpointed two castles, which I almost took out to go straight to Rawanduz and skip the dark, cloudy day. But, I was already driving…

#Vanlife Kyrgyzstan: One-Month Road Trip with a Camper Van

VAN LIFE PHOTOS - KYRGYZSTAN EDITION

Travel in Central Asia with a Camper Van Traveling with a campervan is always rewarding in terms of personal experience. The liberty of being able to go whatever road you impulsively chose, sleep anywhere you want and decide the exact time when to leave a certain place, makes this type of travel a perfect fit for the independent-minded and spontaneous traveler. At this moment you should be asking yourself: “Wait a minute, traveling TO Central Asia with a campervan?” And my answer: Well, yes, going from Europe and traveling around the Central Asian countries with a campervan is something perfectly possible and safe to do. Actually, Kyrgyzstan is one of the most open countries for tourists in the region, and most of the Western nations can enter Kyrgyzstan visa-free for up to 60 days. Kyrgyzstan vs Campervan / Van Life Kyrgyzstan is a land where mountains reach over 7000 m (22,965…

Visit Ras Musandam – The Forgotten Peninsula Of Oman

Visit Ras Musandam

Visit Ras Musandam Musandam is a peninsula in the north of Oman, a small isolated region surrounded by the Persian Gulf and separated from the rest of the country by a portion of land of the United Arab Emirates. Its landscape is dry and mountainous, full of impressive fjords, that can be explored on a dhow, a traditional local boat. The Portuguese occupied Musandam in the 17th century as a part of a strategic plan to control trade in the Persian Gulf and control traffic in the Strait of Hormuz. In Oman they still resort to the dhow, a traditional sailboat, for transportation but for fishing and tourism instead of for commercial trade as it was done in the past. It’s quite usual to see these boats along the coast. You’ll find a big fleet on the ports of Sohar, Salalah, Khasab and Muscat, as well as Sur, where the biggest…

Visit Baghdad – City Adventure Guide to the capital of Iraq

VISIT BAGHDAD

Visit Baghdad There are places to which all travelers dream of venturing at least once in their lifetime. Some of my close friends have repeatedly informed me they’ve noticed I’m drawn towards unusual travel destinations, perhaps because of my affinity towards places most people usually don’t go. My truth is, having the opportunity to find and explore the lesser known, less touristic sites and talking with its people, is what truly captivates me and draws my attention. Then, having the possibility to report these journeys to you through my adventure travel blog, is really rewarding. Today I take you to Baghdad, unable to be described without first mentioning a bit of its history. The capital of Iraq, a country rooted in civilizations dating from the year 3000 BC, namely the Sumerians, Acadians, Babylonians and the Assyrians. Between the 8th-9th centuries AD, the region became influential under the Arab rule after the…

Qurut cheese recipe by the mountain nomads of Kyrgyzstan

Qurut cheese recipe by mountain nomads - Kyrgyzstan

Nomads in Kyrgyzstan Central Asia is famous for its current nomad lifestyle. Kyrgyzstan is usually associated with nomadic culture. In fact, still today, nomadic life remains one of the standard ways of life in the Kyrgyz mountains, especially talking about the fantastic Fergana Range. Meeting nomads around the world is always an excellent cultural experience as you interact with people having a completely different way of life. • nomad a. A member of individuals or tribe who move from place to place to find pasture and food;b. A person who continually moves from place to place; wanderer. While driving in Kyrgyzstan, I had the chance of crossing this remote and beautiful part of the country, and encounter several nomad families. Kyrgyzstan itself offers outstanding mountain landscapes, and the possibility of direct contact with such a unique way of life makes the whole trip rewarding. By car, I crossed the Uzbek border…

25 of the Best Places to Visit in Iraq (2019)

Travel in Iraq - Amazing Places that are possible to visit in 2016

Visit Iraq Iraq is a fascinating country located in Western Asia. Touristically speaking, Iraq lost its place in the world tourism arena. For a long time forgotten, Iraq is now a mysterious country since we don’t hear people speaking about traveling there that often (due to the lack of security). Before the unilateral American incursion of its territory, Iraq was safe and had thousands of western tourists visiting it every year. Why? Because Iraq is located in the heart of Mesopotamia, where humans established the first great civilizations. This said, Iraq is a natural born historical nation. Present in the early birth of modern civilizations, places like Samarra, Ur, Hatra and famous Babylon still ring the bell when mentioned. Unfortunately today, due to the presence of radical militant Islamic groups that took advantage of the political and security void, Iraq is a no-go destination for the most of its north and…

Driving in Oman – Muscat to Salalah Road Trip – Two Weeks/3000 km

Driving in Oman

Driving in Oman Oman is a fascinating country that has just been discovered by mainstream tourism in recent years. More than a decade ago, I had the chance of driving in Oman and visit some of the country’s best attractions and points of interest. As most of you know, I love to travel and drive, so I didn’t waste time in getting myself a rental car in Muscat and drive around the country without any previously made itinerary or planning. I entered Oman hitchhiking on a truck, coming from the United Arab Emirates all the way to Khasab, in the Ras Musandam Peninsula. After, I got a ferry-boat to Muscat from where I started my road trip in Oman. During my two weeks Oman road trip I visited many castles, sand dunes, archaeological sites, markets, mountains and even a prophet’s tomb. Read my article on the Oman Ministry of Tourism official…

126 Days Around The World Without Flying – Itinerary Suggestion

Around The World Without Flying

Around The World Without Flying Earth is a big place and suggesting a route to travel around the world is almost impossible. Each traveler will yearn for different places and experiences. Budget, time, and means of transportation, all these variables will impact the plan. Considering that planning an itinerary with only flights is simple, I decided to design a overland trip around the world without flying, going around the world to the west, departing from France. It won’t be too cheap nor too expensive. It won’t be too slow nor too fast. It will be balanced to be compatible with more people. Around The World Without Flying Stage 1 – From France to Brazil (Estimate: 20 days) The goal is to reach South America without flying, so you’ll have to travel on a ship. For that, it’s better to go to Le Havre, in France, from where you’ll officially depart to…

Masjid e No Gonbad – 9th century ruins in Balkh, Afghanistan

Masjid e No Gonbad - 9th century ruins in Balkh, Afghanistan

Balkh is a city in northern Afghanistan, about fifteen minutes drive from Mazar-i-Sharif. Throughout history, Balkh has always been an important Buddhist, Zoroastrian and Islamic religious center. The Greeks called it Bactra. Today, this great ancient city is in ruins, and only a few monuments and the majestic city walls survived. The region is extremely rich in historic features with Arab, Mongol, Persian, Greek and Roman heritage. Afghanistan has always been the scene of conflicts due mainly to its Geo-strategic position but also to exploit its natural resources. The Afghan culture is quite marked by political conflicts and several decade-long fighting. The Afghan population, due to wars and extreme poverty, failed to have a normal daily life. Yet, Afghanistan is extremely beautiful. In fact, the country possesses astonishing landscape and very welcoming people. Whoever has the courage to visit Afghanistan, will bring back incredible travel experiences. The history of Afghanistan begins…

People of Iran – Photos of Iranian People

People of Iran - Photos of Iranian People

People of Iran Photos of Iranian People People. The other side of traveling. No monuments, no museums, no gardens or palaces. To really get to know a country, you have to interact with its people. Photography always kept my attention, and I got my first SRL camera when I was 16 years old. During my Visual Arts studies at University, I decided to engage myself in a photo project to last for a few years. So, from 2001 until 2005, my primary purpose of traveling was to capture images of people. I made hundreds of photos of people using my CANON EOS 1 film camera. On this page, I collect some of the best photos I have from Iran. People from Iran Boys fishing in River Zayandeh in Isfahan, Islamic Republic of Iran. During the season that the river is full, many young boys come here to fish and have fun…

18-month Travel Around the World – My Itinerary & Costs

Travel Around the World

Travel Around the World A few years back, I went traveling around the world during 18 months without any programmed destinations. I had no pre-arranged itinerary. I went along, feeling the trip, visiting countries that were emerging in my mind and on my wish list. I visited and stayed the time that I felt like to. If I liked a place I’d stay more time, if I didn’t like it so much, I’d move on. The main purpose of the trip was to visit all the seven continents: Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Asia and Pacific. On this section of my Round the World Travel Guide I’m not going to magically tell you how to go around the world for free, yet, I’m going to simplify and show you real data, detailed information with real facts, prices and travel ideas so that you can get inspired and motivated to…

Visit Tajik Wakhan Corridor – 15 Amazing places to travel in Wakhan

Visit Tajik Wakhan Corridor – 16 Amazing places to travel

Mysterious Tajikistan. Possibly one of the last destinations on your endless travel list, right? Tajikistan is a fascinating country located in the eastern part of Central Asia. International tourism statistics show that the annual number of arrivals in Tajikistan is not higher than a quarter of a million. Although being among one of the least visited countries in the world, Tajikistan has a lot to explore. In my humble point of view, the most beautiful mountain landscapes in Central Asia are in Tajikistan. But wait… my page is not about Tajikistan, the country, but a region that is even more remote. I’ll focus on the small 220 km / 140 mi stretch of road from Khorog to Langar, inside the Ishkoshim District of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, the “infamous” GBAO province of Tajikistan. OMG!!! Central Asia? Tajikistan? Gorno-Badakhshan? GBAO? Ishkoshim District? Whakan? Are you confused now? Yes! I know… Let me…

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