We offer customized experiences, click here to find out more.

Tag

Asia

Browsing

When I travelled to India, I was a rookie at travel, the real rookie. It was the first time I was travelling solo to a place I knew no-one at all. The most I knew about India was the Taj Mahal. I was travelling to India to volunteer in a village called Boothgargh for two months https://wangechigitahitravels.com/hoshiapur-my-home-away-from-home/. I thus did not carry any medication incase immigration saw them and decided to return me home thinking they were drugs (I had heard stories), I didn’t get any vaccination(I didn’t even know one should do that) and no travel insurance-I didn’t know of its importance. This ignorance combined with naivety came to bite me later-literally. One day as I was walking around the village, enjoying the fresh air,  listening to the chirping of birds, enjoying the sight of green foliage and excited about an event that was to happen later in the day,…

Wulai means hot springs in the Atayal tribe and is a town situated in the mountain area of Taiwan. The area is cool, serene, and very beautiful. I was drawn to it more by the fact that the majority of the residents are the older generation and thus lots of history and culture to learn. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the government offers free bus rides to the senior citizens on specific days of the week to travel to and from Taipei to Wulai. My highlights were: a) The scenery The landscape which is mainly mountainous, is covered in green cover and rained while I visited. I enjoyed walking through the area and watching the descending fog cover the hill tops.This town is famous for their hotsprings but  I didn’t get a chance to sample them due to the weather. b) The Delicacies: You have to sample some if…

Agra is located in Uttar Pradesh in the Northern State of India. This area is special to me as culture is all over from the preserved buildings of the Mughal-era to the culture of the people.  The area is however popular as it is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Most people actually travel to this area just to visit the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal: Did you know that the Taj Mahal is not a Palace but a Mausoleum? It was  built from 1632-1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz  Mahal whom he loved dearly and had died at child birth. Both of them are buried here and it is an expensive expression of Love posthumously. As we arrived at the Taj Mahal, we were met by this imposing red and white structure that…

Like some of you reading this, I had never heard nor seen pictures of Amritsar before. I actually learnt about it when our newly found friends in Boothgargh, Hoshiapur where we were living, invited us to visit a place they loved. Amritsar is home to the Sri Harimandir Sahin otherwise known as the Golden Temple, which is the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion. Amritsar  exposed me to lots about India, Sikhism culture, great architecture, beautiful scenery and lots and lots of dance and music.The highlights of the place are Golden Temple, Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre and the Wagah border that separates  India and Pakistan. 1.Dress Modestly: As you walk around, you will find most people either dressed in their traditional Punjab suit or modestly dressed. We took this time to bring out our newly tailored “Punjabi suits” that our friends mother had sawn for us. The ladies outfit…

Dharamshala means “religious sanctuary” or “rest house” in Hindi. This place is indeed a refuge for several religious pilgrims as evidenced by the numerous buddhist monks living here, it being home to the youngest Dalai Lama as well as several refugee Tibetans. It is located in the Himachal Pradesh area towards the mountain region and is crowded with oak and conifer trees thus being a very cool and serene place. My highlights of Dharamshala 1.Visit McLeod Ganj It is famous for being home to the Dalai Lama and several Tibetan exiles and monks. As you walk around the place, you will easily meet with several Tibetans and Buddhist monks and if you are lucky, you may get a chance to actually see and hear the Dalai Lama address the people. 2) Learn about Tibet and its people The  Dharamshala area is a haven for many exiled Tibetans and is refered…

It is the capital of the Himachal Pradesh State. It was known as the summer home for the Europeans during colonization, who retreated here whenever the temperatures rose in other states. It is in the mountains and thus quite cool and the scenery of the Himalaya Ranges from afar is breathtaking. The buildings have been done to have a somewhat Victorian look and the historic central area is a place of peace as traffic is prohibited. This was and is truly a retreat area. I totally went “wild” in Shimla and recommend you follow suit in the following activities. 1) Head to Kufri This is a hill station about 20km from Shimla and a place I highly recommend. It is more relaxed, there are more people to interact with and  learn more about their culture. This is also the place we did crazy stunts as shared below: a)Ride a Yak…

Hoshiapur is a little town located in the North Eastern region of India. The area is generally referred to as Punjab due to having a dominant Punjab community. The closest large  city to it is Chandigarh and I was living in a little village called Boothgarh in Hoshiapur. I had traveled over 5500km, moving from a city life in Kenya to rural lifestyle in India, to volunteer teaching  children in this region.This was the first time I was away from family and friends, away from my norm and truly, this area changed my life in more ways than one.  I met a community that had never seen an African, and a black African at that, yet they took me in as their daughter, sister, granddaughter and  friend. I made some of my greatest friendships here, I started breaking stereotypes here and I started discovering another version of  me here. Below…

After enjoying Taipei for sometime, I chose to venture southwards to Pingtung, that is also referred to as Pingdong. I really liked this place as the people were super warm, the landscape really serene and there was lots to learn about their culture, especially due to the high older generation population. The below is what I got up to, feel free to follow suit. a)Engage with the people I was privileged to have a home stay experience courtesy of my friends Katys grand parents.  These two opened their hearts and home to me and I will forever be grateful that I eventually started calling them grand ma and grand pa. It was interesting watching people observe grandma and I conversing with each other, her in Chinese, me in English, yet we completely understood each other.They became my tour guides and showed me all around the town and its outskirts. May…

Miaoli is located to the West of Taiwan. It is generally a hilly area and thus the weather is conducive for farming and hiking. I got the privilege to visit courtesy of being invited to the Eva Airlines Family funday. I was staying at my friends Katys home and that day I accompanied Mr. Chen, her father. This family truly integrated me as part of the family that I went as part of family and I truly had a sumptuous great day. The following were the highlights: Delicacies: I managed to eat and enjoy all the below delicacies presented to me. Sometimes not knowing what is presented as  a delicacy is indeed a plus, as thus one becomes more adventurous on sampling. a) Clam soup: I thought it was vegetable soup, or sea weed soup only to reach the bottom of the bowl to find clam shells. Oh well, you…

My first time to ever hear about Taiwan or even interact with Taiwanese was in 2009, when I had travelled to India to volunteer on a Rural Project. While at the project, I was met with  ladies who had the brightest and warmest smiles who were also part of the project. I was the only African on location and the first African and Black at that, that the citizens and  the international volunteers had ever seen or interacted with. The Taiwanese ladies  went out of their way to make me blend in, feel at home and  feel welcome. As the project ended and we all returned back to our countries, we hugged and assured each other we would one day visit each other in our respective homes. First forward to 2011, and one of them told me about the Taiwan Youth Trekkers competition that was run by the Taiwan Youth…