• Indien,  Human Encounters

    Climbing the Fence


    It’s 6 o’clock in the morning and the receptionist of the Indian beach resort promises to get the gate towards the waterfront opened upon my apparently unusual request for beach access at that time of day. Now? Now. Like we discussed yesterday already. Some of my guests want to enjoy the early morning hour by the sea observing the fishermen coming back with their catch. While I’m strolling the couple minutes which are needed to cover the distance between reception and beach I figure the guard located directly beachside might have done his job by the time I get there. But something tells me, that he and I…

  • Indien

    Hiking in the Western Ghats

    Most people think of the venerable Himalayas when they think of hiking in India. They travel to Dharamshala, Ladakh maybe Sikkim. But Mama India has many a national park which invites the avid nature lover to incredible adventures. Lovers of a somewhat warmer and more humid climate can now head south and explore the forests and mountains of the Western Ghats. It’s Cardamon Hills, Shola Cloud Forest and quite a few well-kept Bird Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves. Look out for wild elephants, sambar deer, black panther, wild dogs, wild boars, monkey, langurs, wild cats, a plethora of delightful sounding birds and most of all the protector of the…

  • Indien

    Backwater Colours

    Warding off Evil

    Kerala’s 900 kilometers of backwaters appear like an ink drawing in the early morning. There is a sweet quiet around the palm trees by the water. Quiet and lifely at the same time. The rivers, canals and lakes near the Arabian Sea are to this day the lifeline of the local people. They are waterways for transportation, place for the morning shower and the laundry, location for fishing and playing. Take a small boat for an overnight trip and read “The God of Small Things” by Keralan author Arundhati Roy while you cruise. ?

  • Indien

    Eye-boggling dance

    Kathakali dance drama is a pretty impressive art form of Kerala. The performers – traditionally only men – are dancers, but at the same time mimes with a truly incredible ability to express human experience in gesture and facial expression. It’s like an elaborate sign language combined with full body control and presence. For at least five years the artists undergo a rigorous training, of which the physical part involves learning to control the muscles of eye balls, eye brows, eye-lids, lips, neck and shoulder to narrate their story in a larger than life manner. They also train to apply the artistic make-up signifying different shades of character…

  • Indien

    Afternoon Stroll Fort Cochin

    Chinese Fishing Nets

    Taking an afternoon stroll through Fort Cochin, Kerala, India. “You go to Cochin?!?!” asked a couple of airport staff in Mumbai incredulously. Probably still having the deadly floods of August in their minds. It was the worst flood in a century and took a heavy toll on the Southern Indian state. Tourism has still not recovered. But people down here are mostly back to business. And the scenery is beautiful. Check it out when you travel South India the next time.

  • Vietnam,  Human Encounters

    Captain of Lan Ha Bay

    This is captain Te. Captain Te lives on a junk in Lan Ha and Halong bay, Vietnam. 20 years now that he is steering ships with tourists through the calm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. His family lives somewhere on the mainland near Haiphong. Usually he gets one day off per month to visit them and send some money. One day per month. The remainder of the time he is literally laid back on his bridge with the inevitable thermos of extra strong Vietnamese green tea and a good measure of soap operas and movies running on his smartphone while he is navigating the ship with his…

  • Vietnam,  Human Encounters

    Northern Vietnamese Romance

    On our hike today we ended up being the guests of an older couple of the ethnic Thai in the hilly region of Mai Chau, Vietnam. They had moved out of their house in the village to leave it to their son and his family. It would be bad luck for the house if someone died in there, the lively 64-year old man explained to us while he was moving around in his humble hut in the remote forest like a teen. Next he pulled out his flute enchanting us with some simple song, saying that for full moon he would enjoy playing for his wife in front…

  • Vietnam

    Rainy Mountain Market

    Markets are much more than the exchange of groceries in the hilly regions of Northern Vietnam. For most people living in the mountains it’s one of the few chances to chat, to socialise, to find the potential one, to buy a goat or a buffalo and to get a new haircut…