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A plastics worker in Dharavi slum. Photo courtesy of Reality Tours.

Is a Dharavi slum tour a good idea?

Have you ever seen the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”? Privileged Westerners like me are curious about slums like the one in that film. We want to know how people live, how they deal with adversity, how they ended up in a slum, and how we can help. At the same time, we don’t venture on our…

The three-headed Shiva in Cave 1

Elephanta Island Travel Guide: 7 things to know before you go

I strolled down the path, vaguely glancing at the market stalls on either side. My small bag hung on my back and I clutched my phone in one hand. With the other, I swung a plastic bottle of water loosely, half-full, by its neck. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one…

In the center of the Kathmandu, everyone vies for space.

Surviving the roads in Nepal: a guest post

The following is a guest post by my husband, Albert Smith, about his experiences on the roads in Nepal last fall. [Beneden is de oorspronkelijke Nederlandse versie] My son and I are on our way back from a football [soccer] match between FC Groningen and AZ. We’re in a good mood: Groningen has won a…

Coron, Palawan, the Philippines

Trip of a Lifetime: Bloggers Pick their Must-See Destinations

For this collaborative post, I asked fellow travel bloggers about their idea of a trip of a lifetime: If a person who’s never traveled far from home asked you to name the one place they should visit on their one-and-only trip ever, what would you say? I got so many different answers! I’ll start with the…

The busy Akihabara area of Tokyo on a rainy day.

Tokyo, Anime, and My Son

Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post; I received payment for writing it and including a link. All opinions, however, are my own! My 17-year-old son, Robert, is not a traveler. That’s not to say that he hasn’t traveled, however; we’ve dragged him along with us on vacations all his life. Rather, he just isn’t…

general urban sprawl as seen from Tokyo City Hall

A Free View of Tokyo from Tokyo City Hall

The classic destination for a big view of Tokyo is Tokyo Tower, which looks like a cross between a communication mast and the Eiffel Tower. What stopped me from visiting it was the ¥2800 (€22 or $25) fee to reach its upper observatory at 250 meters. (Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase…

This warning side by the side of the road near the DMZ reads simply "MINE."

A Tourist to the DMZ

I’d read about visiting the DMZ a number of times before I arrived in Seoul. DMZ stands for the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, which is anything but demilitarized. It’s a wide strip of no-man’s-land that embodies the tension between these two countries, still officially in a state of war. Outside of that…

A hanok interior courtyard in Buckchon Hanok Village

A Tale of Two Seoul Neighborhoods

When I checked into the Hotel Ibis Insadong in Seoul, South Korea, I was immediately fascinated by the view from my window. The hotel overlooks the Ikseon-dong Hanok Area, or perhaps I should say it looms over it. Ikseon-dong Hanok Area The neighborhood looks from above to be about a city block around, and is…

detail of the painting above the shrine in Daeseungwon Temple, Suwon, South Korea

Suwon’s Palace and Fortress

Suwon, South Korea, a city with more than a million inhabitants, is a separate city from Seoul, but it’s been swallowed up in the post-Korean War urban sprawl, so that it’s in the same metro system. Getting to Suwon from the center of Seoul involves a very long metro ride: more than an hour, and…

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