Vanuatu – the colorful life of Efate Island

Vanuatu

Capital: Port Vila
Population: around 200 000 people, mainly Melanesian
Area: 12 190 square kilometers
Official religion: Christianity, mainly Presbyterian and some Catholic
State system: Parliamentary Republic, they got independence from France in 1980
Currency: Vatu (1 dollar is 100 Vatu)
Language: the official languages are Bislama (Creole Pidjin), English and French

 

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The magical world of Flores Island, buffalo races on Sumbawa Island, evil dwarfs and tri-color lakes

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There are not so many people on the ferry and almost no foreigners. Actually there is a group of strange looking motor-bikers with checkered shirts, tyrants and cloths on their heads. Later we find out they are Dutch. In two hours we reach the port Poto Tano and head to the capital of the province Sumbawa Besar in the truck we hitchhiked to enter the ferry. Continue reading

The Batek Tribe – one of the last hunters gatherers on earth and the night watch for wild animals

Orel

07.03

In  the morning we acquaint with a retired American who is photographer and his Thai wife. They are the only tourists we meet here. They give us eggs and some bread and then they agree to take us to the close-by town Gua Musang.
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At the Golden Triangle, visiting the sorcerer, on the banks of Mekong – the river we love so much

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The Golden Triangle itself

04.01

We continue hitchhiking north towards the Golden Triangle. The region is defined by Mekong River and forms a triangle on the border among Thailand, Laos and Burma and is famous for producing opium for hundreds of years. Traditionally here live mountain tribes, animists with quite exotic customs whose main crop is poppy. People in Thailand don’t use opium and heroin anymore and the government tries to educate the tribes to start growing other cultures and to develop its tourist industry here in the meanwhile. In Laos and Burma things are different. There they continue producing drugs full force and Burma is the main producer of methamphetamine and they often traffic their production through Thailand. Nevertheless the region is considered safe. Continue reading

How to asphalt a road by hand, the drivers who drink beer every time they stop for a rest and arriving at much yearned for beaches with palm trees

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Children of Myanmar

06.12

Map_KyaukpadaungWe climb down the mountain on a narrow pathway and reach the main road. We have prepared mentally that we will walk 5-6 km, but after twenty minutes a businessman takes us to the nearby town Kyaukpadaung. Then we start to wait. And wait. After an hour a luxury car stops and takes us to the place we want to go – namely Magway. Traveling is pleasant accompanied with the usual views of palms and bamboo houses. We pass 150 km. without even noticing. Continue reading

How we got mistaken for terrorists… twice, Manipur – rebels, clans and stags, Myanmar – here we come!

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Ima Market (Mothers’ Market), Imphal

16.11

MAP_SilcharIn the morning we have the chance to meet our benefactor and his whole family. It turns out he is the uncle of the men whose door we knocked on yesterday. The surrounding other 3-4 houses, with the belonging land which is quite vast, also belong to their family – they are in fact rich Brahmans. Our guy is the eldest of all and this is the reason why they take us to him so he can decide how to proceed. He looks young and has lived 20 years in Canada where his wife and sons still are. Continue reading

Bodhgaya – under the tree of enlightenment, Kolkata – clean but boring, first train experiences in India

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Victoria Memorial

23.10
MAP Varanasi_BoodhgayaWe head to Bodhgaya, Bihar State hitchhiking. This again is a place of great importance to Buddhist community. The distance we have to pass is 200 km. and we are not sure we will be able to reach the city today. I really want us to succeed because today is my birthday and I want it to be filled with the energy of the place as the whole year ahead.

We cross all the ghats on foot and we reach a bridge over Ganga. We catch a shared rickshaw to Mughal Sarai – a small town close to which the highway to Kolkata passes by. From there we decide to catch another one because walking in the dust and the noise is not pleasant. Continue reading