The oldest hostel I’ve stayed in

In Europe we are quite used to history being intertwined with our present and future. We shop in heritage buildings, visit towns with ancient city walls and don’t always take the time to appreciate it. It isn’t until we visit a place that’s missing this history that we realise what we’ve got. Yet when we…

An extraordinary traffic jam

After a beautiful morning exploring the ruins of Persepolis, we were filling our bellies and processing all the beauty at local buffet restaurant. We had just finished our after-lunch tea when our tour leader said it was time to go. Whereas we were usually pretty relaxed since we had a small group, our leader was…

Persepolis still manages to impress

Around 550BC Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire. He first defeated the Medes and from there the empire grew conquest by conquest. It became larger than any empire had been before. Cyrus himself built a palace at Pasargadae. His successors preferred other locations. Darius I founded a new capital in Persepolis and an equally…

To the roots of religion

Zoroastrianism is a religion I had never heard of until I went to Iran. And yet it influenced many of the worlds main religions, like Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It is one of the oldest religions still practised and the oldest one believing in one god: Ahura Mazda. It became more widespread during the Achaemenid…

Arriving in Iran

Before our plane landed, a warning sounded over the speakers: “We strongly recommend you to wear a head scarf before exiting the plane.” I felt uncomfortable, constantly checking if it was still on my head as I walked to the terminal. I as nervous because I didn’t have a visa yet. I had wanted to…

Back to first impressions

After 4,5 months in South East Asia, I must admit I got tired of temples, especially the modern, golden ones. But when I first arrived in Bangkok, this was exactly what mesmerized and fascinated me. In those first few days I made a day trip to the Grand Palace and surrounding temples. I took the…

Where to stay in Bangkok

People either seem to love or hate Bangkok. I think I’m part of the haters, although I must admit that it’s growing on me. It’s mostly the people that have spent a few weeks or months in Bangkok that seem to rave about it, so there might still be hope for me and this city…

A weekend in paradise!

The speedferry raced across the water. At the fourth stop it was my turn to get off. Wow! What an amazing place! I walked onto a white pier and was greeted by the manager of the resort. Together with the other guests I walked toward the white beach, admiring the crystal clear water of the…

King Kong Lor, king of caves

Being in Laos seems like such a long time ago. So much has happened since. I’m working on my photo album and all these memories come back. Like the time I took a bus to Kong Lor cave. It took me a day to get there and a day to get back, but it was…

A busy day in Nong Khiaw

On our last morning in Muang Ngoy we had a buffet breakfast on a corner restaurant, with pancakes, waffels, banana pastries, tea, fruit, muesli and lots more. It was a really a feast. After eating way too much we walked down to the boat ramp and waited for the ferries to leave. Some people were…