Fun in the Sun in Varkala

Varkala is a sleepy beach town, located about an hour from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of India’s southern state Kerala. In the Malayalam language, spoken in this part of India, Kerala is ‘ker’ meaning ‘coconut’ and ‘ala’ meaning ‘land’. It’s where coconut trees hug the jagged cliffs and coastline while shops line a dirt road for …

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Take a Sip of Melbourne’s Coffee History

Soggy clouds blanket Melbourne’s skyline and I trudge along Swanston Street looking for an afternoon espresso. Beyond the boutique bistros, flanked by Bourke and Crossley Streets, is my destination – Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. It’s at this very spot that Pellegrini’s, Melbourne’s coffee-drinking institution, made its debut by serving shots from freshly ground coffee in 1954. …

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A Daytrip to Qibao

Stepping out from residential streets and through a pagoda-styled gateway, a flurry of pedestrians converges on a bustling hub. This is the ancient water town of Qibao, only a 20-minute train ride from Shanghai’s central business area. While Shanghai’s business district is more famous for corporate skyscrapers and remnants of British settlement, Qibao, located in …

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A Roadside Masala Tea-stop

I disembark from my creaky, old bus. Trucks and bikes groan past, lumbering the steep incline into Daunne. Brakes and horns pump away wildly. Dust clouds around my head. My bus driver has been tearing around hairpin turns along his highway, ferrying travellers through the jungle terrain of Chitwan in an attempt to deliver us …

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