Galle is mainly famous for its fortified old town, symbol for the colonial era. The fort was first built in the 16th century by the Portuguese and reinforced in the 17th and 18th centuries when the Dutch took over. Today, it is considered a bridge between European and Asian cultures and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Who wouldn’t agree that food is one of the best ways to discover a new culture? I’m French and a vegetarian, which usually don’t go together at all. Luckily for me, other countries are more open to vegetarianism than my own, like South-East Asia. Once we found out that our diets restrictions were no obstacles, we took cooking classes in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ella, Sri Lanka. In Vietnam, no cooking class but we had the amazing last-minute opportunity to take a food tour in Hanoi the night before leaving the country.
These days, I’ve been nostalgic of our travels through Japan and I’ve been thinking about the pretty city of Kyoto a lot. It was the first Japanese city we visited and it didn’t take long for us both to fall in love with it. We were lucky enough to arrive just before the end of the cherry blossom season which gives the town some magical tone. We were also especially struck by how kind people were with us. It happened more than once that locals came to help us when we were lost (in public transportation among others!) although they didn’t speak a word of English.
The number of countries we would visit, of months that we would be away, the itinerary we would follow… we had a plan when we quit our jobs, sold everything and left our French home to travel. As we know it well though, things don’t always go as planned. When we realised how tired we were all the time after only three months on the road, we decided to forget about the plan and privilege the countries we absolutely wanted to visit. We knew we would cut our long journey short and the last place I didn’t want to skip was Sri Lanka.
Nara is located close to Kyoto and Osaka, two cities that we visited during our one-month trip to Japan. We had a feeling that there might be more that we would want to see in Kyoto so we took a day out of our week in Osaka to visit the lovely town of Nara. The trip from Osaka takes about one hour and costs 10 dollars one way.
When designing our itinerary in Japan, we picked Fukuoka for its location by the ocean, thinking it would be a nice change from the other big cities we would be visiting (Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka). What I thought would be my favourite stop in the country finally turned out to be the most gruelling.
Out of all the places we visited, Hong Kong isn’t our favourite. Our first impressions of the city were not the most positive and we were never really able to feel comfortable there. In hindsight though, I think staying in Wan Chai wasn’t the best choice for us. The image of it that I keep in mind today is a rather gloomy and dark city with dirty streets and locals staring at me although foreigners are everywhere.
Who knew you can go on a safari in Sri Lanka?! Certainly not us until we started designing our itinerary in the country. Simon had mentioned before that the first thing he would want to do in Africa if we ever go would be a safari. So when I found out that it was also a thing a Sri Lanka, I knew it would be part of our adventures.
Phuket is one of the paradise places we were lucky to visit. The week we spent there was filled with food discoveries, beach time and we loved the quiet Rawai area where we were staying. Although we did spend most of the time exploring the South of the island, we decided to take a day to drive up North a bit to visit Old Phuket town. You don’t need a lot of time to see the heart of the little town but the streets are all so cute that I was not disappointed.