Gili Air again

Hi! 

Upon arriving in Bali, we met up with my friend Cia and her boyfriend who were on holiday in Bali as well. We went to the gilis and Lombok together as well. Me and Cia went there a year ago when she was visiting me back when I used to live in Bali. The gilis are a small paradise, and we spent our days there staying in the water all day, snorkeling and playing! This time I have a waterproof camera with me, so I could take some photos and videos below the surface! There are coral reefs just a quick swim from the beach at the gilis, so you can go snorkeling where ever. We also did a snorkeling trip around all 3 gili islands, I did a similar one last year when I stayed at Gili Trawangan with my friend Minja. We saw lots of se turtles, cool fish and some sunken ships and bicycles haha! 

Mainokset

Nepal

Hello! Finally I took the time to go through some of the countless of pictures from Nepal! I wanted to make a longer post from Nepal with lots of pictures but the internet was really unreliable while I was there so unfortunantely this post is a bit delayed since i’ve already left Nepal some time ago. However, it is an amazing country with great people and even greater mountains! We spent 3 weeks in total in Nepal and most of it was great! I got sick at the end (on my birthday haha) but I can’t wait to go back to Nepal already.

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and upon arriving we felt immideately at ease in Kathmandu, even if it can be a bit hectic with the traffic there as well. Anyway, walking around by foot is possible around downtown Kathmandu which was nice plus it was nice to walk around after many rickshaw and taxi rides in India. We chose to stay in Thamel, which is located in downtown KTM and known as the centre for backpackers and trekkers in Nepal. Thamel was full of trekking shops with everything you might need for some time spent in the Himalayas. We had to buy some jackets and trousers since it was quite chilly in KTM compared to India and we were going to do a trek that had a great chance of snow at the top. We ended up spending our first days in KTM just doing yoga in the mornings and some sightseeing in the afternoons. 

After Kathmandu, we took a bus to Pokhara, a nice town by a lake close to the Annapurna trekking area. It took approximately 8 hours by bus, but then again the bus stopped quite a few times in the road. The roads in Nepal are in quite bad condition, so the road to Pokhara was very bumpy. We liked Pokhara a lot, it was very calm compared to Kathmandu, even if it was still somewhat touristy. We even managed to find a restaurant that had smoothie bowls on their menu there! The lakeside in Pokhara is very nice, and you can rent boats and go paddling there. We did a dayhike in Pokhara and prepared for our real hike up Mardi Himal that is located in the Annapurna area. 

The hike up Mardi Himal took us 3 days, and on the fourth day we went up to a viewpoint at 4300 m.  The views were incredible, and all the hiking was worth the views from the top. Apparently the weather had been quite bad earlier that week and many trekkers had been disappointed when they couldn’t see the mountaintops because of fog. We went more than halfway down on the same day and on the next day we hiked to a hot spring and spent one full day there relaxing. The hot water was wonderful and it felt very good to feel sore muscles finally start to relax in the hot water. 

When we got back to Pokhara a week later, we spent some days relaxing and paragliding(!!!) before taking the bus to Bandipur, which is located between Pokhara and Kathmandu. We visited Nepal’s largest cave, which was pretty cool since it involved a lot of climbing in pitch black darkness. We had a small adventure on our way back to Kathmandu as our bus that was supposed to pick us up in the morning never showed up, but luckily another bus picked us up eventually.  The following day was my birthday, which started nicely with cake for breakfast but I started to feel sick in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day and the weekend in bed with a high fever, so the plans for the last days in Nepal had to be cancelled for my part. We left Nepal for Bali after the weekend, and fortunantely I was a bit better by then. We even saw mt. Everest from the plane! 

Temple dogMomos and curry for lunchMany old buildings such as castles and temples got really damaged in the 2015 earthquake but many sites are being restored.Durbar square in PatanPrayer wheels Martial arts training session at a templeDecorated entrancesSome buildings around Kathmandu need extra support after the earthquakeWe walked around in Kathmandu quite a lot, it was a nice change after traffic chaos in India.
Dogs napping at the monkey temple in Kathmandu.The monkey temple was situated on a hill that required trekking up some steep stairs but on the top the views were gorgeous.Prayer flags everywhere!The stupa with Buddhas all seeing eyes.Thamel at nightThe view of Kathmandu from a hillWomen selling flowers for hindu offeringsDurbar (=castle) square in KathmanduThe streets are lit up by prayer flagsWe had a very nice dinner in Thamel with a new friend from the states!Monks rolling the prayer wheels by the great Boudhanath stupa, you always have to rotate clockwise around it.Boudhanath stupa is a pilgrimage site for buddhists all over the worldThe lake by PokharaThe lakeside view was really niceHorses and donkeys are used to carry things up the trekking trailsSimple accomodation for 2€ a night up in the mountains Met some cows out for a trek on the trailsI almost expected to see some trolls or rumpnissar in the foggy forest but nooopeClouds or mountaintops?Up at 5:30 am at high camp at 4100m to see the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range4300mWe mostly trekked through rainforest but at around 3500m the trees stopped growing and the landscape consisted of grassy hills and melting snow.The trail was marked wellFishtail mountain peeking through in the morning lightAnnapurna South and HiunchuliAbove the cloudsFishtail on the right side and many Annapurna glaciers and mountains on the leftSo happy we made it!It’s hard to imagine walking around in a t-shirt at 4000+ meters (during midday).We saw so many animals on the trail, here’s some yaks.Foggy on the way up.The nature was ever changing We had a quide with us, he was really nice and told us many interesting things during our trekRhododendron forestGoing down was a lot quicker than going up!Curious sheep😃Lunch viewPuppies!Scary suspension bridge😬 glad I made itMore puppiesBeware of donkeys on the trailThe hot springs at Jhinu Danda were awesome!Sleepy dogs in BandipurPost-trekking breakfast and netflix. We were definantely back in the wifi  zone!We went paragliding over Pokhara, it was one of the coolest experiences in Nepal! Feeling like a bird!Momos, traditional nepalese dumplings and chili sauce = delicious!Got to celebrate a little at least! My friend got me the hat hahaBirthday breakfast 👍

Sorry for the looong delay! I will try to upload more pictures from my travels in Indonesia as well, the last few weeks i’ve been in Bali, the gilis and Lombok. Now i’m in Ubud again! 
Sampai jumpa lagi!

K

Bali bound❤️

Hello! 

I’m currently sitting at Kathmandu airport, waiting to board a plane to Kuala Lumpur. We’re staying one night in KL and then departing for my second home Bali in the morning! So excited to go back! 

The internet has been really lousy here in Nepal so I haven’t been able to upload any pictures while staying here, but i’ll post all the pictures from my himalayan trek asap! 
Sampai jumpa lagi! 

India

Hello! 

I spent two weeks in total in India, first I stayed a week in Southern Goa and after that we travelled to Mumbai by train for a few days, then to Delhi by plane and Agra by train.

 We wanted to travel by train to get an authentic indian experience, but oh we were wrong to think that a sleeper-class ticket would be a decent way of travelling. So there we were, two blonde girls with a couple hundred locals hunched together in with big backpacks on our so called bed (more like a semi hard bench) for 10 hours 😂 We also got in the wrong coach, so we had to walk past 8 coaces to reach the right one. After the initial shock we managed to get some sleep, even though the train was noisy and people selling chai (indian tea with milk) ran past shouting ”chai chai chaaaiii” the entire night and we had several fans directed straight in the ceiling at us so we were freezing most of the time as well!🙈 Fortunantely the train ride was over sooner than expected and we had arrived in Mumbai. 
Mumbai was quite nice, it was a lot more westernized that I had imagined with the odd Starbucks here and there. We lived in a private room in a hostel, so we got to meet some backpackers there as well. Mumbai also felt safe to walk around in (where Delhi did not) so we walked around a lot in the city for the 2 days we spent there. I have an offline map on my phone with navigation mode so we didn’t get lost. We also took a ferry to an island nearby called Elephanta, there were lots of ancient hindu caves and lots of monkeys.

Later, we took a 2 hour flight from Mumbai to Delhi, and were supposed to hop on a bus the same day to Agra (it’s a 3 hour journey there) but things didn’t go as expected and we had to stay a night in a hotel close to the airport in Delhi. The next morning we managed to get an uber to the train station in New Delhi and book a train to Agra that afternoon. We booked 3rd class, which was quite the same as the sleeper class we had travelled in before, but still it was felt cleaner and the passengers who would continue overnight even received clean sheets, blankets and pillows. 

Taj Mahal was breathtakingly beautiful but the city itself polluted and dirty. The trainride back from Agra was really pleasant, it was an express train that only took 1,5 hours. The train was the first train that resembled a train back home, and we even got a meal on the train! We has some problems getting a taxi in Delhi, but we managed to find our hotel eventually. We didn’t have time for sightseeing in Delhi this time (due to problems with bus booking a few days prior) but I know I’ll be back in India another time. 

We left India the following morning and got on a plane to Kathmandu, Nepal, but more about that next time! I struggled a lot with uploading these pictures and writing this blogpost on a small tablet, I wish I had a laptop with me!

Here you have the pictures I’ve been promising:

Agonda beach was soo nice

The cows also enjoyed the beach 🙂

Holi was so much fun! I got to celebrate it with the people who did the yoga course together with the friend i’m travelling with

Holi was kind of a paint/water fight where eveyone threw coloured powder and water on everyone! The paint came off in a few days

Agonda where I stayed was absolutely beautiful

We visited Palolem a few times as well, it was a 15 min tuk tuk ride away. The beach was gorgeous there as well even though the beach itself was slightly more crowdier

The beach dogs were so cute

Sunset in Agonda, hope they got a nice selfie!

I nevee had bad tasting food in India! Miss it already!

Our night train from Goa to Mumbai looked like this, it was certainly an experience

My bunk where I slept with all my luggage. These pictures are taken in the morning when some passengers had already got off the train

Then eventually we arrived in Mumbai

The cows in the streets were enormous in Mumbai compared to Agonda. The reason could be more plastic in their stomach

Mumbai had some really nice architecture and the streets were green from all the trees

Tourists at the gateway of India

A lot of contrasts in Mumbai, the poor lived like this or much worse and the rich like the picture below

So many nice buildings

A few books for sale

We took the ferry to Elephanta, the trip there was quite pleasant since it was a bit windy and the temperature was around 36 c.

The gateway of India and the Taj Mahal hotel

Cows dogs and monkeys everywhere in India

Caves of Elephanta

The statues in the caves are one of the oldest hindu sculptures, they are a bit damaged after the Portuguese found the caves and had target practise on the ancient monuments

Yoga time

The bazaar on the way up the hill to the caves

Mumbai skyline

Hotel Taj Mahal and the gateway again

Sunset on Chowpatty beach

The poorer part of Mumbai

Our homestay in Agra was lovely

South gate to the Taj Mahal

Sunrise at the Taj was impressive

The building is so beautiful that pictures don’t make it justice

Many people pilgrimage to the site

This morning was actually a bit chilly. The temperature in Agra and Delhi was around 10 c lower than in Goa and Mumbai

Everyone who wants a selfie with me I also want a selfie with 😀 these guys were a bit surprised when I picked up my camera as well

Indian women wearing so many colourful saris

The gate to ”baby taj mahal”

It was a lot smaller but nonetheless magnificent

I liked how peaceful the baby taj was compared to the bigger one

Beautiful handiwork on the mosaic

Lush gardens of the baby taj. The rest of Agra was rather dry

We also spotted a camel

The last picture for now from India, a beautiful sunset in Agonda

Currently i’m in Nepal, we’re going on a week’s hike tomorrow! That means no internet but I’ll post pictures from here as well as soon as I get back! 

Sampai jumpa = see you later (in bahasa)!

K

Taj Mahal

Hello! Just a quick update, I will try to make a longer post with lots of photos from India soon! 

We saw the Taj Mahal for sunrise this morning, and it was quite magical even if it was a bit cloudy! 


We are currently back in Delhi, and tomorrow we’re flying to Kathmandu, Nepal! Two weeks in India went by so fast! Must come back as there is still so much to see here! 

-K

Agonda beach, India

Hello from India! 

I arrived here in southern Goa one day ago, and it is my first time visiting India. So far I like it a lot, Agonda (40km south of Goa airport) is a beautiful small village that isn’t all too touristy. The beach is clean and the sand is so soft, and the food here is amazing! I’ve been by myself yesterday and today, but tomorrow i’m meeting up with my friend whom i’ll travel with for the next few months. Tomorrow we will plan a bit ahead, what to do and where to go here in India. In a few weeks we have a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal! Before that we have some time to explore India, me being a first-timer after all😁 

The wifi is mostly pretty lousy here, so i’m not so sure I will be able to post a lot if pictures (uploading a picture to my friends on snapchat takes forever), but i’ll do my best. Here’s some pictures from my phone:

The beach is amazing!

Palmtrees everywhere

Yesterday’s sunset

My lunch today: mint lemonade, salak paneer and naan bread. Delicious!
The ’main’ street also the only street in this village. And as said: palmtrees everywhere!😁

I’ll publish more photos a bit later, now i’m off to have some beer with my friend 🙂 

K

New year, new travels

Hi! So posting anything here on the blog after returning home from Bali never happened, sorry about that.

 Coming home in the end of June was weird, everything was exactly the way I had left it (except the temperature was 40c warmer than when I left in January) and I quickly got caught up in my ”normal” life as if I’ve never left. It was so funny to notice that I had changed on many levels but people around me back home were still their the same. I guess it’s hard to explain and know what I mean unless you’ve experienced something similar yourself. 

Anyway, I am now graduating as i’m finishing my bachelors thesis and planning new travels to celebrate my graduation. Of course i’m not done with Bali and Indonesia yet, so i’m returning there eventually. Before that i’m going to experience India, Nepal and China! I am leaving in a month to travel with a friend for approximately 3 months. It feels good to know on this chilly winter day in Helsinki, that in a few months time I will be sipping bintangs and watching the sunset on the beach in Bali, seeing the incredible Himalayas and exploring the rich cultures of India and China. At the moment i’m preparing for my trip by taking all the shots I need, fixing an incurance that covers hiking in Nepal and reading about the destinations i’m going to visit. I am this time travelling with a friend during the whole time, but I have lots of friends who are going to be in Bali in April whom i’m going to meet up with as well! I’m so excited since all i’ve been thinking about since returning home is when will I be able to go back to Bali again haha! I was thinking about revive this blog again for my upcoming travels for my family and friends to see. Stay tuned if you’re interested, and if not stay away 😜 I won’t probably be posting anything about my exchange-period anymore, but if you’re interested in studying in Bali send me an email and I will gladly answer you’re questions! 

Sunset in Canggu❤️Gardens by the bay – SingaporeAncient temples of AngkorRenting a boat for a weekend in Flores, IndonesiaMiss my beautiful friends and wearing our traditional Balinese Beautiful BinginMyanmar stole my heart and made my stomach upset😆The perfect beachPenjors to celebrate Galungan and Kuningan in Ubud, Bali 
Take care, sampai jumpa lagi!

-K

Midsummer in Bali

Happy midsummer from Uluwatu! We are enjoying the last few days here, soaking up the the sun and eating all the smootie bowls we can!  I can’t believe i’m leaving Bali on Sunday, it feels so surreal… 

   
-K 

Bali again

Hello! I’ve traveled through a few countries since I last posted here, we visited Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia (very briefly). Now we are back in my beloved Bali for one more week before my journey back home starts. I’m going to Sweden next week and the week after I start working again! It is crazy how fast this past half a year has gone by and my time at Udayana university already seems distant somehow… I know i’ll be back in Bali again in thr future but for the time being i’m going to enjoy every last moment here on the island of the gods🌺 i’ll be posting the last pictures here shortly  

 My breakfast this morning😍 i’m going to miss all these tropical fruits!!
-K

The temples of Angkor

Hello from Cambodia! We arrived here in Siem Reap on Wednesday morning, and have spent our days here walking around town and markets, exploring old civilizations, driving around in a tuk-tuk and drinking beer for 0,5$. Tomorrow morning we are taking the bus south to the capital Phnom Penh were we are going to spend the next few days.

Angkor Wat, one of the most photographed temples of Angkor – it was also probably the most crowded one during sunset and sunrise. I’ve never bought tickets to a place where they are checked as thoroughly as here, at every temple and checked for rips. We spent 40 dollars on a 3 day ticket, which is also a lot more than any temple can cost I imagine. Thankfully the entry ticket was worth the money. It feels like the giant faces on the buildings are staring at you even though they are nearly a 1000 years old.The temple of Bayon in the ancient city Angkor ThomMany buddhas had lost their heads around the temples in Angkor. The unfortunate reason is that the Khmer Rouge cut off the heads of the buddhas in the 90’s to buy more weapons…Nose-kissing with the giant face. Our tuk-tuk driver took this picture haha!The bridge to the ancient city Angkor Thom had many statues of men holding up a giant snake. The view from the top of a royal palace in Angkor Thom.
Someone’s forgotten hat in a temple.Many ruins had been restored but piles of rock could be seen at most sites. Many trees had found the nearly collapsed ruins a good place to grow at. The temples had impressive tunnels of gates through the templesWe even saw a few monks around the temples. I guess there would have been more like in Myanmar but my guess is that even the monks don’t get in for free. The temperature reaches nearly 40 c during the day, the heat is almost unbearable but thanks to our driver we got a bit cooled down during the tuk-tuk ride to the next temple.Vendors had found the temples to be a good place for business it seemed.The paintings were my beautiful but backpacking makes it difficult to bring many souvenirs, especially the fragile kind.So many steps to climb in the heat if you want to get all the way up!It literally felt like being in a Indiana Jones or a Tomb Raider movie haha! A nun blessing a woman inside a temple.This is also one of the most photographed and popular temples in Angkor, Ta Phrom. This particular tree and part of temple can be seen in Tomb Raider. It was quite funny to see vendors sell dvd’s with adventure-movies from the 80-90’s that had a scene or two with the temples in Angkor in them! Another headless buddhaThe trees had really found their home in the ancient ruins of Ta Phrom.Got blessed by a nun at Ta Phrom. She gave me a bracelet for good luck. Jungle taking over herePiles of rock waiting to be restored. The restoration projects are ongoing and with the high fees that tourists pay to visit I hope the temples are restored to its glory in time!Just the paws were left of a statue at a templeI’ve forgotten the names of many of the temples we visited, they were so difficult to pronounce… A fan that I bought was a life saver in the heat!This used to be a bridge but now the river had long moved and trees found it a place to grow on. Our driver who was great and had the funniest laugh! 

 

 

After spending three days sweating at temples I must say i’m happy for the change of scenery, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City are our next destinations! Seeya!

-K