Monday, May 28, 2012


For me, one of the allures about India is its food. Like so many countries, India's cuisine reflects its rich culture. North to south, east to west, one state to another, the food is different. From what I've been told, southern Indian cuisine will be very reminiscent of what we have in Malaysia. All I know, is that I can get my favorite dish - paper masala dosa which is an ├╝ber large, thin, crispy crepe filled with a dollop of savory potato filling inside. Typically, it's served with a green (coriander) chutney and a fresh coconut curry.  When I was last in Delhi, I learned to make the batter for the dosa.  It's not hard but it's so much better made on the large griddle.  I eat it every chance I get!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Elephanta Island and Caves.

Photo by Andy Hay
Elephanta Island (also called Gharapuri Island) is an island in Arabian Sea, east of Mumbai. The island, which owes its name to owes its name to the enormous stone elephant found there by Portuguese navigators, is a popular tourist attraction.

The island, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987,  is known for its cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.

Because of its proximity to Mumbai, it's the perfect destination for a day trip. At the moment, my plan is to spend the good part of my first day in Mumbai at Elephanta.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Photo by K Murali Kumar
Last year I went to Mexico during hurricane season and this year, I will be in south India during monsoon season. 

Technically speaking, there are meteorological differences between hurricanes and monsoons but for me, it just translates into rainy season.

As it turned out, being in Mexico during rainy season wasn't so bad.  We did have a few rainy afternoons but it didn't dampen our spirits any With India,  I'm prepared to be drenched :-(  From what I have been told, it will be a hard, pelting rain.....not unlike what I've experienced in other tropical areas.  I'm planning to pack along an umbrella and a rain jacket but even having both might just prove to be useless depending on just how torrential the storms really are.

Back to India!

Afew weeks ago, I found out I was going to India for a short work assignment. I'm always excited about going back to India, one of my favorite travel destinations.  This time, I'll be in Kerala - mainly in Kochi.  On the way, I'm taking a two day layover in Mumbai.

After work is over, I will spend a few days in Kochi itself and then meet up with my colleague and friend, Smitha and her family.  They are from the Kerala area and I'm thrilled to be spending time with someone who really knows their way around the area. Smitha is planning my visit so I'm leaving everything up to her.  I did tell her that I wanted to do some shopping - I want to pick up some thin cotton shirts for both work and travel.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Packing list. Sri Lanka.

It would be nice to imagine that all I need to take with me, on this vacation, is a pair of flip flops but that would be dreaming.   On the other hand, I'm actually a relatively light traveler though I don't hold a candle to my brother who can go on three week trip with a bag smaller than what most people take to the gym.  Yes, he does a lot of clothes washing when he travels which isn't a bad thing because that usually means he has relatively few dirty items of clothing in his bag at any one time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


After the fall of Anuradhapura in 993 AD, Polonnaruwa was declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 AD to reunite the country once more under a local leader.

While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of kingdoms to Polonnaruwa is considered significant in Sri Lankan history, the real ruler who exacted the most significance on the kingdom was actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I who ruled the country 1153 to 1186.