My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets

My friend Megan who writes the blog See. Write. Live. nominated me to share my three best travel secrets on Todd’s Wanderings. The nomination is a part of Trip Base Blog tag in which the Top Bloggers’ Best Kept Travel Secrets will be published in a free ebook that will be shared with the “entire online community…” Hmmm, good luck with that! First, I had to decide if my secrets were safe for the average traveler…my lawyers tell me I should be okay (by reading this you have now waived all your rights). So here you are, some of my well kept secrets, and favorite places in this wonderful world: 1. Mount Koya, Japan Aschaf Everyone visits the major temples in Kyoto and Nara but these days they are little more than tourist attractions, albeit pretty ones, lacking that lived in, struggle for enlightenment feel. Mount Koya, the secluded mountain Read full article…

Vienna Walk About

In November I stopped by imperially romantic Vienna, Austria for two days on my way to a consulting job in Sri Lanka. The holiday season was just starting and the city was awash in Christmas lights and markets selling spiced wine, dried meats and just about any type of cheese you could ask for. Vienna has so much history that it is a challenge to tackle the city in the short time I had. I was assaulted with recommendations by friends, guidebooks and internet sites about what I had to see. However, unlike other cities, I felt no pressure to spend my days locked in old palaces and in quite museums (although you would not be wasting your time if you did.) Instead, I spent my days walking the medieval city streets, exploring the architecture and fabulous statues, and of course drinking glühwein, spiced wine, at every Christmas market I Read full article…

Weekend in Haputale Sri Lanka

In August I headed up into the hill country with two friends to beat the heat in Colombo. Our destination was the Kelbourne Tea Estate just outside of Haputale. Kelbourne Estate has three English tea bungalows set high up in the mountains in the middle of a working tea plantation. You are waited on hand and foot, and can have dinner in your own dinning room surrounded by ever present green tea bushes. Of course half the fun of getting to the hill country is driving up through the stunning scenery That is until you get stuck behind a manure truck and two bused sizing up each other’s %$##* We picked the Wildflower Cottage with three bedrooms and… …what was supposed to be a stunning view…. Getting closer to the view as the clouds pass underneath us Ah, there it is At night the temperature drops enough to rationalize a Read full article…

River House and the Galle Art Trail

It has been a busy few months and I have not posted to Todd’s Wanderings in some time. The following few posts will help close out my experiences in 2008 before I turn my attention to the new year. In September, Kay and I took a weekend trip down to the secluded boutique hotel the River House just south of Bentota. In October, we headed down to Galle for the city’s annual Art Festival in the old Portuguese and Dutch era fort section of town. The common room of the main house overlooks the river and invites nature inside. The hotel has only five bedrooms for seven acres of tropical gardens. There was only one other couple staying there so we felt like we had the place to ourselves. A view of the main house from the garden near the river. The garden below. We stayed in the bungalow by Read full article…

Three weeks in Phenom Penh, Cambodia

In September I spent 3 weeks in Phenom Penh, Cambodia on an extended work trip. Flying into the country I was amazed at the transformation that has happened over just the last 3 years since I had visited last, and especially since my first trip in 2001. When I was last in Phenom, Penh in 2005 the buildings were still below 3 stories and a lot of roads were still dirt. I visited most of the typical tourist spots in 2005, here are a few pictures from that trip. Just 40 minutes outside of the city and you feel a world away. The Killing Fields museum. The stupa in the distance is a glass filled shrine housing 8,000 human skulls. The stilts help protect from floods Inside the royal place When I visited Angkor Wat in 2000 I traveled overland from Thailand and spent 14 hours from the Thai border Read full article…

Hill Country Get Away

In the end of July, Kay and I and some friends packed up the car and wound our way up into the hill country for some cool weather, mountain views and a porch on the lake. We returned to Dikoya, just outside of small hill country town Hatton, where we spent the night after climbing Adam’s peak earlier in the year. Driving through Hatton we pass a statue of Ganesha. A common view from the road making the drive up and back a vacation to itself. All of the tea pickers tend to be older women working long hours and carrying heavy loads. Don’t ask me why she has a fishing pole… A Hindu shrine clings to the side of the road, and the edge of a mountain. Kay and I with Angles Falls behind us. We stopped here for some tea and the view at a small tea house Read full article…

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