Category Archives: Travelogues

A tale of many “Stans” – a journey through Central Asia

Having said all that by way of an introduction, my purpose here is to describe my recent journey through the five Stans or, to be more accurate, four Stans: namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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A journey to Afghanistan

With such dire warnings from a Pakistani diplomat, in addition to the well-known dangers of travelling in Afghanistan, with a very heavy heart I almost decided against going. It would have been my second failed attempt to visit that country, … Continue reading

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Much ado about names along the Trans-Siberian

Ekaterinberg is located just east of where Asia meets Europe. If one is alert and quick enough, as I was, one can see from the train window the marker on the geographical line where Asia meets Europe, 22 km west … Continue reading

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Across Siberia, on a train

There was nothing but infinite space interspersed with trees as far as the eye could see. In one’s mind’s eye, one could even see beyond, as far as the arctic.  It was a surreal sight, one not to be forgotten.

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Lake Baikal and the ‘Paris of Siberia’

There was no mistaking that we were in Siberia, bitingly cold on a September morning, with trees already bereft of leaves and Russians hurrying to work well cushioned from the cold from head to toe.

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From Mongolian steppes to Eurasian empire

A country the size of Iran has a population of just about a third that of Tehran, and less than most mid-size towns of Iran, India, Pakistan or China.  Our two nights in a national park, some two hour’s drive … Continue reading

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To Ulan Baatar in Mongolia, across the Great Wall

My longest train journeys hitherto had been from Mumbai to Delhi, Urumchi (Xinjiang) to Shanghai, Shanghai to Lhasa (Tibet) and Moscow to London. So, this was it. Not just the longest train journey, but one that will take me to … Continue reading

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Beijing to Moscow by train

The 21-day tour began with a few days of sight-seeing in Beijing, and similar breaks in Ulan Baatar, Irkutsk (Lake Baikal) and Moscow, concluding with a couple of days in St Petersburg. Altogether, we would be spending six nights and … Continue reading

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Soccer, pickpockets and a people’s president

As I mentioned in an earlier column, our only trouble in La Paz (Bolivia) was on account of a bad cook, not with conmen or pickpockets, the warnings in my travel book notwithstanding.  We were, however, to come very close … Continue reading

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End of the world, “land of fire”

It is hard to say which was the highpoint of my trip.  But probably the most exciting part was the trip to Ushuia, the world’s southern-most town, near the tip of the South American continent, “the end of the world” … Continue reading

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