Chiang Mai; The Rose of the North

Chiang Mai - Best of Both Worlds

The world in which we live is such a diverse planet that even the most committed travelers will never get to see it all. This could easily be a depressing thought; that one life is not enough for us to see everything, and that no matter how far we travel and how much we spend we will still leave something undone. What it means, in practice, is that we have to pick and choose where we go. We need to decide what we want from our travel portfolio and leave undone some of the things that do not quite come up to the standards offered elsewhere. For some of us, it is enough to see a few countries of choice; for others, to see at least one country on each continent; still others, to see as much of the world as funds and free time permit.

More and more people are of the opinion these days that, no matter where else you visit, Thailand is a country which simply has to be visited. Positioned in a continent which already offers the wonders of Japan, Korea, China, India and Pakistan among others this is no small thing. There is already so much to see and do in Asia – what makes Thailand so special? For many of us, the answer is simply in a glance. Just to look at Thailand is to see a country which combines modernity and bustling metropolises with something that is becoming harder and harder to find in this world – sheer, unique natural beauty.

Thailand is one of the world’s most beautiful countries, with simple bucolic scenes as far as the eye can see. Among this, the metropolitan area of Chiang Mai allows the traveler the best of both worlds – indeed, the best of a number of worlds, with the aforementioned natural beauty adjacent to shopping that compares favourably with many other cities, and the amazing old-fashioned buildings which are Thailand’s hallmark – beautiful Buddhist temples and traditional settings which are always worth visiting. There is much to see and do in Chiang Mai. Festivals are frequent and showcase the best of the region – from classical dance and music to traditional handicrafts – as well as the wonderful cuisine of the region.

Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most diverse regions. With a population in the metropolitan area of close to one million people, there are residents from a number of different tribal backgrounds. There is however virtually no clash of cultures, simply a peaceful co-existence which would make most visitors from the busier cities of the world somewhat envious. This may be why another one million people pour into the city every year from all over the world. If the mere feeling of good-natured welcome is not enough to put you at your ease, Chiang Mai is also one of the best places in which to experience the wonders of Thai massage – if you have time you can learn the basics yourself, otherwise why not simply put yourself in the hands of an expert and feel your worries float away?

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Sep 26, 2009.

Why Should You Visit Bangladesh Now?

Bangladesh Ranks Lonely Planet Best Top Ten Value Travel Destination

Lonely Planet is a well-known travel content-providing company that publishes travel guides, online publications, travel videos, and much more. Each year, Lonely Planet comes up with Top Ten travel destinations under several categories, and for 2019 Bangladesh takes 7th place as the top value travel destination for 2019.

This totally coincides with my recent Bangladesh trip. Bangladesh is not well known as a tourist spot in the world yet, but that definitely will change in the near future.

The main advantage of visiting Bangladesh before it gets too popular is the rarity of tourists. Places to visit in Bangladesh are still not crowded and you will hardly come across too many foreigners except in the capital Dhaka. Locals consider foreigners as guests and the celebrity-like treatment you will get everywhere you go is hard to find anywhere else on earth.

Bangladesh has endless attractions, both natural and historical, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The world’s longest sea beach at Cox’s Bazar, the mangroves and Royal Bengal tigers in Sundarbans, Ratargul Swamp Forest, Saint Martin Island are only a few to mention.

But if you need only one reason to visit Bangladesh before anything else, that would be the value you will get out of your own currency. This is one of the most inexpensive countries on earth and a dollar stretches beyond imagination. A cup of tea or a bottle of water costs 25 cents, a street food full-course meal costs $2 to $3, a fancy restaurant full-course meal costs $10 to $15, a first-class luxury train berth sleeper (it’s like train’s lie flat business class) from Dhaka to the other region in Bangladesh costs $12 to $15; the same trip by plane costs about $30 to $35. Are any more examples necessary? I don’t think so.

I have lots of Bangladesh Travel Videos from my trip and I am planning to visit this great country, which is not a popular travel destination yet, in the near future.

This Is Where Gandhi Stayed His Last 144 Days

Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum

Gandhi Smriti (used to be Birla House) or Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum is where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on 30 January 1948.

Gandhi, a noble man who was the epitome of piety, goodness and unselfishness, and who professed peace and non-violence, was shot dead after he had said his prayers.

There are footsteps that show the path on which Gandhi last walked from his residence to the garden. This is where this symbol of peace and non-violence was murdered.

If you are in New Delhi, visiting Gandhi Museum should be a must. But for now, you can watch my video of the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum. During my India trip, I made several videos of historic sites such as the Taj Mahal, India Gate, Gandhi Museum, and much more. All these videos from my India travels can be found here:

India Travel Vlog | Destination New Delhi & Agra

India Gate Tour, New Delhi | Travel India

India Gate Tour

India Gate, also known as Delhi Memorial or All-India War Memorial, was built in 1931 (designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens) to commemorate the 70,000 Indian and British soldiers who gave their lives fighting for the British Army during World War I between 1914 and 1919.

The sandstone arch monument memorial in New Delhi is about 138 feet (42 metres) in height and bears the names of more than 13,500 British and Indian soldiers inscribed in smaller letters on the monument.

An eternal flame burns 24 hours under the arch to remind us of the soldiers who gave their lives for a better tomorrow.

Watch my India Gate Travel Video to experience this historic monument. Follow me on YouTube if you’d like to keep updated with all my travel videos around the globe.

Baby Taj Mahal or Itimad ud Daulah Tomb | Agra, India | India Travel Blog

Baby Taj Tour Agra, India

Baby Taj (also known as Jewel Box) or The Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah is the tomb of Mizra Ghiyas Beg. Mizra Ghiyas Beg was the chief minister of Emperor Jehangir, father of Jehangir’s wife Nur Jahan, and grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife and the inspiration for the Taj Mahal).

Nur Jahan built the Baby Taj between 1622 – 1628. The designs of the Taj Mahal were inspired by the Baby Taj, but taken to the next level on a much larger scale. You can still easily see the resemblances of the big Taj Mahal in the Baby Taj.

Some striking similarities between the Baby Taj and the Taj Mahal:

- Both have 4 towers

- Both are made of marble

- Both are perfectly symmetrical

- Various other design aspects

In this episode, I will take you to the Baby Taj and give you a tour. This is one of my India travel videos. You can watch my full India trip here:

India Travel Vlog | Destination New Delhi & Agra