Category: India

The Sundarbans is a mangrove area in the delta of the river Ganges. It is a mix of closed and open mangrove forests, land used for agricultural purposes, mudflats and barren land, and is intersected by multiple tidal streams and channels. Four protected areas in the Sundarbans are enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Sundarbans are shared between India and Bangladesh, I visit from the Indian side as tours are easier to organize and a lot cheaper. […]

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It is my fourth visit to India and I have got a fairly good grasp of this complicated country. There are aspects I love and aspects I greatly dislike. I have never been that far south. The state of Kerala is well-known for two reasons, first its natural beauty, especially the backwaters, a series of canals and lakes where tourists visit on houseboats, enjoying and (most of them unfortunately) destroying the environment. Kerala’s other claim to fame is a long history of communist governments. […]

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Delhi comes as a shock. It starts with the taxi ride. To avoid all trouble, I take a prepaid airport taxi and still the guy tries all the time to talk me into bringing me to a different hotel (he gets a commission for that). And he drives badly, I can’t imagine him going around Delhi for long without causing an accident. As soon as we are closer to the centre and I know where I am, I leave the taxi, I rather walk. Old Delhi is too much for me, it is all full of people, the poverty is pervasive, people live, eat and wash themselves on the street. On top of all that comes the weather, it is hot and sticky. I have reached my air-conditioned hotel room and I have trouble convincing myself to go outside. […]

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