For those coming with us to Bangkok, Laos and Cambodia this year, you’ll be staying in some comfortable hotels. The Classy Hotel (featured here) for example, has a large pool and spa with good massages, to relax after your day going through the heart of Cambodia by traditional boat. This is a place David Beckham has stayed in.
In Phnom Penh your hotel will feature a roof top pool and Jacuzzi overlooking the Mekong. Other hotels are more classic, such as the Riverside in Nong Khiew where you’ll enjoy stilted bungalows overlooking a jungle river. You’ll have wonderful weather too. Whilst back in the UK it will be a grey cold afternoon, here it will be over 30, with warm sunshine. Contact us, if you might like to come.
This cheeky little video will hopefully bring a smile to your face, well done girls!
For those coming on holiday to Nepal with us (or thinking about it) here is a clip on UK radio. One of our travellers recounts her experiences, we hope you enjoy the show.
Our hotel in Jaipur was an old palace, the oldest in the city and quite an experience. Here is a short video showing some of the rooms. Later that evening the group enjoyed Italian food at the Palladio, a classic garden venue with superb Italian food and wine.
Today we travel by train across the desert and reach Bissau Palace, Jaipur; where we’ll stay for two nights. Below is a video of our unusual palace hotel, the oldest in the Jaipur. In fact Angel Holidays is friends with the Royal owners, the first room featured is Steve Carver’s residence when he stays longer term.
Later the group will visit Amber fort by jeeps followed by a walk through the hidden alleyways of the city (an area not visited by tourists) to see where the poor live and make a living by selling puppets.
India, and with the Sue Perkins series ‘Ganges’ gaining in popularity, maybe now is the time for you to travel to India. On our classic road trip we explore the cultural heart of the nation, visiting areas and driving roads seldom seen by tourists. Our journey is one of extremes: remote villages, busy cities, camping in the desert, trains, the Exotic Marigold hotel, Taj Mahal, camel riding, old palaces, maharaja havelis, lakes and unusual glimpses into this fascinating culture. If you want a ordinary sightseeing tour this is not for you, but if you like Sue’s type of travel, it is. Steve Carver from the BBC is leading this adventure.
Up here in the Himalaya the year is 2074 and next week, the country will celebrate the festival of lights known as Diwali. Our group will stay in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, next week, where all the old houses will be lit with candles. In the festival, they also worship dogs -they’re seen as loyal animals. Here at the Nepalese police academy, canine officers receive their honours – which include a tika (a red dot on the forehead as a blessing) and garlands. If you might like to come to this unusual country with us next year, dates will be issued soon.
High in the Himalaya, beyond the Annapurna range of snow covered mountains, lies the Kingdom of Mustang, for many the lost Shangri la, and a place of pilgrimage. Due to weather conditions, this was Steve Carver’s second solo attempt to get there by old motorcycle.
Day One, and I found myself staring at a lonely track ahead of me. A loose, white dusty trail that would take me around 100 miles north – behind the Himalaya – and more challengingly – 15,000 feet upwards into the sky. There was a sense of foreboding about it. Riding solo and not knowing what’s ahead, you do well not to let the vulnerability get to you. But the isolation, the unknown challenge of it, is also an enticing adventure.
Before I’d set off from Kathmandu, I had a conversation with some experienced Nepali men. ‘It can’t be done’ they said. ‘You can’t drive solo. Not there.’ When I insisted, another added ‘He’s British,’ and I didn’t know if this was a compliment due to a sense of daring, or if the British were known to be stupid.
And so today, I found myself, alone and facing up dusty forlorn trail, not knowing if I was daring or stupid. All I knew, was that I would be going.
The pursuit of happiness has long been seen as life’s ultimate goal, but is this true? To describe life’s primary objective as ‘to be happy’ is an overly simplified answer to a very complicated question. If a pill was developed that would make people happy for the rest of their lives, they would not take it. Happiness needs authenticity. Happiness alone is not a meaningful life objective. Permanent happiness is unattainable and so it should be. Moments of joy and happiness elevate the senses, all the more so, as they happen infrequently.
Ask Alexandra Fleming when he was developing penicillin, to leave the labortory, give up his experiments and go out and have fun and be happy, and he’d tell you to go away. The real goal in life is fulfilment. To test this theory is simple. One cannot be happy if one is not fulfilled. Yet, when one is fulfilled it is possible to be happy. Fulfilment is infinitely subjective, based on environment, ability, temperament, so on and so forth. Many people in the developing world do not have the opportunity to be become fulfilled. In the West, we should count ourselves lucky.
Fulfilment comes in many guises, with different levels of simplicity and complexity. A passionate gardener tending huge acreage, or an actor playing many theatre roles for example, might achieve great fulfilment through their working lives – it is not necessary to be an eminent scientist or intellectual. The work that one chooses (or has little choice to do) will have an impact on life fulfilment but not wholly so. It is possible, although with lesser degrees, to live a fulfilled life outside of the workplace. Fulfilment goes beyond personal goals and encompasses our relationships with others and the world as a whole.
Generally living the life that one chooses; actualising our abilities we want to develop, having rich, worthwhile relationships with others and showing compassion in the world, can all lead to a fulfilled and contented life. Fleeting happiness will occur as a consequence. But it is not an end in itself. Life has too many ups and downs to make happiness permanently possible. Yet fulfilment in all its guises is all the more worthwhile.
Taken from the book ‘Happiness & How to Avoid It’ by Steve Carver to be published soon.
Our first group to India is arriving soon and we’ll camp under the stars in the desert, visit the Exotic Marigold Hotel, stay in unusual places, ride camels and take a train across the desert amongst other things. If you would like a free copy of our 17 page guide on the tour, perhaps to consider coming next year, let us know and we’ll email it to you. In the meantime, here is a video of Udaipur where we stay 3 nights.