The world is a big place. We’ve tried our best to take advantage of our current locale to visit parts of the world that previously seemed unreachable. In August 2014, we spent two weeks traversing Australia. Japan on its own could fill years of travels, but we’ve started chipping away with trips to Kyoto and Osaka, Fukuoka and Mt. Fuji among others. However, our latest adventure has been the most epic yet. Spanning 33 days, three countries and every transportation method imaginable, we’ve had a taste of southern Asia that’s left us hungry for more.
Beginning in Delhi, India, we toured the northern part of the world’s seventh largest country before crossing into Nepal. From Kathmandu, we flew to Thailand, where we lounged on amazing white sand beaches, explored national parks, lived with the locals and wandered through one of the world’s greatest cities.
Along the way, we met amazing people with both heartbreaking and heartwarming stories. We experienced the “real” India, Nepal and Thailand, but could also see the impact that tourism is having on the identity of these cultures. We ate what the locals ate and what the tourists ate—spoiler alert: they’re not the same.
This trip was not only a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but also a perspective-altering one. The reality of seeing developing countries in different states of progress trumped anything I’ve ever read in Time or Newsweek. Our eyes and minds opened as we struggled to understand a way of life that flew in the face of what we know to be “right”—arranged marriages, extreme poverty, access to education and gender inequality.
It also brought new opportunities. I can now say that I’ve played cricket (on the banks of the Ganges River, no less) and I generally understand this sport that mostly remains a mystery to Americans (despite being the second-most popular sport in the world). We slept in overnight trains, mud huts and bungalows—the latter included a 5 a.m. wake-up call from both a crowing rooster and a flying chicken landing on our roof with a thud. We gained a better understanding of Hinduism as well as the role it played in shaping Indian society and many of the world’s religions. And we learned a thing or two about toilets around the world (“squatty potty” anybody?).
Enough with the teasers. Let’s dive right in with a look at some of the best food we’ve ever eaten… anywhere! Meet northern Indian cuisine!
More on our February 2015 Adventures
- Before and After: Nepal
- Life and Death: Varanasi, India
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles
- Behind the Walls of Agra Fort
- Taj Mahal
- Pure Chaos: Delhi
- Indian Tea (Masala Chai Recipe)
- Things We Eat: Indian Food Part 2—Women Cooks
- Things We Eat: Indian Edition (Part 1)
- Everybody, This is India… India, Meet Everybody