Amy LeVasseur

Exploring the World

Category: uncategorized (page 1 of 2)

Monkeys Beggers & Prayer Flags, Oh My!

Any self-respecting traveller will see at least one or two “touristy” things when they visit a new country, even if your plan is to stay off the beaten path it’s always interesting to see what all the hype is about at certain attractions.

Monkey at Monkey Temple

Case in hand is Swayambhunath in Kathmandu, better know as Monkey Temple as there are monkeys everywhere. MT is an ancient religious complex atop a hill just west of Kathmandu city, easily reached by a 300rs taxi fare from Thamel (don’t forget your motion sickness tabs for any travel that is not on foot in Nepal, seriously!).

At first glance, Swayambhunath is a fantastic complex with Continue reading

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Third World Travel – The Basics

Let me start by saying although the title of this posts may lead to you believe I consider myself to be some holier-than-thou traveller; please rest assure I am not, nor do I ever hope to be. I have been to a third world country only a couple of times, and I am by no means an expert. The reason for the title of this post is to coax you into reading about a couple of the main things that I think a responsible traveller from a first world country should be aware of, before they begin their trip. If you read this post and can think of something else to mention, please post a comment below, it would be a great addition.

Thamel - Kathmandu Z-street

Thamel – Kathmandu Z-street

without further adu.

When I arrived in Nepal for the first time, I loved the feeling of the humid air, the dusty smell and loud sounds Continue reading

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5 Must Read Books Before Trekking in Nepal

Before my trip to Nepal, I wanted to get a feel for where I was going, and there are dozens of books about Nepal, so I needed to narrow it down substantially. I was going to be trekking in the Himalaya for a few months, so I took some advice from others who had already done what I was about to do. 

These five books below are worth a read. They will inspire and give you a feeling of what it’s like to be climbing amongst some of the biggest mountains in the world as well as what the locals are like.

Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that “suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down.” He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more–including Krakauer’s–in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer’s epic account of the May 1996 disaster. Continue reading

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Ladies – 13 Essentials for an Overnighter in the Outdoors

Yes, we girls can do anything men can, and we are not afraid to admit we also like a little comfort here and there. I am not ashamed to say that everything listed below is always in my pack when hiking or trekking, as far as I’m concerned these are essentials.

Now, if you are a man and you are going hiking with a woman then pay attention, if your female companion didn’t bring some of the items below you may well score some serious brownie points whipping one of these things out of your pack at an opportune moment, the timing will be your choice, I can’t do everything for you. Continue reading

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Diamox – Why you Should Always Carry it on High Altitude Trips

So you’re going to spend some time at high altitude, climbing mountains or trekking, don’t forget to pack your Diamox before you leave home, it can save your life. Below are a few simple Q&A’s that should give you some perspective.

Q: What is considered High Altitude?

A: Medicine recognizes that high altitudes above 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) start to affect humans, as altitude increases atmospheric pressure decreases, which affects humans by reducing the partial pressure of pure oxygen. Extreme altitudes above 5,500–6,000 meters (18,000–20,000 ft) cannot be permanently tolerated. Although most people don’t experience and altitude related problems until about 3000 meters. Continue reading

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5 off-the-beaten-path things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia is such a beautiful Canadian city to visit, as you land in Vancouver you will see beautiful coastal mountains cupping a modern city of glass, only it seems people are always doing the same things when they are here. They visit Stanley Park, the seawall, shop on Robson Street and peruse the Art Gallery. There are many other things that Vancouver has to offer that I can’t help but share from a locals perspective, these are more interesting and less touristy that the ones mentioned above. 

1.

High Tea and the Fairmont Vancouver

Why? why not is the question. Who doesn’t want to sit in a beatuful lounge in Vancouver’s Oldest Hotel and eat a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones and a choice of tea.

2.

UBC  Museum of Anthropologyubc_moa

Forget the Art Gallery on Robson Street, it’s fine but you’ll like the UBC Museum of Anthropology much better. The beauty of the building alone makes it worth a visit.

3.

BCMC TrailThis Grouse Grind trail is often referred to as natures stair master

Everyone in Vancouver seems to flock to the Grouse Grind, it’s usually quite busy so why not try the BCMC trail which runs almost concurrently with the Grind, it’s a bit easier and there is virtually no traffic going up.

4.

Sunshine Coastsunshine_coast_hwy

Explore the Sunshine Coast by car. You get to drive though some quaint villages on the coast all the way up to Desolation Sound.  Starting at Vancouver the drive takes less than 5 hours and you get to take 2 ferries!

5.

Cleveland Damcleveland_dam

It’s a pretty low key tourist attraction, most visitors to Vancouver go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge instead. The Cleveland Dam is not advertised as a tourist attraction but is definitely worth seeing if you would like to avoid the crowds at the suspension bridge.

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