Smoothie bowls have taken the world by storm and are by far the hottest food trend out there. They come in all kinds of flavors and can be found pretty much anywhere in the world. We had our first experience with this creamy delight a little more than a year ago in Koh Lanta, Thailand. We fell in love after the first spoon full and has ever since kept seeking out smoothie bowls everywhere we go. Bali has so far proven to be the place offering the biggest variety of these delicious bowls and this is also where we got the idea to start making our own. We’ve made all kinds of smoothie bowls with berries, tropical fruit, different kinds of plant based milks, and, of course, chocolate. Our favorite so far has been this amazing and protein packed smoothie bowl with chocolate and peanut butter!
One of the most fascinating aspects with Penang is the bustling and colorful little India. It covers the area of about 4 X 4 streets and is packed full of shops selling saaris, Bollywood movies, Indian pastry and jewelry. It is also home to quite a few very authentic Indian restaurants. Thanks to Penang’s influence from Southern India and particular Tamil Nadu, most of these restaurants are Pure Vegetarian, which in other words means that this little India is a vegan paradise!
South Indian food differs quite a lot from the northern Indian cuisine in the fact that less meat and dairy products are used (hence the vegan friendliness). Also, the curries are in general lighter and not as thick as a typical northern Indian curry and they have a few special dishes that you rarely find in the northern parts of South Asia (see below).
The first part of day three lead us through the magical rhododendron forest that has made Mardi Himal so famous. We did the trek in October which means that we didn’t actually get to see the flowers in bloom but the place felt no less magical. It would be cool to return and do the trek in spring to witness what some people, including our guide, claim to be one of the most beautiful stretches in all of Nepal.
After the rhododendron forest the landscape quickly got more barren and rockier, the wind picked up, and it got noticeably colder. A few hours after we had left Forrest Camp we made it to Badal Danda where we had more dhal bhat and enjoyed some warming tea. We were also lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of the magnificent views before a thick fog that would follow us for the rest of the day rolled in.
During the last stretch of day three we followed a ridge through very barren terrain. Sometime in the late afternoon we arrived to High Camp, the highest located camp on the trek, and what would be our base for the next two nights.
We spent the evening planning for the coming day and our final ascent up to Mardi Himal Base Camp. This ascent can be done in a few different ways. You can choose to go to either the first viewpoint (located about a third of the way) or the second viewpoint (located halfway to base camp) and then turn back and walk all the way past High Camp down to one of the lower camps. The other option, and the one we chose, is to walk all the way up to base camp which takes between 2 and 3 hours. By doing this you get to enjoy some of the most awe inspiring views in the Annapurna region before you return to High Camp where you spend an extra night before descending.
Nepal has long been a mecca for mountaineers, trekkers, nature lovers, and anyone looking to experience the great Himalayan mountain range up close and personal. There is a wide variety of treks to choose from in Nepal and there are two main points from where you can start your trekking adventures. The first one is Kathmandu where you’ll have access to the Kathmandu Valley and more isolated treks that require a bit of traveling and even flights (Mt. Everest included). The other starting point is the picturesque lakeside town of Pokhara which is located at the foot of the Annapurna Mountain range with treks like Poonhill, the Royal Trek and the beloved Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).
Pokhara is also the starting point for a newer and less explored route to the magnificent and very underrated Mardi Himal Base Camp. The Mardi Himal trek officially opened in 2012 with teahouses and a clearly marked route all the way to the top, but it has been in use by locals and adventurers for long before that. It is a beautiful 5-7 day trek that takes you up to an altitude of 4,500 meters (14,700 ft.)
Momos are a delicious type of South Asian dumpling and a favorite in Nepal. They are essentially mini dumplings that are mainly stuffed with cabbage, onions, and ginger but can also be filled with potatoes and other vegetables. They are usually served steamed or fried accompanied with a sambal or chutney. Other ways momos can be prepared are in a spicy chili sauce or in a momo soup with noodles and assorted vegetables. Not only a specialty in Nepal, momos are widely enjoyed in Bhutan, parts of Northern India, and Tibet where they are believed to have originated from.
Thailand is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and for a good reason. The affordability and ease of traveling the country coupled with the food, beaches and friendliness of the locals makes it a hot spot among many. In fact, Thailand was the first country I started my first major backpacking trip in 2013 and is a place I often find myself returning to. So what is the deal with eating vegan in Thailand?
Bali is perhaps one of the easiest tropical destinations to visit for any vegan. Not only due to the abundance of tempeh and vegan restaurants serving world class food from all corners of the world but because of the amazingly vegan friendly cuisine.