Category Archives: cultural heritage

Gavin Manerowski | Exploring the Cuisine of Bali

The name Bali conjures up images of golden sands and azure blue seas, and with good reason – this pretty Indonesian island lies just 8 degrees south of the equator, and is part of an area known as the Coral Triangle, that which hosts the richest diversity of marine species in the world. As an island province of neighbouring Indonesia, Bali has its own distinct identity, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its cuisine.

Seasoned travellers such as Gavin Manerowski know that some of the most authentic local dishes in Bali are to be found at the street-side snack bars and mobile cafes.  Typically catering for the locals, these vendors offer cheap, fresh-cookeGavin Manerowskid meals prepared using traditional methods, and are often strikingly different from the tourist fare served in restaurants and hotels. Local Balinese palates demand a more authentic taste than the typical Indonesian and Chinese dishes favoured by the standard traveller.

Bali is not a rich nation, and everyday eating is a functional affair; the meals are simple, wholesome and nutritious, and flavoured with spicy condiments. It is during festivals that the Balinese flair for food really comes into its own. Festival dishes are painstakingly prepared, and are often elaborate and beautifully presented – suckling pig is a favourite Balinese festival dish.

Bumbu Bali is one restaurant on the island that stands out from the crowd. In a delightfully authentic setting, guests are treated to the only menu on the island that lists traditional Balinese foods, prepared using ancient methods. As the majority of islanders are Hindu, beef is rarely eaten in Bali, with pork and chicken being favoured as the meat alternatives. Basa gede is a spicy paste that forms the basis for the flavour of many traditional Balinese dishes, along with basa genep, another popular spice blend. Other common flavours in Balinese cuisine derive from tabia lala manis, a soy sauce rich with chillies.

Lawar is blend of chicken or park meat and blood, with chopped garlic coconut and chilli, and is very popular in Bali, as are sate lilit, formed by skewering pressed spiced mince onto a stick. Nasi Campur Bali is the traditional mixed rice found on the island, and refers to a dish of rice adorned with a range of nuts, eggs, meat and vegetables. For travellers like Gavin Manerowski, sampling the traditional foods of their travel destinations is one of the delights of travel, and with dishes such as these on offer in Bali, it is easy to see why.

Gavin Manerowski | Greece in the Spring time

Greece is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, and as such invests heavily in its tourism industry. For those wishing to travel to Greece, like regular holiday goer Gavin Manerowski, the country offers a multitude of options. Although there is sunshine galore in the spring, there are areas in the high mountains, including the dragon lakes that tend to attract more of a breeze.  The weather in Greece can get extremely hot, and therefore a spring time break rather than a summer excursion might appeal more to the holiday goer. Noted Greek enthusiast Gavin Manerowski particularly enjoys the 5,600 species of plants that can be admired across the country.

Gavin Manerowski

Of course Greece is famous for its history as much as its present day appeals. The Ancient Greeks are largely renowned as one of the most intelligent collections of people to ever exist on planet earth, making huge discoveries about the world we live in, despite having nowhere near the technological advantages of the present day. Greek History can be followed back as far as the Stone Ages, with examples of Ancient Greek hunters being readily discovered and examined. Amongst the proud history of Ancient Greece is none other than Herodotus, a man known to many as the ‘father of history’. Today, we are able to learn about the Ancient Greeks and their time through his records, but also through things like temples, pottery and other objects of the time.

For people interested in Greece as a country, not simply a holiday location such as Gavin Manerowski it is important to look at the Economy.  A subject of ridicule in many of the EU countries, especially Great Britain and Germany, the Greek economy has faced some difficulty in recent years. Since adopting the euro, Greece has faced some difficulty in financial terms, and from 2010 onwards has been known for the “Greek debt crisis”. This debt crisis came about due to Greece and other countries borrowing large sums of money from banks without following the proper methods to denote this borrowing. The debt crisis continues today.

Gavin Manerowski | Being a tourist in America

America is a country, of course, but it is also a subject of conversation and debate to many all over the world. The country of America represents a huge global power, a political provocateur of all kinds of discussion across the globe, and of course a media-giant which inadvertently tells the rest of the world how to live their lives. The focus of this article will be on America as a tourist destination, a subject which is less often broached.

Gavin Manerowski

The first thing to say about America as a tourist destination is, the place is huge. America is an enormous country, and many of the states individually represent huge chunks of land far bigger than other holiday destinations, so the choice of what to do on your trip is huge.  It is this hugely varied selection that appeals to the masses of tourists who travel to America each and every year. Noted America enthusiast Gavin Manerowski has enjoyed much of the country, including the fine state of Nevada.

Nevada is famously home to Las Vegas, a town internationally recognised for its hotels and casinos, but there is much more to enjoy about this desert location than just the night time entertainment. The Nevada terrain is some of the most impressive on the planet, featuring huge rock faces, cliffs and outcrops all across the state. In addition to the natural wonders the Springs Preserve is a great representation of history in Nevada, and something of particular interest to seasoned travellers such as Gavin Manerowski.

The activities are near-endless, including opportunities for extreme sky-diving, group tours and even “creative adventures” that take tourists on stunning walks through the Nevada countryside to see the beauty of the desert and learn about the proud Nevada history.

Of course there are a multitude of other states for those with an interest in America, like Gavin Manerowski, to visit, but Nevada is undoubtedly a great place to start. America’s sheer size provides the opportunity to experience a wealth of climates and cultures all within one country, in this respect the country is largely unparalleled.

Gavin Manerowski | Trip to Thailand

Gavin ManerowskiThe country of Thailand welcomes around sixteen million visitors each and every year, making it the most popular holiday destination in the whole of Asia. One of the reasons for the popularity of Thailand for westerners in particular is that, despite this huge influx of tourists, the country as a whole maintains it cultural integrity. Visitors to Thailand are able to experience the particular blend of traditional Buddhist lifestyle, rice farming and bustling inner city life which has long existed in this historical country. Gavin Manerowski took a trip to Thailand recently to explore the cultural heritage typical of this Asian gem.

Bangkok is both the recognized capital city of Thailand and the cultural center of the country. It is here that western influences can be most readily seen, with high rise buildings and gaudy advertising slogans proliferating. This said, Bangkok still manages to retain much of its old world charm, with both roadside and floating markets selling a combination of fresh produce and traditional dishes prepared to order, a preponderance of ancient Buddhist temples and street theater, dance and puppetry shows aplenty. Rice farming has always been and remains the backbone of Thai industry, and the Khao San Road, possibly the most famous street in Asia, literally translates as ‘milled rice road’, located as it is in what was once the central rice district of the country. The Khao San Road today offers tourists a heady mixture of traditional and contemporary Thai experiences, with everything from budget to gourmet eateries, massage parlors, cheap accommodation, and plenty of places in which to drink and dance the night away.

For a quieter, more authentic Thai experience, heading out of Bangkok and into the countryside very quickly takes visitors into the heart of the paddy fields, where the majority of the population of the country work and live. The Thai landscape features astonishing diversity, with vast tracts of tropical jungle and rain forest giving way to high mountains and dry lowlands, mangrove swamps and acres of unspoiled beaches. Visitors to Thailand are advised to sign up for one of the numerous guided tours which take in vineyards, wildlife sanctuaries, rice fields, ancient temples and sanctuaries and much more. As Gavin Manerowski soon found, a single trip to Thailand is not nearly enough tie in which to explore all the wonders the country has to offer.