Friday, February 15, 2013

DayOne - India

I've said it before and I'll say it 100 times again I'm sure, but living in Hong Kong has given me the opportunity to roam all over Asia and I couldn't be more elated!

Another less commonly known perk about HK is the ridiculous amount of holidays. I'm talking 2 week for winter break, 1 week for Chinese New Year, and 2 weeks for spring break just to name a few. Right there we have numerous travel opportunities! So with CNY at our disposal this month, my family and I decided to embark on a final journey before I headed off to university. Where better to explore and have your eyes opened to the world that surrounds you than India!

After landing in the wee hours of the morning and sleeping in till late morning, we started our adventure in Delhi by picking up our local guide and heading over to a local temple.


This time of the year (might have even been that exact day), Saturn was in a very important position. Being strong believers in astrology, Indians pay particular attention to the positions of the planets. So many locals came to this temple to pray that Saturn would align them in the right position to attract luck, wealth, love, or whatever else they needed.

It was fascinating to see 1000+ year old traditions still in practice with the younger generations too. Fun fact for you, the average age in India is less than 36. Thirty six!!
We then piled back into the car and drove over to one of the most magnificent temples I'd ever seen: the Bahai Lotus Temple.
Since it's such an important monument, it's easy to imagine that it would always be packed with tourists. The one thing that might not have crossed your mind is that the majority of the 'tourists' were actually primary students! Need less to say, us gweillos (meaning foreigners in Cantonese) were like a pot of honey surrounded being mobbed by hungry bears.

You can see that young girl in the back there going in for the kill.

Cheeky little monkeys...

We then decided that it was time to visit Old Delhi. Long story short, nothing on earth could have prepared us for what we were about to experience.

Cables were hanging to and fro, from building to building and everywhere in between. People zigged and zagged out of the way of the motorcycles that dashed down the rickety little streets wide enough for an SUV*.

Another thing that caught us off guard was the amount of swastikas we saw hanging everywhere. Eager and a bit nervous to find out why, we asked our guide in which he said that having the hands of the sign going clockwise (pictured below) actually stands for peace. It was Hitler that made turned the sign anti-clockwise and therefore changed its meaning.

And then, out from the deep depths of crowds we heard the ever growing sound of Indian music. As the moments flew past, we were welcomed by a parade celebrating a special occasion.

Men and women of all ages gathered around to celebrate.

 Including a group of gweillos!

Intrigued to see how other people were celebrating, we headed over to another (larger) temple in Old Delhi.

It was here that we found hundreds of locals were gathered around, hanging out, shooting the breeze, and enjoying the day.

 All in all, a great way to kick off the trip!


  1. Hey Samantha, I found your blog off The Londoner and love it!

    I used to live in Hong Kong when I was younger and would love to go back, but I have no clue where to start! I'm a recent grad working in PR at the moment in London but I have major wanderlust and want to be back in my favourite place.

    What do you do?

    Much love,


    1. Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for the comment :)

      I'm actually a student here in HK and have been living here for about 2 years. I highly recommend you come back soon! From what I've heard, HK has changed a lot over the years. I've seen it too - just within the time I've been here, several high rises have been built on my street. That's not even including the whole district. It's incredible!

      I would love to meet with you one you come back to visit! Feel free to drop me a line any time :)
      Samantha xx

    2. Awesome!

      I'm going to try and head back ASAP :) whereabouts do you live? I used to live on The Peak and loved it there.

      Love your photos and your life looks amazing - I'll definitely hit you up if I'm next over.

      Lauren x

    3. I live in the Wanchai area but the Peak is lovely too!

      Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future :)
      Samantha x