All posts in "Bolivia"
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El Alto: Wrestling with Cholitas in Bolivia’s Biggest Market

By Owen / August 3, 2017

“If you do decide to go to the El Alto market, take care of your belongings!”

The lady at the tour desk told me.

I’ve read and heard stories about it: El Alto is not the safest place in Bolivia, and tourists are uncommon.

But even then, El Alto has its own merits and I gotta see it for myself.

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Tiwanaku Ruins: The Enigmatic Civilisation of Bolivia

By Owen / August 2, 2017

Everyone who travels in South America knows the Inca, undoubtedly one of the mightiest empire in its time; so much so that periods have been defined as pre-Inca or post-Inca.

Many also know about the Mayans and the Aztecs.

But hardly anyone has heard of the Tiwanaku. Admittedly, neither did I, before I came to Bolivia.

Yet, the Tiwanaku was the longest-running civilisation in South America, from AD 300 – AD 1000; and one of the most important pre-Columbian cultures in the Andean region.

The Tiwanaku site was also the spiritual and political centre of the Tiwanaku civilization. The history lover in me just had to visit the site.

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Cycling Death Road: The World’s Most Dangerous Bike Ride?

By Owen / August 1, 2017

The curve suddenly appeared in front of me.

I turned the handlebar and squeezed the brakes hard.

It was too late.

My bike skidded.

The downhill momentum had me crashing into the cliff side.

The World’s Most Dangerous Road claimed its latest victim.

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Samaipata: El Fuerte Ruins and Las Cuevas Waterfalls

By Owen / July 24, 2017

“The echo in the valley is our mountain wifi,” said Cecilio, the guide we hired.

We took turns to shout, and the verdant mountains shouted back at us. Echoes always make me smile.

Or maybe, it was the clear blue skies and stunning mountain views that accompanied us as we walked the easy mountain trail to the ruins of El Fuerte, located just 9km from the tranquil town of Samaipata.

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Humbled in Potosi, Bolivia: Cerro Rico Mine Tour

By Owen / July 12, 2017

What would you do if you knew you’d die at 45?

Would you continue working hard in your job which pays peanuts?

What if your job is the reason you’d die at 45?

What if… there are no other options?

This is the fate of the 12 000 miners of Cerro Rico (Rich Hill) in Potosi, Bolivia. And I had the chance to visit these miners on a tour to the mines.

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From San Pedro to Uyuni: Salt Flats and Colourful Lakes

By Owen / July 11, 2017

The background sound muffled. My head became heavier. I squeezed my nose and blew.

POP.

The pressure escaped through my ears and the sound became clear again.

In that 45min drive from the Chilean border in San Pedro de Atacama to the Bolivian border at Hito Cajon (4480m), we gradually gained 2000m in elevation.

Welcome to the Bolivian Altiplano.

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Bolivia Visa on Arrival: Get it For Free Without the Hassle

By Owen / July 4, 2017

Ah Bolivia.

Y u so troublesome?

Singaporeans, and other Group 2 countries that require a visa on arrival, need to pay a hefty USD $92 to USD $160 if applying for a visa at the land border and go through a lot of hassle if they do not have the required documents.

I’ve read horror stories about people running back and forth between the border and printing shops for their documents, holding up the entire bus, and almost getting left behind at the border.

Thankfully, there is a way to avoid all that and even get your visa for free.