The President of YHA India and previous president of Hostelling International (International Youth Hostel Federation), Dr. Harish K. Saxena held a small conference at the YHAI office in New Delhi where he spoke about his previous ventures and mission of YHA to explore the world and ‘wandering one gathers honey’.
In true spirit of backpacking, he took off on a 20-country expedition leaving from Kazakhstan to promote peace and international understanding. Dr. Saxena confers tips for backpackers as he is travels without any overnight bookings, tourist information or internet research. He believes in meeting people rather than visiting monuments and museums which he has already seen during his visits to more than 80 countries. His only tool to explore the world and find directions are with a map and YHA directories as these were the only tools available in 1975 when he was on his mission to promote the objectives of YHA from Afghanistan to Europe.
Dr. Saxena offers us some of his experiences and knowledge as a result of his travels.
Kazakistan and Bishkek, Kirghistan
In Kazakistan … ‘the Custom and Immigration staff are very friendly and polite. You may easily find taxis and budgeted accommodations but I prefer to travel by public transport. Green Bazaar, Russian Theatre, flower markets are the main attractions. Kazak National dish Pilov or Pulao is easily available in restaurants. One may easily find good accommodation for less than $20 a night. People speak Kazak and Russian mostly.’
Dr. Saxena also met Mr Shiraz, Dean of Student Affairs of KIMEP International University just before the convocation day and summer holidays where he discussed the idea of International Hostelling and its benefits to Kazakh students.
People love music and dance here and all are full of life. He met Civil Engineering students, Pilots and people from different background. This lenience of different religions, A Bid Mosque, an Orthodox Church and Hindu religious procession at one place speaks a lot of Peace In Kazakhstan.
On good note, he has left for Bishkek,Kirghistan – his next destination….!!!!
Watch this space for more.