Monthly Archives: August 2015

Bicycle Tour Meeting Point

From Dharavi To Smokey Mountain: What It Takes To Run A Responsible Tour Company

Chris Way, co-founder of Reality Tours, takes us through his work with Smokey Tours in Manila and compares it with the challenges he faced in Dharavi.


I have been acting as a Consultant for Smokey Tours since March 2013, when I visited Manila for the first time. Juliette Kwee, from the Netherlands, who was working as a missionary for a Manila based NGO working in the slums, saw the potential of providing slum tours in the area. The benefits that she saw were the obvious ones- employment opportunities for the tour leaders, tour receipts being used directly to help the people in the area, but also, she wanted to be a connecting agent between visitors wanting to help out and organisations doing work in the slums. Continue reading From Dharavi To Smokey Mountain: What It Takes To Run A Responsible Tour Company

vada pav header

The Surprising History Of Mumbai’s Favourite Sandwich

Vada: spiced, mashed potatoes deep-fried in a batter of chickpeas.

Pav: the ubiquitous white bread rolls.

Put these two simple foods together with some spicy chutney (sauce) and it transforms into Mumbai’s iconic street food: vada pav. The idea is said to have originated from a street vendor named Ashok Vaidya who worked outside of the unceasingly chaotic Dadar train station in the 1960’s and 70’s. In search of a way to fend off the commuters’ hunger, he devised a simple snack that could be eaten on the go. Needless to say, his idea was a success, and it has since been elevated to one of Mumbai’s favourite street foods. But the interesting part of the story is the simple sandwich’s deeply political history. Continue reading The Surprising History Of Mumbai’s Favourite Sandwich