Gallery: intriguingly incomparable India
Picture India, and you are quite likely picturing Rajasthan. A land of ruined fortresses and long-abandoned palaces whose stones speak evocatively of past maharajas. A desert land where rural life is tough and little-changed over the centuries, yet vibrant and full of colour. A land whose people know how to celebrate and how to welcome strangers.
Dreaming of reunification in North Korea
Travel is all about experiences. They may seem quite small at the time, like a chance but memorable encounter with a local person that changes your perspective on the world. Or they may seem huge, visiting an iconic world sight that you’ve dreamed about seeing for years. But whether large or small, long-planned for or serendipitous, the experiences of travel are, in my opinion, among the best to be found.
A walk in Patan, the City of Beauty
Patan is said to be one of the oldest Buddhist cities in the world. It is also known as Lalitpur, which means the City of Beauty. The name recognises its tradition of arts and crafts which continue to define the city.
Gallery: seeing Japan in black and white
There’s a restraint, a rejection of what is not necessary, in Japanese art and architecture. What is left out is as important as, if not more important than, what is put in.
Gallery: the doors of Nepal
Whether ancient and beautiful, old and battered, or newer and colourful, there was something about the doors in Nepal that charmed me. And yes, some could have come straight out of a fairy tale perhaps.
Lunch with Mr Noon and his family
Of course the main reason to visit Siem Reap is to see the temples of Angkor. But it’s possible to get ‘templed out’ so it’s good that there are alternative activities and places to explore between temple visits.
Lord Shiva statue in the hills above Pokhara
A new sight has recently appeared in the hills above Pokhara. A huge statue of Lord Shiva, the second largest in Nepal, sits serenely looking out over the foothills. And at his back are the mighty Himalayas.
Gallery: looking closely at Nepal
I would never claim to be the only person to have noticed the things I photograph. But I do believe I often photograph things that not EVERYONE has noticed, or thought to photograph. When I travel I of course photograph the famous sights, the landscapes, the architecture. But I also like to capture small details that, while perhaps not unique to the country, are part of my personal memories of it.
Gallery: Himalaya vistas near Pokhara
High in the hills above Pokhara the inhabitants of small villages live much as they have always done. Theirs is a life of hard work, farming a land of steep fields and terraces. But while the work is hard, the backdrop is stunning. I wonder how often they pause to appreciate their surroundings, raising a weary head to gaze in wonder at these mountains as I did?
Gallery: sunrise over the Himalayas
We’d planned to spend our last day in Pokhara taking it easy. Swimming in the beautiful hotel pool, a walk by the lake, maybe a bit of shopping. But some things can’t be missed, and surely sunrise over the Himalayas is one of those things?!