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Exploring Kazakhstan’s Wilderness: Hiking in Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve

Gorgeous, accessible mountains in Aksu Zhabagly

Kazakhstan may be known for its oil and the antics of the pseudo-Kazakh Borat, but few people are aware of the wilderness that covers a large part of the country. Last week, as part of my overlanding trip through Central Asia with Oasis Overland, we spent two nights camping out in the Aksu-Zhabagly nature reserve […]

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A Photo Essay from Mongolia — The Land of the Blue Sky

An outstanding sunset on the grasslands

Traditional gers dot the vast steppes while sand dunes rise from empty deserts and snowcapped mountains loom over lush green grasslands: Mongolia is packed with so much pristine natural beauty that few other countries can rival. Every turn on the road reveals a different landscape, be it a hill of colors after emerging from parched […]

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Outback Queensland: Red Earth, Emerald Water and Blue Sky

Sunset at Harry Hill

Rose red sandstone mountains rise from parched grey earth dotted with lime-green spinifex grass and eucalyptus tree, while emerald water runs through the gorges lined with green palm trees. This part of Outback Queensland reminds me of the Red Center (specifically the area around Uluru) — but  without the crowds. It’s hot, dry and harsh, studded with gorgeous unearthly landscapes and criss-crossed […]

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Street Art from Around the World

In the quirky Lapa district

n recent years, street art has evolved into something more than just graffiti. Renown artists like Banksy have helped bring awareness to street art, and cleared the cloud of mystery that used to revolve around it. What was once an act of vandalism is now a revered form of urban art that’s now appearing on the streets and walls of cities all around the […]

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Exploring our Backyard: Granada, Spain

The Alhambra

I’ve realized that we hardly write about our home base Granada here — perhaps it’s because we’re so familiar with it that we sometimes forget how beautiful it can be. It’s been almost four years since we’ve called Granada home, I think it’s time to shed some light on our life here in southern Spain. Entrenched […]

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Photo Essay: The Ancient Town of Bhaktapur, Nepal

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Terracotta-roofed pagodas tower over the squares and courtyards. Narrow cobblestone streets weave their way between the houses, red-brick temples, stone statues and cisterns. Artisans are drying their pottery out in the open, while women weave cloth and knead clay by the roadside. This is Bhaktapur, one of the best preserved ancient towns in Nepal. Thanks to its location in […]

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Samba Parade in Rio de Janeiro: The World’s Biggest Carnival

Samba dancers on a float

Samba music suddenly blasts through the speakers and the crowd goes wild. On the Sambadrome’s runway, the Carnival king and queen appear in their shimmering diamond-studded costumes, dazzling the audience with their fast-as-lightning samba moves. Behind them are troupes of costumed dancers: young girls decked out in silver dresses, gym-pumped men adorning brown feather headdresses, sexy ladies dressed in glitzy rhinestone bikinis […]

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Photo Essay: The Back Roads of Bhutan

Punakha Valley

A trip to Bhutan is not complete without a road trip through the mountain passes, twisting valleys and treacherous switchbacks that characterize the country. Entrenched with the Himalayan mountain range, the country is almost entirely mountainous, blanketed with plunging gorges and steep slopes. 72% of the country is forested — you don’t have to drive far to see acres upon […]

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Colors of the Tibetan Prayer Flags

Prayer flags made into the shape of a stupa

On my recent trip to Nepal and Bhutan, I was truly captured by the colorful and vibrant Tibetan Buddhist architecture — their prayer wheels, the intricate carvings on their stupas, their regal fortresses, and most of all, their prayer flags. It’s hard to miss them. They’re everywhere. Strung from one tree to another, erected on a […]

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Photo Essay: The Colors of Papua New Guinea

Flying over the fjords of Tufi

Known as the Land of the Unexpected, Papua New Guinea is indeed shrouded in mystery and packed full of surprises for those curious enough to see beyond the headlines. As a remote and largely unexplored country, Papua New Guinea is a hodgepodge of impenetrable jungles, ancient mangrove swamps, wide savanna grasslands. In the midst of […]

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Faces of Gambia

Friendly Gambian

When I think back about Gambia, my mind goes straight to the people. Their warm smiles. Their friendly greetings and their genuine hospitality. It may be cliché to say “it’s the people who make a place” but my experience in Gambia was truly shaped by the people I met along the way. Everywhere I went, I […]

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Street Art in the Village of Kubuneh, Gambia

Street art in Kubuneh

During a river excursion in Makasutu Forest, I hopped on a pirogue (wooden dugout canoe) with my guide Amado and paddled on a tributary of River Gambia. Our boat ride brought us through patchworks of red mangroves and past little thatched huts to arrive at Kubuneh, a village just a few miles away from Mandina Lodges. […]

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Highlights of Gambia: from River Safaris to Fishing Villages

Mandina Lodge

I recently returned from a short jaunt to the Gambia with vivid memories of West Africa and very new perspectives of the region. The Gambia Experience gave me a taste of what West Africa has to offer — but it definitely left me with the urge and curiosity to explore more of the region. From the inland […]

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2013: Our Year in Photos

Sleeping in an igloo in Switzerland

It’s that time of the year again — a time to stop, look back and reflect. 2013 has been a year full of milestones, of opportunities and of personal achievements for me. I published my first book, kept WildJunket Magazine going, became an aunt and celebrated our fifth blogiversary. Most importantly, this year I finally […]

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The Journey to Bhutan: Flying Over the Himalayas

The first peak appears

My recent trip to Bhutan was definitely something special, but the journey there itself was an experience on its own. Onboard Druk Air’s Airbus A319, we took off from Kathmandu and immediately rose above the clouds to find ourselves flying high above the rice terraces and hills of Kathmandu Valley. Once we reached almost 32,000 feet above sea level, a snow-capped mountain peak then appeared before […]

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