Tag Archives: Asia

The Walled City of Khiva: A Place of Myths and Legend

Sunset from Konya Ark

The flaming orange yolk is quickly making its descent, taking with it the blanket of gold it has splashed on the sand-colored medressas and turquoise minarets of the city. By this time, all the other travelers around me have all gone and I’m all alone on the watch tower of Konya Ark, save for another traveler [...]

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The Golden Road to Samarkand: Uncovering Silk Road History

Turquoise domes are omnipresent in Samarkand

We travel not for trafficking alone, by hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned. For lust of knowing what should not be known. We take the Golden Road to Samarkand. — James Elroy Flecker, The Golden Journey to Samarkand Indeed, nowhere else is as evocative of the Silk Road as Samarkand. This ancient city was [...]

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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 Glimpse into the Smoggy Mongolian Capital of Ulaanbaatar

Flowers at Sukhbaatar square

At first glance, Ulaanbaatar seems nothing more than a dusty concrete city with smoky industrial plants lining the fringe of the city. It’s dusty, gritty and enormous, resembling one of those developing cities in China. The air is polluted, new buildings are being erected next to old buildings, while Russian military vans rattle on the pot-holed boulevards. Needless to say, [...]

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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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Learning the Himalayan Way of Life in the Kathmandu Valley

The Himalayan ranges above Kathmandu Valley

The pointy snow-slathered peaks of the Himalayan Ranges stretch across my horizon like an endless sea of mountains. A blue haze covers the lower portion of the mountains, giving the illusion that they are floating in the air. Where I’m standing is almost 5,250 feet (1,600m) above sea level — the world seems so immense and I feel so small [...]

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Annapurna Foothills Trek — Part II: Walking from Sunrise to Sunset

My favorite spot

Read first – Annapurna Foothills Trek Part I: A Walk in the Clouds Day 3: Arriving at Dhampus in the darkness – 18km It’s 7am by the time I leave the warmth of my sleeping bag and head down to the breakfast table on the open porch of Breeze Teahouse. The view before us comes as quite a shock to my [...]

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Annapurna Foothills Trek — Part I: A Walk in the Clouds

On the gravel path

It’s almost late evening by the time we arrive in Nayapul, the starting point of the Annapurna Foothills Trek. After a hectic eight-hour drive from Kathmandu, we have dodged the random fires and riots of election day in Nepal and made it safely to the Himalayas. But now that we’re here, the sky is painted [...]

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Family Time in Singapore and Thailand – Captured on Instagram

Singapore

Our trip back home to Singapore this January/February was a very special one. It was the first Chinese New Year with my whole family together in quite a few years. Joining us for the first time in Singapore was my sister’s boyfriend Gary and their one-year-old kiddo, Dominic (also my current favorite person in the world). We spent our [...]

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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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Dawn on Nepal’s Rapti River: Birds, Crocodiles and Pink Skies

the gharial

Out on the brackish water, a pair of eyes lurks above the surface. Our boat man paddles gently to get a closer look. It stares straight at us and doesn’t move an inch. When we are just a few feet away from it, the motionless creature comes into full view — all of its marble-like [...]

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Happy Chinese New Year from Singapore!

Chinese New Year

After a whirlwind trip to Papua New Guinea, I’m now back in Singapore! PNG was truly an amazing place and I can’t wait to share all my stories with you, but I’m equally excited to be home. It’s been two years since we last stepped foot on Singapore soil and boy is it good to be [...]

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Unusual Discoveries: Phallic Symbols in Bhutan

Painting of phallus on outside walls of houses

In Bhutan, it is common to find phallic symbols painted on the walls of houses and in temples and other monastic bodies. Yes, I’m talking about explicit images of penises complete with hairy testicles and layers of foreskin tugged around them. It may be a peculiar sight to us — but for the Bhutanese, the phallus is simply of sign of [...]

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8 Things You Might Not Know about Bhutan

Building a strong identity

Since opening its doors to tourism in the 1970s, Bhutan has quickly risen to become one of the most talked-about country  in the world. So how did a small, isolated country of just under 800,000 people landlocked between the superpowers of India and China suddenly get so much attention’? I came to Bhutan to search for [...]

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Finding Peace at Bhutan’s Most Sacred Site: The Tiger’s Nest

Tiger

According to Sangay, I must have committed quite a lot of sins. I’m huffing and puffing, mid-way up the hundreds of steps that will take me to Bhutan’s most famous sacred site, Paro Taktsang or Tiger’s Nest. The air is thin and crisp at this altitude, and the steps are so steep my calves and ankles are aching with each [...]

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