Category Archives: Architecture & Design

Angkor Wat

IMG_1905

IMG_1555
library, Angkor Wat

IMG_1578

relieved Richie overcomes vertigo after descending the near-vertical stairs from the Bakan (inner gallery)
relieved Richie overcomes vertigo after descending the near-vertical stairs from the Bakan (inner gallery)
queuing for a sunset moment (shades of Vatican Museum)
queuing for a sunset moment (shades of Vatican Museum)
Bodhi tree growing from the ruins
Bodhi tree growing from the ruins
Ta Prohm, the 'Tomb Raider' temple
Ta Prohm, the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple

IMG_1892

IMG_1571

IMG_1903

swarming over Bayon
swarming over Bayon

IMG_1835

IMG_1579
a dissolving apsara
IMG_1884
enigmatic faces, Bayon
Richie's remarkable elephant photo
Richie’s remarkable elephant photo
taking it all in
taking it all in

IMG_1798

Angkor art in action
Angkor art in action

IMG_1667

a cheeky face amid the ruins
a cheeky face amid the ruins
Richie & Paul, tomb raiders
Richie & Paul, tomb raiders

To see some more photo galleries of Angkor Wat check our Richie’s blog

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, History, Travel

Stealing Jackfruit in Luang Prabang

IMG_0677

If there’s one crime that suits my disposition better than others it’s stealing fruit. In England, harvesting fruit without permission is a sport fondly referred to as ‘scrumping’. It’s a right of passage. No stigma attached. Even the prime minister would be forgiven fruit-stealing proclivities so long as he atoned by lowering the tax on apple cider.

Here on the banks of the Mekong, in a country twice removed from the grassy orchards of Somerset, there’s every chance that scrumping is an offence punishable by more than just a slap on the wrists.

The fruit that has got me wondering whether it’s ever right to steal, is none other than the king of fruits, the mighty mighty jackfruit: big as an Ox and knobblier than granny’s crochet blankets. This one’s a beauty: the fruit is roughly wombat-size, irregular, oblong, kissed with black at its extremities, and anchored to the trunk by a stem as thick and sinuous as an umbilical chord. The tree has delivered one hell of a baby!

IMG_9947

Thai jackfruit for sale in the market in Jinghong, China

Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, Food, Travel

Jungle Fever

Warning: this blog contains gratuitous references to diarrhoea.

IMG_0064

Bumping through rapids in rubber kayaks is a sport that’s dear to me. It’s how Richie and I met 6 years ago, and coincidentally, how we chose to celebrate one year of life on the road together, in Laos. This time, it was brown water and not white water I feared. River kayaking is a dangerous activity at the best of times, but kayaking with diarrhoea is a sport that only the hardiest attempt!

There comes a time, whilst travelling in South East Asia, when the only thing to do is ‘man up’ and carry on with whatever activity you’ve planned for the day, in spite of cramps, nausea and the persistent need to relieve yourself.

In the lean hours of the morning, moments before sun-up on the first day of our 3-day trekking/kayaking adventure, I considered it might be prurient to give the experience a miss. Richie would be disappointed, and there was also the risk of losing our deposit to consider, but all in all, staying in and waiting for the deluge to pass seemed a wholly more attractive and sensible option. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, Food, Travel

3 Pagodas, Dali

IMG_9838

IMG_9866

IMG_9818

IMG_9799

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, History, Philosophy, Travel

Dali Photo Galleries

MUM’S VISIT TO DALI

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RICHIE AND PAUL’S MUSICAL EXPLOITS

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ABOUT TOWN

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MARKET DAYS

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

4 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, Food, Travel

The Many Temptations of Dali Old Town

Dali, in China’s Yunnan province, is a pleasant place to connect and re-root. There’s plenty of sunshine, good food and a multitude of comforts: hot showers, western loos, pizza, cake and coffee. Invasive foreign species like Brits, Aussies, Japanese and Canadians have long found a toehold in Dali, grafting themselves onto the cultural landscape. Yunnan is, after all, China’s most biodiverse province.

The melange of east and west, old and new works magic on Chinese tourists, who flock from all over the country to experience a neat and palatable version of their history. Trailing like unruly schoolchildren behind garishly dressed Bai cheerleaders, they traverse the city form south to north, parting enthusiastically with money for broiled Dali cheese, roast chestnuts and bolts of blue and white hand-dyed batik. Chinese tourists with oversized Nikon cameras startle hippy travellers, who make faces behind cocked pints of beer. “5 kwai a photo,” the reluctant models joke.

Bai tour guides, representatives of one of the region's ethnic minorities

Bai tour guides, representatives of one of the region’s ethnic minorities

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, Earth Care, Food, History, Philosophy, Social Justice, Travel

‘back door’ to Yunnan in photographs

IMG_8062

Suopo village stupa

IMG_8032

autumn blaze, Suopo

IMG_7998

Qiāng watchtowers of Suopo

Suopo village dwelling

Suopo village dwelling

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Architecture & Design, Culture, Food, History, Travel