Inle Lake has plenty to see with cute stilt villages, cottage industries and lots of fishermen plying its waterways.

Exploring Inle Lake, Burma

Exploring Inle Lake by longboat is an absolute highlight of Burma. Calm waters mimic rippling silk offering stunning mirror-like reflections punctuated by lush floating gardens, simple stilt houses and traditional fishermen all surrounded by picturesque, verdant mountains.     While these form the essence of the waterway the area is so much more with unique cottage industries…

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Wonderful sunset view of some of the beautiful temples of Bagan, Myanmar.

Breathtaking Bagan

Hurriedly scampering up to the 2nd floor of an old temple in the golden dusky light of a rapidly approaching sunset was the perfect introduction to Bagan’s  magnificent landscapes.      Sheer magic is the only way I can describe this first glimpse and it has to go down as one of those truly special moments in…

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Northern Lights near Fairbanks, Alaska

Northern Lights near Fairbanks, Alaska

  Wow, what a first day out at the Mount Aurora Lodge! Located 30-40 mins from Fairbanks the lodge has sweeping views over the surrounding valleys from  its hillside perch. Housed in a converted gold miners dormitory the rustic, warm lodge has an open plan lounge/sitting/dining area that is just perfect for lounging around and…

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Gorgeous views from Petermann Island, Antarctica.

Incredible Beauty of Petermann Island, Antarctica

By this stage of the journey it gets quite easy to think that you’ve seen it all and nothing could supersede the sheer beauty you’d taken in over the previous few days.    Well how wrong could you be.    The island looked nothing special from afar but it was the place where we’d see Adele penguins….

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Black Dzao Woman Surveying the Corn Crop

Ha Giang – first glimpse

  I recently had the most fantastic week cruising around taking photos in Hagiang Province, Vietnam.     This mountainous region in the country’s north is just simply stunning and the people amazing.   It was intended that the Sunday market in Meo Vac was to be the highlight of the trip, however I can honestly say each…

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Yangshuo Karst Landscape, Guangxi, China

Moving on from the Middle Kingdom

The evolution of my life over the past 18 months since moving on from China has been both difficult and easy at times, but always interesting.   It has played such a huge role in my life over the past decade and I realise now that I definitely chose to leave at the right time with…

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Laos Ethnic Minority Clothing detail

Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre in Luang Prabang, Laos

The once remote areas of Asia continue on a path of rapid modernisation, swept along to some extent by tourism and technology moving through the region.   Along with this change, traditions and customs once abundantly practiced and visible are becoming less prominent in the lives of the younger generation, as globalisation instills a level of…

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Tibetan Festival in Langmusi

Tibetan Nomad Festival, Langmusi

How awesome was this Tibetan nomad festival in Langmusi, China on International Children’s Day, 2002. I was incredibly fortunate to experience this event with one of my groups and it was definitely worth arriving after 2am in the morning for.  We had broken down on the grasslands in the middle of Sichuan the previous day…

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New Blog Category – ‘remembering …’

If you are a regular visitor you might have noticed I have introduced a new category of blog post called “remembering…”. I have spent the past few days delving back into my huge archive of film images, many of which have been locked away for the past 9 or 10 years.   Of course this has…

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Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou National Park, China

Jiuzhaigou is scenically one of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever seen, however I have realised I need to qualify this a little.  I grew up in an area that was very flat and dry, so in a way I find mountains, snow and the whole alpine scenery thing to be all quite exotic….

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In the village of Langmusi, China in 2001.

Lovely Langmusi

Straddling the Sichuan / Gansu border is the simply wonderful little village of Langmusi. The first time I visited this remote outpost was back in 1997.   The location is simply stunning, located up on the sweeping grasslands of the Tibetan plateau. There have been big changes since I first visited, apparently the roads in town…

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man riding on the roof of a truck in fengjie - a town set for destruction

Fengjie Before Destruction 2002

An ancient town with a history of some 2000 years sitting at the entrance of the stunning Qutang Gorge on the northern banks of the Yangzte River, China, Fengjie was one of the first to be destroyed to make way for the Three Gorges Dam project. This series of images was taken in July 2002…

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Dim Sum in Melbourne

If there is one thing you may have noticed about me and food is that I love Dim Sum!  Of course there are so many fantastic Chinese dishes that I miss now that I am back in Melbourne for a while but I can say without a doubt that the Shark Fin House has sensational…

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Fools Paradise – An evolving cultural masterpiece

Branded a fool over his decision some 13 years ago to create a large scale art park amongst the ethereal landscape of Guilin, Rhy Chang Tsao’s pet project, affectionately named “Fools Paradise”, now boasts more than 200 magnificently sculptured artworks that dot manicured grounds like rare species of flowers. Whilst it may be somewhat difficult…

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Lion Dance at the Wong Fei Hung Memorial, Guangzhou

A lion appeared at the opposite end of the courtyard.  Standing for a few moments then dramatically jumping up onto the first set of poles which looked to be around a metre high.  Within moments he had bounded a further two or three times in perfect unison to the beating drum.    This initial burst of…

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Hualin Temple, Guangzhou

You don’t often find many “special” temples in the more populated cities of China anymore.   Most are over-touristed and lack any authentic atmosphere.   The Hualin temple in Guangzhou’s old Liwan district definitely managed to impress me.  To be more accurate, the 500 Arhat Hall was the standout for this entire ancient complex. Walking inside the…

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Magical Afternoon of Cantonese Opera & Delicious Dim Sum

I have written about dim sum on this site a few times now and actually, if I haven’t mentioned it already – I love dim sum!!! So the opportunity to sit around eating dim sum and drinking tea in the city that spawned these tasty little morsels was just too much to resist.  Especially, since…

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Guangzhou’s Architecture Favorites

I have literally passed through Guangzhou dozens of times but have been yet to discover any real charm amongst its mammoth sized urban sprawl. This all changed when I stumbled upon a few classic streets in the city’s old quarter which have thoroughly revived my interest.   The stunning qilou that line the peaceful En Ning…

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Guangzhou’s New TV Tower

Stretching some 450 metres into the sky on the banks of the Pearl River is Guangzhou’s newest icon.   Nicknamed the “Supermodel”, the tower is said to mimic the body of a sexy woman. The elevator to the top is a special ride that brings dizzying but intermittent views across the city as you whizz your…

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Shamian Island, Guangzhou

Shamian Island is known in Guangzhou for its beautiful old architecture.   This former UK & French concession area is a great place to enjoy an atmospheric stroll amongst colonial styled structures from a bygone era. It also means this picturesque little spot is a draw-card for photographers adding a layer of vibrancy and interest that…

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Chen Family Ancestral Temple

A Qing dynasty relic of Lingnan culture which seems to have survived the cultural revolution relatively unscathed now houses the Guangdong Museum of Folk Art in a few of its many halls. Elaborately carved Chaozhou styled wooden doors depict classic Chinese scenes while mythological characters feature in the colourful, intricate lime sculptures that grace the…

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Yangshuo: a threatened wonder?

Being Popular in the World’s Most Populous Nation Brings its Challenges.   An article in Wanderlust magazine discusses the “Threatened Wonders 2010”, which sees Yangshuo as number 2 on the list.   Needless to say I found some of the comments quite interesting and thought I might toss my opinion out there.   Most of China’s…

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Charming Hoi An

Hoi An has not lost even one iota of its charm. There have been many but few changes to this ancient World Heritage site over the past 10 years. I still found myself gasping at just how beautiful and appealing the architecture is in the old town. It also took me a day to realize…

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Cruising in Saigon

Stepping out of Hanoi’s old quarter onto the streets of Saigon is a bit of shock. Saigon is alive with frantic activity. The streets buzz constantly with steady streams of motorbikes and with Sunday night being one of those “out cruising with the family evenings” you see many of the passers by smiling and simply…

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