Santa Monica Pier

Best way to see LA in a day

  From the skyscrapers of the CBD and iconic Hollywood sign to the mansions of Beverly Hills and sweeping Pacific coastline that stretches from Santa Monica up to Malibu, taking to the skies to see all the major sights of LA by helicopter is an awesome way to spend an afternoon. It’s certainly not cheap…

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Man Leading Donkey in Trinidad

First Impressions of Cuba

Wow, how fantastic is Cuba! It has always been on the list of places I would love to visit but apart from the promise of gorgeous architecture and cool looking old cars I was not really sure what to expect, and have been so busy over the past couple of months I didn’t do a…

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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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On the streets of Yan'an, China.

On the Streets of Yan’an, China

Yan’an in China’s northwest gains its fame for being near to the end point for Mao Zedong’s Long March, with the town serving as the Communist capital in the revolution. For me it was definitely one of the more interesting stops on the tours I led in China, resulting in what was generally a very…

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Colourful Cao Dai

Hailing from Southern Vietnam with saints that include Victor Hugo, the ‘father of modern China’, Sun Yat-sen and Vietnamese Poet, Nguyen Binh Khiem, the colourful Cao Dai have a set of beliefs and teachings that seem to be a bit of a mish-mash of all the major religions. Founded less than 100 years ago on…

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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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Sarawak Cultural Village

How times change!   A few years ago you would not have been able to drag me near this place.   For me traveling was about chasing the so-called truly authentic experience where these types of tourism sights just don’t feature. Nowadays though it is a different story.   I haven’t totally lost my traveling roots and I…

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The elongated ears of the Kelabit, one of Malaysia's smallest ethnic groups.

Kicking Back with the Kelabit

Being absolutely fascinated with the elongated earlobes of the Kelabit people meant I had a very difficult time drawing my gaze away from the real thing!   Sitting around the fireplace, enjoying a cup of tea while sucking on one of the famous super juicy and sweet Bario pineapples was an amazing opportunity to ask all…

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Bizarre Bario

This tiny town stranded deep in the Borneo interior near the Kalimantan border is surrounded by mountains and jungle.    It is also the home of the Kelabit people, one of Sarawak’s smallest ethnic minority groups. With no where near enough time to spare we booked our flights from Miri which usually has twice daily flights…

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Happy Birthday Hanoi

It has been 10 years since I last visited Hanoi and I must say it was great to be back. The city seems to retain a traditional vitality and wonderful atmosphere in the old quarter with so many street vendors carting colourful baskets of fruit and flowers amongst the rustic French colonial architecture lining the…

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