Sam Pan Bok Canyon

Sam Pan Bok (3,000 Holes)

One of the lesser known attractions of Thailand is the impressive Sam Pan Bok – the Grand Canyon of Thailand, located near Ubon Ratchathani, close to Laos.

Made up of sandstone cliffs that run along the Mekong River, the Sam Pan Bok canyon can be best seen by taking long tail boat tours from the Song Khon village. The boat stops in few places allowing the tourists to step on different rock formations and sandy beaches. Read More

Kyoto Railway Station

“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Kyoto Station 京都駅

Kyoto Station is one of the largest railway stations in the world. It opened in 1997 commemorating Kyoto’s 1,200th anniversary. The architecture is stunning, mixing a futurist style with traditional Japanese elements. Read More

Havana, Cuba

“My mojito in the Bodeguita del Medio and my daiquiri in the Floridita.” – Ernest Hemingway

Cuba, one of the last bastions of communism in the world, a forgotten country so close to USA and so far away…

My first trip to Cuba was in 2008. I joined an international Cuban tour organized by Cuban Adventures. And from then on, a life of Cuban adventures has started!

Havana (Habana)

Passing through the José Martí International Airport in Havana, is like being in another world, a world stopped in time 50 years ago: aged buildings, grandma fashion and smell of cigarettes. People were smoking while waiting to pick up their luggage!

I accepted a ride to my hotel from two men inside the airport. Their “taxi” was a very old, broken Lada soviet made car. Of course, no safety belt or taxi meter. The men were very friendly and smiling all the time, until they frown up…

Japanese aesthetics

Japan is a country like nowhere else on earth, a country of extremes: traditional and modern, simple and complex, conservative and wild. The beauty of Japan is astonishing. How they can do it? How can I show a glimpse of Japan without going through the city-by-city travel stories? A good start would be by defining the principles of beauty or the aesthetics of Japan. Read More

Burning Man

“A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers.”

Burning Man” is an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance that takes place annually in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, USA.

The Burning Man event is guided by ten principles: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy.

This year the event starts now, August 28, and culminates with the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set alight on Saturday night, September 3, 2016. Read More

Nepal children

A Photo Essay

Nepal is one of my top destinations with incredible historic sites, stunning landscapes and wonderful people.

The “Children of Nepal” is a photo essay inspired from my 2010 trip to Nepal. The images are from Kathmandu, Annapurna Mountains and Chitwan.

Everywhere in Nepal the children were very happy to have their photos taken and see themselves on the LCD screen of the camera. Despite the hardships of life in Nepal and the poor areas I came across, the children never asked for anything, but gifts in toys or school requisites were welcomed.

Meet the children of Nepal! Read More

Travel Quotes

Inspirational Travel Quotes, Stories and Photos

Enjoy my favorite travel quotes coupled with stories I lived and photos I took during my travels.

1.

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes in the spirit in which the gods may offer it.” – Freya Stark, Baghdad Sketches

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Vienna

“When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

What a city, Vienna! It is one of the most tranquil and civilized cities in the world!

Get a glimpse of the imperial grandeur by visiting the Belvedere, Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces, or just walk through the old city centre starting from the Stephansplatz. The sound of music will follow you: Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Liszt, Brahms and many others. Read More

Tibet

Why We Travel

The Excitement

The most thrilling experiences are when you first arrive in a new country, especially if the country is so different from yours. Pico Iyer would call it “The Shock of Arrival”. For me was “Rush Hour in Kathmandu”.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

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Navaratri cheeks piercing

The Piercing Ritual

One of the highlights of the Navaratri Hindu Festival are the religious rituals, such as the piercing of body parts.

Apparently the devotees experience no pain and they do not bleed from their piercings.

At the Navaratri festival in Bangkok I witnessed the cheeks piercing of a Hindu devout with a metal spear. View the piercing ritual step-by-step. Read More

Navaratri Hindu Festival

Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskritnava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshipped. (Wikipedia)

In Bangkok the Navaratri Hindu Festival is celebrated every year during the ninth month of the lunar calendar mainly around the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple on Silom Road.

The roads around the temple are closed, making space for thousands of worshippers to pray and make offerings alongside hundreds of makeshift altars and stalls with flowers, food and souvenirs. Read More

Hikawa Maru, Yokohama

Yamashita Park, Yokohama

“She rode on a ship from Yokohama pier, taken away by a foreigner.” – Akai Kutsu

Yamashita Park in Yokohama is the place where the luxury passenger liner Hikawa Maru is docked and where you can find the famous “Little Girl with Red Shoes On” statue.  Read More

Strange Taipei - frog meat

Take a Walk on the Wild Side of Taipei

There is something exciting at every corner in Taipei! Something new, something cool, something you may want to try or something you may want to keep distance from it.

Get lost at night wandering through night markets, snake alleys and massage parlours. Try a snake soup or enjoy a dinner in a toilet!  8 strange and cool Taipei experiences.

“What I love most about this crazy life is the adventure of it.” – Juliette Binoche

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Taipei Street Photography

From Taipei, With Love!

One camera. One city. And if the city is Taipei, then you are a lucky photographer. Seven days in Taipei and 1,600 photos!

Each photo tells a story, each photo has an emotion attached to it. But how can you select the best photos without the emotions getting into the way? The American street photographer Garry Winogrand would even wait one year before judging his images.

Falling in love with Taipei and its people is easy. Enjoy a glimpse of Taipei in 24 images. Read More

Everest Base Camp

Lhasa to Everest Base Camp

In 2010 I took an amazing trip by air from Kathmandu to Lhasa, and overland from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp – via Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, Rongbuk – and back to Kathmandu via Zhangmu.

This is a continuation of my previous post “Tibet: Om Mani Padme Hum“.

There are actually two Everest Base Camps on the opposite sides of Mount Everest: the South Base Camp in Nepal and the North Base Camp in Tibet.

Follow the journey to the North Base Camp in 21 photos. Read More