Aug 7 2014

Fushimi Inari-Taisha - Endless Tori path to the mountain

Category: Martin @ 17:15

I tell just doesn't stop.

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Jul 28 2014

Shanghai North Bund

Category: Martin @ 20:00


 Nice view from the Banyan Tree Hotel terrace.

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Jun 21 2014

Trip to Mysore

Category: Martin @ 13:57


Chawundi Temple. Compared to Myanmar I was a bit whelmed. The stream of people was enourmous. At least paying 10x the amount of the locals had its advantage and I could skip the queue.


Apparently this guy is called Nandi the Bull (seen at Chamundi Hill, Mysore)

This schoolboy wanted to earn a bit of school tuition money. For some reason he only could make silly faces. Right: Colorful chalk swastikas painted on the wall of Chamundi temple

 Mysore Palace. Unfortunately the most beautiful part were the large halls inside where photography was strictly forbidden.


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Jun 15 2014

Surayanarayana Temple Bangalore

Category: Martin @ 12:38

 Nice temple near the old airport in Bangalore. The place is hard to find and surrounded by small houses. 

Cows near the temple feasting on delicious rubbish.

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Mar 19 2014

Yangon exploration

Category: Martin @ 15:00

 Kandawgyi Palace Hotel at the Kandawgyi Lake

 Karaweik Hall Restaurant


 Aung Sang Suu Kyi's former residence and place of house arrest

At the site of the giant lying Buddha: A Chinese Monk (left) who was very chatty (probably bored), and a young Padawan apprentice (right)

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Mar 18 2014

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

Category: Martin @ 20:22




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Feb 7 2013

Mount Agung, Tulamben, Bali

Category: Martin @ 01:32

Mount Agung, place of Gods and center of the Balinese coordinate system. It stretches from sea level up to 3000 m. The volcano last erupted in 1964 and due to some massive pyroclastic flows sunk the USAT Liberty that has been lying on the beach off Tulamben since 1942. The shipwreck is now one of Bali's major attraction for divers.

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Jun 1 2012

Whale Island

Category: Martin @ 12:12

There's only a hotel on this tiny island. It's the perfect getaway place and offers basically nothing except quietness a nice beach and a jungle trail. Diving and snorkelling trips can also be booked. I recommend diving the "3 Kings" site.

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May 29 2012

Nha Trang

Category: Martin @ 12:05

Nha Trang is the diving capital of Vietnam. This Russian outpost (меню на русском) offers various activities but is relatively quiet compared to some other south east Asian destinations. The "Madonna Rock" dive site was quite spectacular with a couple of narrow caves and swim throughs.  

Cham temple in Nha Trang. Cham people are of Austronesian origin and are remnants of the Kingdom of Champa (7th to 18th centuries). One noteable peculiarity is their worship of stone willies which they placed inside the temples shown above.

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May 27 2012

HCM City (Saigon)

Category: Martin @ 12:02

This picture looks rather cleaned up compared to the rest of Saigon. The picture also proofs that my camera wasn't snatched.

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May 23 2012


Category: Martin @ 22:00

This is central Macau at Night. Visitors to Macau quickly realize that their whole economy is based on gambling, dried meat and egg custard tarts.

Inside the Venetian Macau our humble residence for one night.

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May 21 2012

Hong Kong Park

Category: Martin @ 12:24

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May 17 2012

Apple Store Shanghai

Category: Martin @ 21:00

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Oct 20 2010

Typhoon Megi

Category: Martin @ 07:03


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Oct 11 2010

Minority Report

Category: Martin @ 13:14

Our second organized day trip took us to the remote mountain village Pingan in Longsheng county. This time we had a new guide, Mr. Guo who like the previous one encouraged us to add "Gourou" to his name, which means so much as "dog meat" a local slang for buddy, bro, sis, friend.

Left, a Yao minority woman holding a baby. The nappy problem is elegantly circumvented by the open bottom trouser method. The lovely lady on the right side belongs to the Zhuang minority whose members can easily be recognized by the bathing towel worn on their heads. I asked her to teach us a few words in Zhuang language, a close relative to Thai. All I remember is "doohzeh" for "thanks".

Rice terraces in the mist

Our guide, Dog Meat Guo initially told us not to worry. On his tour nobody will be scammed and there's no extra charge for anything. "Ah, but there's the minority theme park where we'll go and where you can either enter for 70 yuan or wait in the bus for one and a half hours". Needless to say, that everybody paid and entered. I don't even regret it, as it was like a zoo and I quite like zoos.

Figure A shows three specimen of the Tujia instinctively performing a ritual welcome drum concert to all bypassers. Figure B shows a Zhuang female in her natural habitat. Behavioural scientists have found out that Zhuangs can be provoked to sing a folk song in response to any folklore song sung at them. Figure C shows four young and fertile Yao individuals of the red variety displaying their long hair, which they never cut. Red Yao males and females enjoy equal rights and food procurement is shared among them. This is in stark contrast to Yaos of the "white trouser" variety illustrated in figures D and E where females are left to do all the hard labour while males go out and play. Females are polygamous and keep up to 5 potential mates at any given time.

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Oct 10 2010

Guilin to Yangshuo

Category: Martin @ 16:54

Today we did a guided trip along the Li River to a small place called Yangshuo. The boat ride takes 4.5 hours and goes through endless varations of the above scene.

The weather forecast for the whole 4 days in Guilin was "overcast with heavy rain", so I was quite happy to get a small patch of blue sky in this picture.

Monkey business

One of the many caves in the Guilin/Yangshuo area.

As we found out all organized day-trips here are quite cheap. The catch is that the tour guide will bring you to about 7 places where you are encouraged to spend money. Of course you don't have to spend anything and it was fun to see with what tricks they tried to extract money from you. They even scam you in a buddhist temple. When we entered, everyone was handed an inscribed bamboo stick (We politely refused) which you were supposed to show to a monk to decipher it for you. A young chinese guy complained to us afterwards that he had to pay around 100$ for the monks "translation" services, which he couldn't refuse to pay because the monk told him he would lose face refusing it in front of the big Buddha statue. The poor tourist's girlfriend wouldn't talk to him for several hours afterwards.

Later the bus stopped in front of a jewellery shop and the tour guide lady told us we HAVE to get in there. The whole group was brought into a small white square room where we waited a while until a young saleswoman arrived and made us guess which of the 4 jade-rings was a fake one. One was obviously very fake and should probably distract you from the fact, that the other 3 real ones are also fakes. At one point a man came in, talked angrily with the girl and left again. Then the girl started her oscar worthy acting and told everybody that her boss is not happy and will fire her if she doesn't sell anything. Great entertainment.

In total we paid 1$ to take a few pictures of the monkey above.

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Oct 9 2010

Arrival in Guilin

Category: Martin @ 20:43

The nine story high sun pagoda in Guilin, filmed from the adjacent moon pagoda.

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Oct 5 2010

Shanghai Nights

Category: Martin @ 21:08

View over the Huangpu River to the Pudong financial zone.

The Shanghai bund. I was there before, but this year the mile long river promenade was crazily crowded.

Neon lights in the shopping street Nanjing Lu.

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Oct 4 2010


Category: Martin @ 16:47

Chinese Pavillion near the entrance to the Expo.

The Polish pavillion in its green state (changes colours).

Read my whole detailed Expo 2010 Shanghai Review here.

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Dec 22 2009

Uluwatu Temple, Bali

Category: Martin @ 07:36

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Dec 20 2009

Exploring Rinca Island

Category: Martin @ 07:26

Komodo dragon walking around the visitor center

Savannah on Rinca. The island is home of about 1300 Komodo dragons.


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Dec 19 2009

Diving around Komodo and Rinca

Category: Martin @ 07:22

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Dec 17 2009

Labuan Bajo Sunset

Category: Martin @ 09:25

Flores, apart from being the home of strange prehistoric creatures like the Hobbit Hominid "Homo Floresiensis" also offers nice sunsets and spectacular diving.

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Jul 21 2009

Good plan, bad weather

Category: Martin @ 23:43

Obviously I was not the only one who chose this spot to see the eclipse. The plan was to see the the totality trough the top hole in the financial tower. Just a few minutes before the show, dark clouds appeared from the west. Below is the actual view during the full eclipse. At least it got dark...and about 20 million other people around also didn't see more.

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Jul 21 2009

Pudong II

Category: Martin @ 13:15

Today we were doing a little research for a good position to see the eclipse. We took the oportunity and went to the observation deck of the Shanghai Financial Center. Unfortunately the weather looks not very promising....

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Jul 20 2009

Goodbye Chengdu, Goodbye Chairman...

Category: Martin @ 03:19


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Jul 18 2009

Leshan Giant Buddha

Category: Martin @ 23:34

Today's excursion took me to Leshan, about 130km from Chengdu. The main attraction of Leshan is the 71m high Buddha statue built during the Tang dynasty (around 700 AD).


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Jul 18 2009

(No) Pandas

Category: Martin @ 00:13

I made a short trip to the famous Chengdu Panda Research Base. The site contains huge open spaces for Pandas, which were all empty, because the bears, due to the hot weather, all stayed inside the air conditioned cages.

Scene at the pond.....almost more interesting than the Pandas.



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Jul 17 2009

Flight from Lhasa to Chengdu

Category: Martin @ 09:31

The two hour flight from Lhasa to Chengdu took us over a mountain range 4 times longer than the swiss alps. Although the weather was mostly cloudy, a large number of glaciers in the Nyainqêntanglha Shan mountain range could be seen. Click here to open in Google Earth.


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Jul 17 2009

Tibetan Ad

Category: Martin @ 04:13

You would assume, they have enough mountains themselves in Tibet to take pictures of....


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