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I’ve been based in Bangkok for the last two weeks, and it has been a welcome change in pace after three full-on months of travel.

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After a pretty gruelling trip through Russia, I was very happy to be back in Asia.  I was especially happy, because my next stop after Beijing was Hong Kong – one of my favourite cities in the world.

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It’s been quite a while since I left the balmy shores of Lake Bled, with its backdrop of castles, dramatic peaks and rolling green hills.  In fact, the last month has been pretty much the polar opposite.

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After being blown away by Dubrovnik I had high expectations when it came to Split and the Croatian islands.  Though I did enjoy my time on Brač, the same could not really be said about Split and overall I left Croatia after almost a week feeling a bit flat.

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“…and then I ran down our street and heard a few loud bangs. It was a sniper and he was shooting at me. I was so scared, and then he hit me.”  Visiting Bosnia & Herzegovina has been one of the highlights of my entire European trip, but not in the ways in which I was expecting.  

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I’m sitting in Sarajevo, reflecting on a very hectic week, in which I visited 7 countries in 7 days.  And yet it has been the most interesting, beautiful and puzzling part of my travels so far.  If you have never been to this part of the world, then I suggest you book your flights now!

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I have a confession to make: I love Singapore.  Well, two confessions, actually…I also love tilt-shift lenses (and I apologise profusely for totally overusing tilt-shift images in this post, but I rented one for a day and figured I should make good use of it).

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In my mind Da Lat is an anomaly.  Situated 1,500m above sea level, and frequently facing prolonged periods of rain and overcast skies, the city is a good 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country.  This temperate climate, and the fact that the French colonialists treated it as a country retreat to get out of the stifling heat of Saigon, makes the place feel oddly European.

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My next stop after Hoi An was the imperial city of Hue – former capital city of the Nguyen empire.  An impressive city with lots of atmosphere, you can tell that Hue has a rich history from the moment you set foot in it.  Unfortunately, however, it also feels a bit like a shadow of its former self – perhaps due to the near total destruction of the city by American bombs during the Vietnam War.

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I only recall being in central Cape Town once, as a small child; it is fair to say that I cannot remember very much about that visit.  Having briefly walked around Johannesburg last week (a city affectionately / deceptively known as “Josy”), and having been acutely aware of my impending death, I fully expected my Cape Town walking tour to be a dreadful affair – walking around dirty streets whilst fearing for my life.