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.
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.
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.
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.
“…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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.