• INDONESIA: Nasi Goreng

    Something of a taste from my childhood, Nasi Goreng is a staple of Indonesian (and Malaysian and Singaporean) cuisine, spicy fried rice with omelette pieces its a filling dish.

    Togs Tuck Indonesia Asia
  • Bethlehem

    The city was first mentioned in 1350 BCE and has been, in one state or another in constant use since. and Palestine, with Bethlehem in particular has a wide range of tourists and is highly dependant on the income. Most tourists come for a few hours for for a day trip, a much smaller number stay in one of the thirty hotels.

    Bethlehem Palestine West Bank Asia
  • Jerusalem

    When people talk about Jerusalem they are really talking about the old city, the town first settled in the 4th century BCE, which has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times. Jerusalem itself has grown well past that point, but the old city is still a major part of the town and is not just a site of ancient wonders, but of shops, homes and restaurants.

    Jerusalem Israel Asia Western Wall Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Christ’s Baptism

    On both banks of the river Jordan stand locations claiming to be the site of Jesus Christ's baptism by John. Separated by a dozen feet of water, the faithful, the interested and the border police stand on either side.

    Asia Jordan River Jordan Israel John the Baptist Christ's Baptism
  • The Dead Sea

    The Dead Sea is slowly dying. Climate change is having a dramatic effect on the region and the water from the River Jordan, which previously kept the sea level is drying up.

    Dead Sea Jordan Asia Spa
  • Wadi Rum

    People often compare Wadi Rum desert to Arizona. Whilst both are desolate landscapes dominated by rocky outcroppings, the similarity really stops there. Wadi Rum does not have the dramatic striation that defines Arizona, but instead has an almost melted look on its rock outcroppings due to the soft sandstone and limestone of the region.

    Asia Jordan Wadi Rum Desert The Martian Astrophotography Stars Camping
  • Petra

    Petra is an ancient Nabatean city and has some of the most incredible, memorable and breathtaking architecture you will see in you life. In the middle of the desert, the sun bakes down, but over the centuries the rare rain has slowly been eroding the carvings, despite the overhangs and rain gutters the Nabatean's caved and the local archeological teams keep in working order.

    Petra Jordan Asia Treasury Al Khazneh Siq El Deir Royal Tombs
  • Madeba

    The town of Madaba is small, but busy, with vendors selling on the streets and a number of high end local shops selling locally made designer clothes. The town dates from the middle bronze age and is referenced in the Bible.

    Madeba Jordan Asia Church of the Map Mosaic
  • Mount Nebo

    Mt Nebo is reputed to be where Moses stood when he saw the holy land after leaving Egypt. Hardly a mountain by most standards, it is still much taller then the flat planes all around it.

    Mt Nebo Jordan Asia Brazen Serpent Statue
  • Little Petra

    Little Petra is also known as Siq al-Barid and is a few miles north of the more famous Petra. It is free entrance, unlike Petra and is usually much less crowded, though it still has a number of Bedouins selling souvenirs and local children following you around looking for money.

    Jordan Asia Little Petra Siq al-Barid Painted House Nabataean Archeology
  • Philadelphia

    Much like Rome herself, Philadelphia was built on seven hills. The Citadel ruins are on one of them looking over the Roman Theatre and Hashemite plaza in the basin.

    Philadelphia Jordan Asia Temple of Hercules Roman Theatre Odeon
  • Jerash

    About an hour outside of Amman is the ancient city of Gerasa (now called Jerash), the largest Roman city remaining outside of Italy. Much of it is still undiscovered, and the modern city spills over a large piece of the underground ruins preventing their excavation.

    Gerasa Jerash Jordan Roman Ruins Asia
  • Amman (Downtown)

    Downtown Amman is hectic, shops spill out into the streets and street vendors setup tables anywhere there is space.

    Asia Jordan Amman
  • Amman (Suburbs)

    Amman is a large city, with a bustling center, heavily gridlocked at many hours of the day. Owing to this, more and more commerce and leisure options are appearing in the suburbs.

    Asia Jordan Amman
  • Rabat

    We decided, as part of our trip to visit Rabat, the capital city of Morocco and see somewhere off the main trail of tourist spots.

    Rabat Morocco Asia Mausoleum of Mohammed V Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Villa des Arts
  • Casablanca

    On Wednesday when we got to the hotel, it was fairly late, but we'd not eaten so we went up to the hotel restaurant for dinner and we got a bit of a show from a belly dancer who was working that evening.

    Casablanca Morocco Asia
  • White Water Rafting on the Annapurna River

    At 5am again, we crawled out of the hotel, all bags in hand and paid over the odds for a taxi to the Hotel Tradition where we would be staying after the rafting to leave our unneeded bags behind.

    White Water Rafting Nepal Annapurna Annapurna River Asia
  • Everest from the Air

    We had booked the Mountain View flight the previous evening, and were looking forward to our one chance to see Everest. This day started at 5am with a mini coach ride to the very basic Domestic Terminal of the airport with my associate and the American lady and gentleman.

    Everest Mountains Nepal Asia
  • Chitwan Nature Reserve

    As we reached Chitwan, we pulled in to a lovely complex of old wood and faux wattled walls, with wide basket light fixtures. It was quite beautiful.

    Nepal Chitwan Asia Chitwan Nature Reserve Elephant Rhino Tiger
  • Pokhara

    We got up early and took the purple bus to Pokhara. The non-day bags were loaded onto the roof, and I can only hope nothing breakable was in there because they were hurled up with some force!

    Pokhara Nepal Asia
  • Annapurna Trail

    At 06:30am, I was started into wakefulness from a pleasant dream about paying for some parking at a multi-story by a bleating alarm clock.

    Nepal Asia Annapurna Ghandruk hiking
  • Kathmandu

    Nepal though, is a vibrant, chaotic, beautify place. The clothes, the buildings, the sun over the mountains are all a riot of colours that can be a challenge to do justice, and that shooting Black and White would impede.

    Asia Nepal Kathmandu Thamel Bhaktapur
  • Pa Tong

    We took a Tuk Tuk in, and had a wander round, ended up eating lunch (not me) in a Russian place which was terrible and then stopped for ice cream to eat as we walked. Patong is ok, its busy, touristy and cheapish. Good for a night out. Wandered on to the beach for a bit and eventually found, on the main walkway, a bar serving cocktails at 50% off for the next two hours. We had lots. I jumped up from time to time to run across the road to get photos of paragliding and sunsets.

    Patong Thailand Asia Phuket
  • Thai Experience

    We were taken to the tour location; it was basically a single large 'theme park' which offered pretty much everything on the tour in one place. It’s a great idea, but needs some work, everything felt a little rushed.

    Thailand Asia Phuket Tour
  • Muslim Village

    We then went to the Muslim Village, the standard 'we want you to buy stuff' stop on any tour. The village is built on slits in the middle of the water with only a tenuous connection to the land, it’s a hodgepodge of wood, concrete and steel holding it all together. Plenty of gibbons here, 'pets'. The mosque is being rebuilt, probably still repairing damage from the Tsunami.

    Thailand Asia Phuket Muslim Viliage
  • Sea Canoes in Thailand

    We were then taken to a 'standing' boat where we were put into sea canoes and taken through the sea caves of the area. The guide on the back did the paddling and was a little ambitious at one point with what we could get under, but still, the have a huge and impressive system of caves. Some lagoons are only assessable at low tide.

    Thailand Asia Phuket Sea Canoes Kayaking
  • James Bond Island

    From the cave, we got taken to the longboat and travelled out towards James Bond Island or Khao Phing Kan. We jumped off the boat and got a bit of time to explore and take photos of the island. It's impressive, almost like a bowling pin, but upside down in a cove.

    Thailand Asia Phuket James Bond Island Khao Phing Kan
  • Cave of the Reclining Buddha

    Part of the monkey cave is the Cave of the Reclining Buddha, or Wat Suwan Khuha, which also had a light cave and dark cave behind it. It was pretty impressive, though the strip lights were a little aggravating to my photography!

    Thailand Asia Phuket Cave of the Reclining Buddha
  • Monkey Cave

    It was a long drive, up to the top of Phuket, over the bridge to the mainland and then to the Monkey Cave. The monkeys were really used to people and I think I have managed to get some excellent shots of them. The light was a little awkward, as it was very bright sun with thick shadows from the trees. Several of the monkeys climbed all over the people with food!

    Thailand Asia Phuket Monkey Cave
  • Circling Phuket

    Tuesday was the day of Motorbike Madness! We met at the rental place and picked up two scooters, I was an all black model. We had agreed that our motorbike gang name was the “Wolverines”, complete with the hand gesture.

    Phuket Thailand Scooter Moped Asia Gibbons Gibbon Sanctuary Promthep Cape
  • Phi Phi Islands

    The boat was very full, and we spent about 40 minutes heading to our first destination, Phi Phi Maya Island, where the beach was filmed, it was stunning, beautiful colours.

    Kho Phi Phi Thailand Asia Ko Phi Phi
  • Bon Island

    We took the boat to the island and, as I was still feeling my shoulders I didn’t take out a boat or kayak. I took some decent photos, finished my book, and did a little snorkeling. We headed back at 12ish, called into the infinity pool to check up on the guys, and decided on lunch at 1ish.

    Bon Island Phuket Thailand Asia
  • Rawai Town

    We walked into Rawai Beach, it was pretty quiet really, which is a shame, found a great little place on the beach called Nikita's and ordered a big starter to share and then main courses.

    Rawai Phuket Thailand Asia
  • Moon Bar

    Then headed over to the Moon Bar at Vertigo, it’s on the 61st floor and stunning views. We were there from before sunset to darkness, incredible place, worth a trip, but bring a healthy bank balance, and if you wanted to impress someone at a date, who wasn’t afraid of heights, and you were in Thailand, definitely a good idea!!

    Asia Thailand Bangkok
  • Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa

    It was an hours transport from the hotel, the scenery is very reminiscent of Indonesia. We pulled down the drive, and after a long, green tree lined boulevard we pulled up at the entrance. It is amazing. Very open plan, spacious, peaceful. The reception is outside built over a reflecting pool. I've been upgraded to deluxe again, and the room is incredible.

    Phuket Everson Hotel & Spa Thailand Asia
  • Patong Night Market

    From there, general consensus was to head to Patong Market to watch a ping pong show. This isn’t really my thing, and had said so previously, but as everyone else was saying it’s a good plan, I went along....

    Thailand Bangkok Asia Patong Night Market
  • Grand Palace

    The tour operator gave me a lift up to the Grand Palace. Had a wander round there for a while, which was pretty awesome, it’s a combined palace and temple where the Emerald Buddha is found Its impressive and amazing.

    Thailand Bangkok Asia Grand Palace
  • Marble Temple

    Finally, we saw the marble temple, Wat Benchamabophit, which had been inspired by western churches.

    Thailand Bangkok Asia Marble Temple Wat Benchamabophit
  • Temple of Buddha Reclining

    Also know as Wat Pho, we visited the Temple of Buddha Reclining after the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It is located very close to the Grand Palace and shares a certain style of architecture.

    Thailand Bangkok Asia
  • Temple of the Golden Buddha

    My first stop on the tour I arranged was the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It is a remarkable building, the spire soaring alone into the sky.

    Thailand Bangkok Asia Temple of the Golden Buddha
  • Bangkok

    Bangkok is busy, historic and modern at the same time. The seedy side coexists with a deeply spiritual environment.

    Thailand Bangkok Asia
  • Çemberlitaş Hamamı

    Afterwards, I went to the Çemberlitaş hamam, the oldest Turkish bath in Istanbul, it's been in use for about 500 years. I did the whole treatment.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Çemberlitaş Hamamı Hammam
  • Dolmabahçe Palace

    After that, having discovered the bus was leaking, we went to the palace. Very impressive, reminiscent of the Russian palaces i have been to. You can only go in groups and our guide had written a book on it was was pretty knowledgeable. Some impressive rooms.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Dolmabahçe Palace Palace
  • Asian Istanbul

    Finally, we crossed over to the Asian side, so i have now been to all three areas and went to the Panoramia Cafe. Got some OK shots of Istanbul, but it is still cloudy and misty so they are not as good as they could have been. Had a coffee at the café and we will be heading back to the main square and back to the hotel, via Starbucks.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe
  • Bosphorus Cruise

    The boat trip is good, but the weather is a problem. Rain forced me downstairs into the bar area rather than the top, and the photos won’t be as good as the light is poor. Amazing mix, and I'd be tempted to stay high up on the northern side in the fashionable areas with more nightlife and travel down in the morning by tram.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Bosphorus Cruise
  • Spice Bazaar

    First stop on the Bosporus tour was been the spice bazaar. An interesting place, I picked up a few bits and pieces for people and spent quite a bit quite quickly. Despite the name, the Bazaar sells quite a lot more than just spices.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Spice Bazaar Bazaar
  • Hagia Sophia

    I stopped on route to the Archeology Museum for fries, a beef sandwich and a coke at an outdoors café in the shadow of the Hagia Sophia. Very nice sandwich with a remarkable view.

    Istanbul Asia Europe Turkey Hagia Sophia Mosque
  • Modern Art Museum

    The modern art gallery is housed in an old shipping warehouse. No photos are allowed, so i have had to check the camera in to a locker. But i did get a student ticket and an audio guide for 6lira, about £2.50.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Modern Art Museum
  • Kamondo Stairs

    I couldn’t find the Jewish art gallery, which is supposed to be on the corner of the Kimono stairs. I found the stairs easily enough but not the gallery. The stairs are a nice diversion and quite different from everything around them.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Kamondo Stairs
  • New Town

    As I had a free afternoon, I headed to New Town to the cinema. It is seriously subterranean! The entrance is on street level, but then you go down about five flights of stairs to get to the screens. It’s a seven screen cinema and screens one and two are at the very bottom, and the top is street level. Would be a scary place to see a horror film!

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe New Town
  • Galata Tower

    I sat at the top of it with a Turkish tea, having wandered round the outside and got some fantastic photos. It was at this point I decided I needed to buy myself an dSLR of my own, having borrowed the one I was using for this trip from a friend. Galata tower is also a nightclub after 8pm.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Galata Tower Galata
  • Hippodrome

    From there I wandered around the hippodrome, there are a series of columns and obelisks stood there now, but it used to be for chariot races. One of them is an Egyptian pillar which looks somewhat out of place.

    Turkey Asia Europe Istanbul Hippodrome
  • Grand Bazaar

    A lot of venues were closed on Mondays, which was a shame. After a coffee I wandered in the direction of the Grand Bazaar. I found it, had a quick wander through and will go back without the obvious camera and bag and do some shopping.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Grand Bazaar Bazaar
  • Sultan II. Mahmut Tomb

    I found the tomb of one of the Sultans, which as impressive and right on the main road. Which was a little strange. I wandered through some of the more Turkish less touristy areas and stopped for an Ayran, a yogurt drink.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Sultan II. Mahmut Tomb Tomb
  • Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam

    After that, i decided to try the museum I saw the other day, the brand new Istanbul museum of the history of science is amazing. It is a beautiful opulent modern setting in a shaded park. The displays are lit elegantly and the items are remarkable.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam
  • Basilica Cistern

    The Hagia Sophia is closed on a Monday. Instead i went to the Basilica Cistern, a huge underground cistern supported by 12 rows of 18 columns with two mysterious Medusa heads, one on its side, one upside-down.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Basilica Cistern
  • The Blue Mosque

    Headed straight to the Blue Mosque, its really impressive, and I think if I knew more about architecture it would be more so, for example the courtyard is exactly the same size as the internal space. The domes are massive and the gold calligraphy is impressive! There are be some photos, but they don't do it justice.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Blue Mosque
  • Galata Bridge

    After the Archeology museum I headed off to the Bridge to the North Side. The bridge is very cool, all I did was walk across(under) one side have a look at the fish market and come back, as it was relatively late by that point and stuff was closing.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Galata Bridge Galata
  • Istanbul Archeology Museum

    I had a really good afternoon. Went to the Archeology museum, stopping on route for fries, a beef sandwich and a coke at an outdoors café in the shadow of the Hagia Sophia.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Istanbul Archeology Museum
  • Topkapi Palace

    I wandered through the grounds of the Topkapi Palace and a Turkish gent started chatting to me; giving me advice on what to do. He said the Bosporus cruise was a must and made no effort to sell me one or recommend a place to go, so I believe him that it is a good idea.He also told me I looked like a Turk. I think there may be some truth to that, even if it’s just I don’t move like a tourist, never have, because I have been hassled very little by shop people and guides and guards have been telling me things in Turkish. Which really doesn’t help me at all, but is flattering.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Topkapi Palace
  • Sultanahmet

    The weather has been amazing, about 30 degrees, mostly cloudless blue sky, little bit of wind to keep you cool. All in all a very good temp. a little warmer would be nice but still a fair chance I will be decently tanned by the end of the week.

    Istanbul Turkey Asia Europe Sultanamekek