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Old Posted May 21, 2020, 4:32 PM
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Travelling From Home - Around the World in 80 Pix

With more time spent looking at my travel photos over the years now that I've been grounded for over 3 months. Here is a compilation of my "Around the World in 80 Photos".

1. A travel show broadcasted on Hong Kong TV in 2015 prompted a North Korea travel craze. It is expensive to go, but seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Pyongyang had busy streets, and there are even traffic jams. But there are also grand monuments where we had to bow to the Great Leader(s) before sightseeing.





3. South Korea is a regular destination for me, and I was keen to go up Seoul's new tallest, the Lotte World Tower. Being cheap, I went up to the Signiel Hotel that occupies 76-101/F. This was already good enough for a lovely view.



4. Switzerland can easily break your travel budget. Spending 2 weeks here initially scared me, but with some thoughtful planning, Air BnB, accommodation and food sacrifices, I still had a wonderful time being a luxury backpacker. The Glacier Express is a highlight for your Swiss Alps adventure, but I actually preferred taking locals trains where I could roam both sides of the train and not need to contend with the tourist crowd.



5. I used to visit London every year to visit the sizeable HK SSC diaspora. As many returned to HK and my free accommodation went with them, I started exploring other parts of Europe, making good use of cheap fares on Middle Eastern carriers to avoid London altogether. I returned to sunny London in 2017 to see the major changes, and to experience just how expensive riding the Tube has become (well, it was expensive long ago already).







8. It took me 12 years to return to New York, where I once lived. Going up the new Freedom Tower is expensive, but well worth the hefty price tag if it is sunny. A lot of pencil towers have popped up since and I've got mixed feelings on whether they really enhance the skyline. But the Empire State Building seems to be overshadowed already.





10. My last trip before COVID grounded me was to Shizuoka, and seeing Mount Fuji (again) ranked high on my agenda. I was not disappointed.



11. A drive on New Zealand's South Island still ranks high on my list of epic road trips. I rode a helicopter for the first time over the Fox Glacier. This was an extremely lucky trip because it poured the day before and even on the morning, the sightseeing company wasn't too sure whether the clouds dissipated enough to make the trip.





13. The luck didn't stay for the other supposedly epic drive to Milford Sound. Plenty of literature talked about potentially getting stuck in there when roads are blocked by the late season snow, and sure enough, it snowed a lot the day before this trip. I took a coach tour to rid myself of that psychological torture of being at mercy to Mother Nature. All went well despite the snow until towards the end of that 4 hour bus ride when tree fall stopped us in our tracks. At least I got my money back.



14. Having been mostly an urban explorer in my world tours, New Zealand signalled a change as I was more open to something more natural. Western Australia came on the radar unexpectedly thanks to cheap flights and spring wildflowers!





16. A trip to Mumbai drums up a mix of emotions. It is an exotic place with lots of great photo-taking opportunities. There is a huge contrast between the haves and the have-nots. But there is a legitimate safety concern with terrorism and sickness on top of that list. Nevertheless, I've braved this city a number of times, even exploring the streets or riding the trains on my own with stares all around. Victoria Terminus looks ugly inside but its exterior is an entirely different story altogether.





18. This place also saw a very sad terrorist attack in 2007, just a year after my visit which also decimated the hotel I stayed at.



19. Incredible architecture is everywhere in the southern part of the city.



20. I had similar worries with Sri Lanka when an opportunity came to visit. They emerged from the civil war with the Tamil Tigers strong and many foreigners have started to come en route to the Maldives. I ate very well on this trip with no shortage of crabs and my stomach survived well.



21. Colombo has an interesting city centre of chaotic markets and grand colonial buildings. Many touts took notice of my presence although they were not aggressive despite being persistent.



22. Vancouver regularly features high on livability rankings. This is a wonderful retirement town, spared from a lot of snow the rest of the country typically sees, but their winters are grey and wet instead. As a result, living here gets expensive, even moreso than Toronto.



23. Bangkok has been overrun by tourists. They're everywhere, and I always think this place isn't the authentic Thailand. But the rooftop bars are great and there are endless places with views.



24. I've enjoyed the less urban parts of Southeast Asia far more, and Siem Reap was an eye-opener. It is spectacular and sprawls over a huge swath of land beyond the Angkor Wat main temple. At least 3 days are needed to give this place somewhat justice, and I skipped Phnom Penh entirely to spend more time here. That temple-hopping massage at the end of all this was greatly refreshing.



25. Myanmar is also becoming less off-the-beaten track as well. I was just as impressed at the historic city of Bagan, and I hope they will still let tourists climb the temples even when the numbers increase as they open up. Shoes off is a regular requirement for entering these sacred places, so bring a towel and wetnaps to wash up after this extraordinary checkmark on your itinerary.







27. Back to the nature theme, visit Halong Bay is an adventure in itself. The trip out from Hanoi was the worst part, although once on board the cruise, it is a different world altogether. I spent a night in these calm waters as a day trip out won't yield much thanks to a 6-hour roundtrip car ride.





29. Malta is an island country at the southern edge of Europe. My friends recommended this place years ago, offering wonderful scenery as well as value for money. My serviced apartment near the seafront was a steal, and the warm weather was a nice change from a much more frigid rest of Europe. For a small country, it has a lot to offer, from beautiful natural landscapes to quaint fishing villages and intricately-decorated church interiors.







32. I have yet to make much inroads on the vast African continent. Morocco didn't feel very African to me, but I loved Fez's dizzying markets and the oasis towns in the desert.









36. The Greek islands are majestic and absolutely spectacular. I went during the spring off-season to avoid the crowds, but it was still crowded at times albeit manageable. Santorini was my favourite island with the long hike from Fira to Oia being a well-touristed but well-worth trip.





38. Back to road trips, my 2 week tour of a small section of Norway reaped great results. The weather co-operated wonderfully for most of the trip and I found a cheap deal to fly there despite the summer peak season. Bergen typically gets a lot of rain but the sky magically opened up to say hi.



39. Driving is quite easy in this country with plenty of tourist literature suggesting the most scenic routes. Traffic isn't bad and if you are tired, pull over and enjoy the view first.





40 more next ...
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  #2  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 11:21 PM
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You inspire me to continue exploring.
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Old Posted May 27, 2020, 5:32 AM
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Great pictures! Where is that oasis town?
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Old Posted May 27, 2020, 6:31 AM
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I love porn in excellent quality only
when traveling, I hang out on this site
https://besthdporn.me/

Last edited by kimbulford; Aug 27, 2020 at 4:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 27, 2020, 9:27 AM
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Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Great pictures! Where is that oasis town?
This is Tinghir on the south side of the Atlas. This town is between Erfoud and Ouarzazate.



More photos from this drive : on my website
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  #6  
Old Posted May 27, 2020, 3:33 PM
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I love your photo threads, hkskyline! Thanks so much for continuing to share.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2020, 1:11 PM
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Thanks for your support. Here are 10 more.

41. Yellowknife was previously famous for its gold and diamond mines. In recent years, it has also become a winter tourist mecca thanks to its prime location to view the northern lights, with plane-loads of visitors from Asia coming here.





43. Zermatt is a must-see for a journey into the Swiss Alps. Cars are banned from town and there are plenty of trails and easy mountain ascents to enjoy the views.







46. Athens is known for its traffic and smog. Compared to the beautiful Greek islands, this place may not be so attractive for natural scenery, but has plenty of history to showcase.



47. Dubai is a skyscraper-lover's wonderland, although some people do have that love it or hate it feeling towards what they've created in the middle of the desert.



While I'm not a fan of their urban planning, they have a good metro network now that runs along the linear cityscape. Trains are a bit crowded for my taste though and I've always been bewildered how quickly the density tapers off into the empty desert. I wonder how much does it cost to own a little paradise with sea views?



49. Harbin hosts the world's largest ice and snow festival every year, and is the main reason why you should brave bitterly-cold temperatures to visit.



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Old Posted Jul 26, 2020, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post

Bagan






This looks like the most intriguing place to me in this set!
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Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 10:17 PM
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Great photos! Haven't been able to travel since March 2019 (when I was in Lisbon) so 3 months is not a long time. But I dream every day of seeing new place again!
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 5:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geomorph View Post
This looks like the most intriguing place to me in this set!
Bagan, Angkor Wat, and Borobudur are all amazing historic sites well worth visiting in the region. They're in 3 different countries spread across Southeast Asia though.
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2020, 9:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Bagan, Angkor Wat, and Borobudur are all amazing historic sites well worth visiting in the region. They're in 3 different countries spread across Southeast Asia though.
How would you compare Borobudur to the other two?

I visited Bagan and Angkor on a 9-month Asia / Oceania trip in 2017 but had to pass on Borodudur in order to make it up Mount Bromo (which was worth it imo).
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2020, 3:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
How would you compare Borobudur to the other two?

I visited Bagan and Angkor on a 9-month Asia / Oceania trip in 2017 but had to pass on Borodudur in order to make it up Mount Bromo (which was worth it imo).
Borodudur is the smallest one of the 3 and it is possible to cover with Prambanan in a single day. Bagan could easily occupy 2 and I spent 4 in Angkor. Nevertheless, the styles are quite different which is why I'd recommend visiting all 3. Indonesia has quite a lot of hidden gems beyond Bali that have not yet been overtouristed. I think these sites can be combined with Yogyakarta, Bromo, and Surabaya over a week for a good mix of historical, modern, and natural attractions.
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Old Posted Sep 28, 2020, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Borodudur is the smallest one of the 3 and it is possible to cover with Prambanan in a single day. Bagan could easily occupy 2 and I spent 4 in Angkor. Nevertheless, the styles are quite different which is why I'd recommend visiting all 3. Indonesia has quite a lot of hidden gems beyond Bali that have not yet been overtouristed. I think these sites can be combined with Yogyakarta, Bromo, and Surabaya over a week for a good mix of historical, modern, and natural attractions.
I agree, Java itself has plenty to see (we would've visit Borobudur if we had more time), and at all of the sites we visited (Bromo & Ijen in particular), there were considerably less Western tourists than where we travelled in Bali. I'd definitely go back to Java, even just to visit Borobudur.
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Old Posted Mar 6, 2021, 7:01 AM
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51. Cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japan, but there are many other places where these trees offer an impressive display. Japan gifted 3000 cherry trees to Washington DC over a century ago, and the Tidal Basin is an incredible viewing spot during the spring.



52. For those who have studied in university, you may recall the university library (yes, people went there before) used a different classification system than your neighbourhood library. The Library of Congress system was a completely different beast. Here is the real thing ...



53. My first foray into Africa was an interesting week in Egypt just before the revolution. After reading about it in books, the Pyramids were far more impressive on-site. Placed at the earliest part of my trip, I thought it was already worth the money and long journey from Asia. But I would be amazed throughout the trip again and again as I headed south.



54. Taiwan's DMZ hasn't made it onto the international arena yet, which meant few crowds and enjoying the sites in peace. Xiamen's skyline is even visible from here, and Kinmen's islands were under constant threat of war. Today, the troops have pretty much left although these invasion-repelling remnants remain on the beach.



55. While Indonesia is mostly a Muslim country today, Borobudur is actually a Buddhist temple dating from the 8-9th centuries. I'm not a Bali fan at all, and prefer these historical and more authentic sites on Java.





57. Doha is trying to become a viable alternative to Dubai as a transit destination, and I've long held a preference to Qatar Airways over Emirates. With a great stopover offer available and cheap hotels, I decided to give this city a try before and after my trip to Europe. The locals were incredibly friendly and they have a good assortment of stunning modern architecture.



58. Cancun is a favourite short getaway destination for Canadians and Americans. I wasn't interested in soaking under the sun at my resort, especially with a lot of interesting Mayan history nearby. Chichen Itza is the most famous, although I liked Coba more because we could still climb it.





60. Moscow offers quite a lot of contrasts. The art gallery is actually a metro station, and this grand Soviet-era building is now a Radisson.

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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2021, 8:56 PM
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Bagan and Mt. Fuji!

We have almost identical shots from Bagan and Japan! You have a great eye!
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2021, 10:47 PM
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Great pics, but how in the world do you travel in this much?
Is it job related? Is it your job?
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Old Posted Mar 15, 2021, 7:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LA21st View Post
Great pics, but how in the world do you travel in this much?
Is it job related? Is it your job?
Combination of both. I do a lot of business travel but we get a lot of public holidays in Hong Kong so I'm out and about on long weekends as well. Within a 3 hour flight I have Cambodia, Thailand, southern Japan, Korea, and a lot of China in reach so there are plenty of options for short getaways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IconRPCV View Post
We have almost identical shots from Bagan and Japan! You have a great eye!
Thanks! Do you have photo threads here as well? I'm always happy to see how other photographers capture places that I have visited.
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Old Posted Mar 15, 2021, 10:26 AM
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Thank-you, Thank-you and Thank-you!

Have zilch desire to visit Dubai or any of the skyscraper cities over there. They just don't look pedestrian friendly enough!
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