Category Archives: Asia

And then I was invited to tea.

Bukhara the holy, Bukhara the saint, Bukhara the erudite, Bukhara the city where light floods from the ground up and not from the heavens down. Or perhaps the Bukhara, in the words of traveller and linguist Ármin Vámbéry, ”whose whole … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The whistling man of Registan.

Denying it would be pointless, and I won’t: I am an unabashed Morricone fan and – the two go hand in hand, really – an Alessandroni devotee. Whilst I appreciate that Morricone’s fame is somehow a given, I’m aware that … Continue reading

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Postcard from Uzbekistan.

I cannot, writing straight away, give you an idea of this marvel. If I were to thread the words, mosaics, pediments, spandrels, bas-reliefs, niches, enamels, corbels, all on a string in a sentence, the picture would still be incomplete. It … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Fireworks, mountains and sleeping elephants. Wrapping up 2017, in pictures.

The last trip of the year has just ended; the rucksack’s been duly unpacked and its contents unceremoniously thrown into the washing-up pile, hoping for some merciful hands to put them into the washing machine without the whites turning pink … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, China, Europe, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, London, Overlooked locations, Piemonte, Random memories, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

A cosy red dot away from it all.

You feel it’s a different place from the very moment the jetway disgorges you into the main concourse at Changi Airport. It’s a quick walk on the world’s plushiest, softest carpet to immigration, past ornate flowerbeds erupting with tropical plants, … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Singapore in technicolour.

Expat life. If there is such a thing, my half-a-week in Singapore, was precisely that. No sybaritic luxury and champagne breakfast; rather, restaurants on the East shore park, coconuts, cab rides even to do one kilometre and the shuffle heat-aircon-heat-aircon-pool … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Singapore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The future smells of pork noodles.

Five hours in the world’s largest city. Twenty-four million inhabitants, three times and change the size of Luxembourg, and all I’ve got is five hours to dip my toe in this behemoth of a pool. I walk out of Pudong … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, China | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Shanghai stopover.

Five hours to kill before boarding for Singapore, one trip into town and the discovery that, out of all my music on the iPad, only one has survived an iOS update, many thanks Tim Cook. Still, it’s from Les Sages … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, China | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Disaster by design: the death and partial rebirth of the Aral Sea (Part 3).

I’d expected the whistling undertaker from For a Fistful of Dollars to be appearing at every corner I turned. I was to experience this feeling again, in Central Asia, but Aralsk looked – even smelt, if that was ever possible – … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Disaster by design: the death and partial rebirth of the Aral Sea (Part 2).

I’d seen Serik a long time before we met in the parking lot outside the Altair hotel; in fact, I first read about him on Al Jazeera. Dubbed “Aralsk’s only tour guide”, he’d accepted to be my guide for the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Kazakhstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments