Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pics 2 (Asia)

It took me almost exactly 19 months to zig-zag my way from Turkmenistan through to Australia. As the largest continent, and cradle of civilisations there is plenty to see, taste, explore and experience. I have had innumerable encounters with unfailingly lovely people, made some life-long friendships, tried a plethora of strange dishes, witnessed some spectacular(ly odd) ceremonies, seen breathtaking landscapes, and learnt  much about culture and history that have allowed me to understand the world a little bit better (I hope). I also hope that this knowledge has made me a better, wiser person

Mushy introspection aside Asia has been an agreeably cheap destination (apart from North Korea) and I've managed to average a daily spend of £11, of which I'm quite proud. That average will definitely not hold out in the following months though. I've also picked out a selection of some of my favourite photos (in no particular order) from the past 19 months that I haven't previously used in any of my posts. Some of them perhaps have some deeper meaning or political significance, whereas other I just found beautiful. I hope you like them as much as I do (what are your favourites? are there any that you particularly like? If so feel free to let me know by leaving a comment.).

Mongolian girl.

Dragon relief on an imperial tomb in northern China.

Roof tiles with patch of grass at an imperial tomb, China.

Dog and mountains in the Altai, Mongolia.

A rare, new Socialist Realist sculpture in downtown Shenyang. Communist symbology is generally quite rare in China.

The vast Altai mountains in the far western corner of Mongolia.

The world's largest mass performance in the world's largest stadium. The superlative, bombastic, propaganda-fest that is the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The old ark walls of the citadel, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Bread dealers on the street selling their wares out of prams in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Hanging ornament in a former khanate palace in Khiva, Mongolia.

Fishing boat abandoned by the retreat of the Aral Sea at Moynaq, Uzbekistan.

The iconic torii at the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island, Japan.

An elegantly ordered cemetery in Kyoto, Japan.

Alleyway in Khojand's market, Tajikistan.

Young maidens dancing during a Galungan ceremony in Bali, Indonesia.

The soaring pagoda towers of Besakih temple in Bali, Indonesia.

The peaceful, serene face (or at least half of it) of the giant (13m) copper Buddha that has looked over the town of Kamakura for 750 years, Japan.

An old juniper tree, gnarled and twisted by centuries of harsh winds, by Kulekalon lake high in the Fan mountains, Tajikistan.

Minaret and dome in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

Horde of gers in Hovd, Mongolia.

Line of moss-covered Buddhas in Nikko, Japan.


Bitanphoto said...

Nice collection, Erik. Not as satisfying as holding images in one's hands and having the photographer right there to discuss whatever comes to mind, but still a fine viewing experience that shows off the scope of people and places you've encountered and your eye for observation.

The gnarled juniper tree looks so iconic it makes me want to go there and visit it. It's the sort of scene that Ansel Adams surely would have returned to time after time to obtain the image that most closely matched his vision.

Look forward to seeing more when you have some time.


Susanne said...

Great selection of photos! I love several of them, and all of them make me want to go back to those places (and take more photos). How wonderful that you can take such good photos to accompany your amazing memories.

Erik said...

Glad you like them guys, that means a lot especially as both of you are far better photographers than I.

David, funny you should mention Ansel Adams. I didn't know who he was, but there just happened to be an article on him on BBC today about a retrospective exhibition of his photos in London. (I'll have to catch it some other time.)