It is one of the quintessential sights in all of Asia, yet the early morning tak bat ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos, in which Buddhist monks collect their daily alms, has become more a feeding frenzy for the hungry 21st century tourism industry. Despite the annoyance of a throng of iPhone and iPad-wielding tourists intent on grabbing their photo no […]
Monks are the celebrities of Asia. Nothing completes a photograph that speaks of Asia like a monk or group of monks, either striding past a monument, walking down a street or serenely sitting in meditation in a wat, or under a tree, or by a Buddhist statue, incense sticks burning in the corner. With their bright orange, or safron robes, […]
One place springs to everyone’s mind when they think sunset in Luang Prabang. Phu Si is a 100m-high hill right in the middle of the historic centre of town, and everyone mentions it when you arrive. “You must go up Phu Si,” my hotel receptionist tells me. “It’s very good to see the sunset.” My breakfast waiter asks the next […]
Nine days in to the 12-day photography tour of Myanmar and I was more than happy with the images captured on my memory cards. Sunrise and sunset views of the Buddhist temples and stupas of Bagan are unforgettable experiences. And seeing monks and other villagers cross the U-Bein bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge, outside Mandalay, is another must-have photograph […]
It was on a recent short trip to Bali that I was pleased I lived by a valuable maxim: never have your camera too far away when travelling. I was being driven from the south of the island to the inland town of Ubud, when traffic on the single-lane road came to a halt outside a village. A police officer […]
It was now or never. We needed to get a clean shot quickly, before the “snipers” moved in. Sure enough, as the monks waited patiently in a window frame amid the ancient Angkor Wat temple, the pair’s bright orange robes began to attract several nearby tourists like a lamp drawing in moths.
It was at the memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime at a wat just outside Battambang that I learnt a lot more about my guide, Mr Philay, and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. “We were always so hungry … oh, hungry, hungry all the time,’’ he said. “Nothing to eat.”