Tag Archives: must see

Bromo in slo-mo.

Hi folks!

Right after the Penanjakan morning mist show, our guides took us to one of the main volcanoes that contributed to that show: Mount Bromo, Gunung Bromo in Indonesian:

During the dawn show, it was here:

So what can I say about it? This is getting a bit broken record, but… – it was yet another implausibly fantastical sight to behold! Satellite pics of it look… oh my Gunung, but up close it was simply… oh my GREATEST (caps intentional)!

Read on…

Volcanic dawn mist – not to be missed.

I never did quite work out what this place in Indonesia was called. Is it Penanjakan? And is that the name of the peak, or just the name of the tourist spot near it? Whatever, who cares? Well, for one, a person standing on/at Penanjakan and looking up at the stars – he/she for sure does not care one iota).

How do you like the photo? I’m rather fond of it. A still-life, don’t you think?

It and the ones below weren’t all that difficult to shoot. I placed my camera (a Sony A9) on a reinforced concrete wall, set the shutter speed to 20 seconds, the diaphragm to 6 (or was it 9?), and ISO – to… something (can’t remember, or maybe I just guessed: it has a lot of buttons and blinking lights:). And that was that: done! All that remained was to wait for the sunrise…

Read on…

At Borobudur – check out the sunset for sure.

After our strenuous scaling of Merapi, we decided to lower the intensity a bit, and move from volcanism to Indonesian culture. Accordingly, next up: Borobudur – the world’s largest Buddhist temple.

The temple consists of several stacked platforms; the lower levels are square (with 100-meter-long sides), while the upper ones are round. “At the very top of the temple is a large dome. It is decorated with 2672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. The central dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues, each seated inside a perforated stupa.” – Wikipedia.

Here‘s the view of the whole complex from a satellite, while this is how my camera captured the temple:

Read on…

The full Ha Long.

I’ve been on a pretty tight business schedule and haven’t had much free time. Now, I’ve got a backlog of stories that I have to publish about the places I’ve visited and the sights I’ve seen – and the backlog keeps growing, which I don’t like. So, I’ll try and catch up whenever I have a spare moment and functioning Wi-Fi, which may be a bit of problem in the foreseeable future.

So, I’m in Vietnam, at Ha Long Bay, which is here. This is, without a doubt, one of the wonders of the world, definitely worth a visit – just like all the other entries in my Top-100 Must-See Places in the World. I was last here in May 2010, and now I’ve just revisited. And I don’t regret it for a second.


Read on: what have been changed during the last seven years…

Wall riding in Xi’an.

Nihao folks!

The Chinese city of Xi’an is 100%, mandatorily, necessarily, must-visit. Why am I being so emphatic? Because of just one of its tourist attractions…

The most awesome tourist attraction of the city, to me, has to be the city’s fortifications, which are kind of like Xi’an’s Kremlin. The bonus for us was that we got to ride some cool bikes there. These were just perfect for tourists already pretty tired of all the walking before we even got there. Before the bikes appeared though, we got in some of the regular ‘walk and snapping’ first. Just as well – snapping ain’t easy on a bicycle; and there was plenty to snap:

Read on: Ancient walls, funky bikes, and remarkable contrasts…

Old Model Army.

Nihao folks!

Onwards we fly on our China-2017 tour… Next stop: the city of Xi’an – pronounced Si-an – meaning ‘western peace’.

It was a nice day, which is just as well, as there’s plenty to do and see in and near the city. Our itinerary went so: city walls and the old town; ancient pagodas; and (not far from the city) Mount Hua – one of the Sacred Mountains of China. Anyway, more on those later. For now, the Terracotta Army, no less!

You may have heard of this UNESCO World Heritage Site of funerary art; yes, it is quite famous. But the unexpectedly fine detail and massive scale of the mausoleum are only really grasped when you see it in the flesh. A truly grandiose historical site.

Read on…

Up, down and around Danxia – all before noon.

The Danxia Range of rocky outcrops in Goangdong, China, is so insanely beautiful that it for sure deserves inclusion in my Top100 Must-See Places in the World. Massive lumps of red rock with vertical sides some several hundred meters high, scattered over a territory stretching some 10×15 kilometers.

Our first glimpse of Danxia came early morning, when none of the redness is visible; actually, there was redness, but only of the sensational skies as the sun came up. Then the redness gets bizarrely transferred to the rocks, which we set off to get closer to…

If ever you fancy getting here yourself, be warned: checking out all the beautifulness here entails a lot of walking – and that includes a lot of ups and downs on steep steps. In a day you could be looking at some 15 to 20 kilometers. Then you need to take into account the extreme climatic conditions too. Not only can it be 28-35 degrees Centigrade, it also gets horrendously humid. But what else do you expect in the tropics?! Just make sure to wear breathable sporty kit for your trekking; regular cotton shorts and t-shirts just get soaked through (even breathable kit gets soaked too, but it’s much more bearable somehow).

Read on…

Up at the crack of danxia.

Hi folks!

Herewith, I continue may tales from the Chinese side…

As per the template, this won’t be a simple photographic mini-series with explanations of the pics, but also a how-to guide for folks who might want to visit the place one day themselves, which, as is often the case, I heartily recommend.

Today I start with the Danxia landforms. Now, Danxia in Chinese means ‘red hills’; that is, any hills that happen to be red or reddish-colored. And in China there are dozens of different sets of red hills all over the southeast, southwest and northwest of the country. However, there is a specific Danxia Shan – Mount Danxia (confused?!). I wonder what came first – the egg or the chicken Danxia – the mount, or Danxia – the general term for red rock formations in China? The internet returns contradicting results. And locals don’t seem to know themselves. In short: one of China’s many mysteries.

Btw, Danxia is pronounced ‘Dansya’. Danxia isn’t an English term; it’s Chinese in the Latin alphabet – pinyin. There!

So, where do I begin my narrative? There are so many options – so much to show. Ok, let’s keep it simple and logical – let’s start with the break of dawn…

Read on…