Travel Photography

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Cambodia    Hokkaido    Kyoto    Laos    Manhattan    Tibet    Tokyo    Vancouver    Vietnam    Yunnan

Kyoto

Kyoto, the thousand-year capital, is not just any ancient city, but the cultural and intellectual centre of Japan. It is a place where serving a cup of tea requires years of intensive study. For more than a thousand years, Kyoto congregated the nation’s best talents under the imperial court, solidifying its undisputed cultural supremacy in Japan. What Tokyo boasts in modernity, Kyoto riposte graciously with history, poetry, and ceremonial intrigue.

Kyoto: First Impression. Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan.Kyoto: First Impression. Countless ochaya, ateliers, gardens, ryokans, machiya, and other historical buildings cluster in this ancient city. Kyoto: First Impression. Walking the streets of Kyoto is like a trip to an open-air museum. Kyoto: First Impression. Bamboo Tsukubai in a Kyoto temple. Arashiyama: Kyoto's Spiritual Hideaway. Since the imperial court moved to Kyoto in 794, Arashiyama had been a preferred location for the aristocratic families and their country estates. Kyoto: First Impression. Gion at night. Kyoto: First Impression. Traditional houses beside a river in central Kyoto.Arashiyama: Kyoto's Spiritual Hideaway. Arashiyama is a forested area at the western fringe of Kyoto.Pontocho: Kyoto's Food Alley. Pontocho has been a nightlife district of Kyoto for the past five hundred years.Kyoto: First Impression. Kyoto is not only a city with culture and history, it is also the epitome of Buddhist refinement and poise. Kyoto: First Impression. Derived from the Three Universal Truths of Mahayana Buddhism, wabi-sabi emphasizes the imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness of life. Kyoto: First Impression. Countless ochaya, ateliers, gardens, ryokans, machiya, and other historical buildings cluster in this ancient city. Higashiyama: Kyoto’s Imperial Past (Part 2 of 2). Throughout the centuries, Gion has been hosting the most refined geiko entertainment in Japan.

Read more about Kyoto here.

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Hokkaido


Every winter, Hokkaido is carpeted in an ethereal wonder. Sparkling grains envelope the entire island in a spectacular symphonic performance – the capricious sforzando of the snowsquall, the lyrical whisper of the flurries, the howling dissonance of the blizzards, and the magnificent finale of their vast triumph. Together, these movements blanket the earth in a spiritual whiteout and breathe into the island of torii gates an air of meditative tranquillity.

Sapporo: A Walkabout. The torii at the entrance of Hokkaido Shrine before dawn.Hokkaido: First Impression. Red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido's wilderness.Hokkaido: First Impression. Hokkaido Shrine in snow. Sapporo: A Walkabout. A restaurant in Sapporo.Otaru: Hokkaido's Charming Port City. Otaru was once a prosperous trading port. It is now a historical town frozen in time.Hokkaido: First Impression. Beautiful winter illuminations in Sapporo decorating the street covered with snow. Hokkaido: First Impression. Sapporo city core is lit with neon banners at night. Hokkaido: First Impression. A food alley in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Travel Photography. Sapporo Station. Hokkaido: First Impression. Train arriving Sapporo Station.

Read more about Hokkaido here.

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Tokyo


Home to 35 million people, Tokyo boasts a GDP of 1.9 trillion USD in 2012, which is more than the entire GDP of countries like Canada or South Korea. Its research university, University of Tokyo, ranks best in Asia and 21st in the world. Its obsession with detail and discipline brings it 226 Michelin starred restaurants in 2015, 132 more than its nearest rival, Paris. Tokyo is one of the finest cities in the world. A true wonder and a testament to the power of Japan.

Tokyo: First Impression. Tokyo Tower standing amongst cascading layers of high risings at night.Tokyo: First Impression. Winter Fireworks over Tokyo's Rainbow Bridge. Tokyo: First Impression. Vending machines are a common sight almost everywhere in Tokyo, or Japan for that matter. They are an integral part of Japanese culture and form important distribution infrastructure for manufacturers. Travel Photography. Asakasa old street. Shimokitazawa: Tokyo's Greenwich Village. A typical Japanese shop in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo.Shibuya: Crossing Tokyo's Times Square. Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest scramble crossings in the world.Ginza: Tokyo's Westernized Luxury. Ginza shopping district at night. Tokyo: First Impression. Tokyo is covered by a labyrinth of rail networks owned by Japanese Railways (JR Group) and dozens other public and private railway companies. Tokyo: First Impression. People waiting to cross the street in the early morning in Aoyama, Tokyo. Tokyo: 14 Neighbourhoods. Yurakucho's nightlife surrounds the JR Yamanote Line train track. Tokyo: 14 Neighbourhoods. Yurakucho is known for its outdoor izakaya restaurants underneath the JR Yamanote Line train tracks. Tokyo: 14 Neighbourhoods. Tokyo's Golden Gai in Shinjuku, an area of concentrated bars and eateries.Ginza: Tokyo's Westernized Luxury. Ginza is the most Westernized and luxurious shopping district in Japan.Tokyo: First Impression. With all its Westernized modernity, it is hard to believe that only a few generations ago, Tokyo was made up entirely of traditional Japanese structures characteristic of the Edo period.

Read more about Tokyo here.

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Yunnan


Yunnan, translating literally as “southern clouds”, is in many ways a fitting name for its geography. Its complex geographical variation and remoteness lead to one of the highest concentrations of plant species and ethnic diversity in China. This is enriched by literatures and myths celebrating the beauty of the region.

Yunnan: First Impression. Woman of the Yi Tribe in Dali, Yunnan.Yunnan: First Impression. Children of Lijiang Old Town, Yunnan. Yunnan: First Impression. Lijiang Old Town, the home of the Nakhi tribe, is where Zhang Yimou filmed his "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles." Yunnan: First Impression. Tobacco is a pillar industry of Yunnan making up a significant portion of the province's GDP. With ideal temperature, sunshine, and water, Yunnan's tobacco is known for its fragrant aroma. Yunnan: First Impression. Rice is the staple for most villages in Yunnan. Here in the pictures we see villages kids returning home from school and a villager cycling across the rice paddies. This is Shilong village, a remote location in western Yunnan, China. Yunnan: First Impression. G56 highway passes through several small and medium villages each with its own characteristics. Yunnan: First Impression. Chongsheng Temple near the town of Dali, Yunnan, the historical location of Dali Kingdom. This vast temple complex is situated on the west shore of Erhai Lake and adjacent to the Cangshan Mountains.Yunnan Cuisine: A Spicy Revelation. A villager in Yunnan preparing Nukian fish.Yunnan Cuisine: A Spicy Revelation. Wild herbs on display in front of a village restaurant in Yunnan. Yunnan Cuisine: A Spicy Revelation. Wild mushrooms on display in front of a village restaurant.

Read more about Yunnan here.

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Tibet


Tibet, currently an autonomous region of China, extends over the world’s highest plateau at an average of 4,500 meters (15,000 ft). Despite forced cultural assimilation, ethnic Tibetan constitutes 90% of the region’s population and traditional Tibetan culture remains distinct and magnificent. Many parts of the region are simply surreal and feels as if it is out of this world. No pictures or words can do justice to this enchanting land from the ancient past.

Tibet: First Impression. On the Himalayan range with a view of Everest summit on a clear day. Tibet: First Impression. Yamdrok Lake, at 72km long, is the largest freshwater lake in Tibet. Tibet: First Impression. Close to sunrise at the Himalayan mountain range in Zhaguoxiang, southern Tibet. The photo shows the summit of Mount Everest (top left). Tibet: First Impression. City of Shigatse, Tibet.Tibet: First Impression. Tashilhunpo Monastery, built 1447 in Shigatse, Tibet.Tibet: First Impression. Drokpa, a group of indigenous nomad living in the arid climate of the Tibetan plateau. Tibet: First Impression. Drokpa children in a camp close to the G-318 highway near Tingri.

Read more about Tibet here.

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Vietnam


Vietnam is a strangely beautiful country with a distinct identity shaped by its colonial past and influence from powerful neighbours. Its economic growth in the last decade has been one of the highest in the world, culminating in its membership in the World Trade Organization in 2007. One only need to walk through the central business district of Ho Chi Minh City or the Hang Bong street of Hanoi to appreciate the creativity of those capitalistic communists.

Vietnam: First Impression. Northbound along Vietnam's western coast.Vietnam: First Impression. Children paddling back to their floating house off the coast of Northern Vietnam. Vietnam: First Impression. The streets of Hội An Old Town. This town features architectural designs going back to the imperial era. They include residential (mostly museums now) houses, assembly halls, temples, and pagodas of various immigrant groups that settled in Hội An. Vietnam: First Impression. Inside one of the many caves in Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam. Vietnam: First Impression. Left: Sunset in Hội An. Right: Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi.

Read more about Vietnam here.

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Cambodia


Cambodia’s economy remains meager with about a fifth of population still living under $1.25 USD per day. Its people are prime recipients of global charity support. Underneath the hardships lies the memories of its past as Southeast Asia’s foremost empire – the Khmer Empire in 9th to 15th century. The Angkor Wat, in particular, serves as the most important national and cultural symbol of Cambodia.

Cambodia: First Impression. Cambodia's economy remains meager up to this day.Cambodia: First Impression. Kampong Phluck, a floating village. Water level rises to the level of the house during high tidal seasons. Cambodia: First Impression. Kampong Phluck floating village. Cambodia: First Impression. The Angkor Wat serves as the most important national and cultural symbol in Cambodia. It was built during the nation's golden age, the Khmer Empire of 9th to 15th century. Cambodia: First Impression. Ta Prohm, a temple in Angkor situation in the jungle, was built during the 11th century by king Jayavarman VII. Although in a state of deterioration, the interlacement of trees and the temple complex is stunningly beautiful. What it lacks in size and grandeur of the Angkor Wat is made up by its delicate and mysterious elegance. Cambodia: First Impression. Interior of the Angkor Wat complex. The main structures were built around 1100 by King Suryavaman II.

Read more about Cambodia here.

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Vancouver


Ever since the Asian capitalist class decided to relocate their family and money to Vancouver, torrential wealth has flowed into the city at an ever-increasing rate. Within a few decades, waves of urban redevelopment and immigration transformed this once relatively unknown location into the Pacific gateway of the Western world.

7 Central Vancouver Neighbourhoods. Vancouver is the Pacific Gateway of the Western world.7 Central Vancouver Neighbourhoods. Gastown. While it is true that Gastown figures prominently on most traveler’s must-see list, it is more than tourist shops and historic landmarks. 7 Central Vancouver Neighbourhoods. West End: West End features older rental apartments punctuated by Queen Anne style architectures built in the late 1890s.Vancouver Chinatown: Past and Present. The past and the present juxtaposed in Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden.Hastings Street: Vancouver's Heaven and Hell. Spacious, clean, with marina and Stanley Park seawall couple of metres away, condominiums in the area average 926 square feet for around $800,000 CAD

Read more about Vancouver here.

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Laos


Laos is a landlocked Southeast Asian country with roughly half of its populace being ethnic Lao. Surveying its landscape, one sees small villages and wats scattered alongside the long stretch of its delicate mountain range, the Annamese Cordillera. Rivers flow down like hairline cracks into the Mekong, invigorating the rice paddies they meet on the way, providing the livelihood that villagers depend so much on.

Laos: First Impression. Sunset at Pha That Luang, the national symbol of Laos.Laos: First Impression. Wat Phousi cloaked by the surrounding forest with its face graced by the warm rays of the setting sun. Laos: First Impression. Calm water of the Tad Sae Waterfall surrounded by forest and cool breeze. Laos: First Impression. Young monks on the street of Luang Prabang. Laos: First Impression. A young monk studying in the courtyard of a temple in Vientiane.

Read more about Laos here.

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Manhattan


Manhattan, the crown jewel of the American Empire, is a place that has exhausted all manner of portrayals many times over. Each neighborhood is distinct with its own stories of hope, desperation, and salvation. With the booms and the busts, the struggle of generations ages into a patina of wonder, bearing witness to its status as world’s foremost cultural and financial mecca.

Manhattan: First Impression. A night view of Manhattan's financial district and Brooklyn Bridge.Manhattan: First Impression. Overlooking the Hudson River in Manhattan, New York City. Manhattan: First Impression. Central Park, Manhattan, New York City. Manhattan: First Impression. A street at the boundary of Chinatown and Tribeca, Manhattan, New York City. Manhattan: First Impression. Graffiti such as the one on the rolling shutter is a prominent feature of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Manhattan: First Impression. Streets in Lower Manhattan and its orange steam pipes.

Read more about Manhattan here.

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