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Myanmar

February 3, 2017
Myanmar

From far off they looked like fissures in the rock which someone had painted white, but as the boat drew closer we could see that they were hundreds of figures of the Buddha, carved into the side of the cliff which rose steeply out of the water. These Buddhas – some reclining, others sitting or…

Adios, Old Cuba

March 22, 2016
Nigel in Cuba

Cuba: it’s still all there – the classic cars, the political posters, the music, the crumbling colonial buildings, the absence of advertising – but it won’t be for long. I would advise booking that trip now, rather than leaving it another year or two. Last month President Obama visited the island following his December 17…

Valentine’s Day in Rajasthan

December 14, 2015
Rajasthan

It is Valentine’s day, and for the first time ever, an enormous multi-faith, multiple wedding has been arranged in Mt Abu, Rajasthan. It takes place in a big bowl of dust which is still called ‘The Polo Ground’, but which probably hasn’t seen any polo played since the days of the Raj, when this pretty…

Ganesh, the God of Travel

December 13, 2015

When I was twenty I dropped out of college and travelled alone, overland to India. I didn’t tell my parents where I was until, some months after my disappearance, I sent them - from Mt Abu in Rajasthan - one of those thin blue airmail paper letters. It was 1973 and back then it was…

Rajasthan and Gujarat

March 27, 2013
India

Reggie Singh, in a blazer, white shirt and old-style cravat, greets us with a billiard cue slung nonchalantly over his shoulder. Traditional Jazz music is blaring out of his huge sound system. “Hello,” he booms in his educated Indian English, “so glad you could make it, would you care for a gin and tonic? Just…

Yellowstone

March 22, 2013
Yellowstone Hot Spring

When an American says ‘awesome’, they might mean anything from ‘quite good’ to ‘see you later’. So when I say this trip was awesome, I mean it in the old-fashioned sense of the word; i.e. makes you feel small compared with the wonderful creations of nature. Horizons wider than you’ve ever seen, vast lakes steaming…