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Showing posts from February, 2018

A Bath-tub in Singapore

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My first visit to Singapore, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. A bath-tub in a bar was definitely not on the list.

The Gordon Gin Bath sits in pride of place in the hotel's Long Bar. Quite fitting, really, considering this is where the Singapore Sling was invented (which contains a significant amount of gin). The drink rose to fame after featuring in Somerset Maugham's play The Letter.

Time only for one sling; Singapore needed to be explored.

Tak Bat in Luang Prabang

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Dawn in Luang Prabang comes with saffron. As the light touches the town, monks leave their wats (or temples) to walk through the town in silent procession, collecting alms.




Tak Bat, or alms-giving, has a long tradition in Laos, surviving even years of Communist rule. Many villagers set up little braziers by the side of the road to cook rice for the monks. Then, before many tourists have risen from their beds, the monks return as silently to their wats, and another day has begun.



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The Bicycles of Vietnam

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Crossing the road in Vietnam can be precarious. Too many motorbikes, optional road rules, lanes which are more guidelines than reality... it can prove daunting. (I usually cross behind a little old lady who knows no fear, for she has it seen it all.)

Then there are the bicycles.




Yes, that is bride. Peddling through the streets of Hoi An. Naturally. When motorbikes are used to transport families (seven on one bike was the most I saw) a bride on a bicycle seems totally natural. And impressive, considering the flowing dress and the heels.



Despite a noticeable lack of gears, bikes are everywhere. In the countryside, in rice paddies, in vegetable plots. They never seem out of place, whether it be on an allotment farm or on a boat. I stepped of a boat somewhere along the Mekong Delta, and there was bike waiting patiently for its owner.





There is such an elegant simplicity about these bicycles, all in tones of grey. They are bikes for everyday use. No one wears in lycra, and everyone peddles…