Experience the sights, the sounds and, not least, the enticing smells of Asia. Here are a few Asia travel stories for you to enjoy.

Latest Asia travel stories

Cháng Chéng, the Great Wall of China

If you have a travel wish list, I'm going to wager this marvel of ancient engineering is on it. In 2002, Ali and I spent a few days in Beijing, while waiting for the go-ahead to travel to Fuzhou to meet our new daughter and sister. It was practically a group tour... actually, it was a group tour: six families [...]

By |21 November 2021|China, UNESCO World Heritage|

Tiananmen, the Forbidden City

The mysteriously named Forbidden City is a massive palace complex – and I do mean massive – in the centre of Beijing. But the first impression - from this end, at least - doesn’t give away anything about the sheer size of it. A corner tower in the Forbidden City, reflected in the moat  The Forbidden City Forbidden City! Sounds [...]

By |15 November 2021|China, UNESCO World Heritage|

Seductive Samarkand

Continuing our journey through Uzbekistan, we've left Bukhara behind, and caught the Spanish-made Afrosiyab fast train to Samarkand. Andrew has cleverly discovered biznes class tickets are a mere 2 - 3 extra €/£/$. We decide to splurge. Bye bye, Bukhara For most of the 2hr-journey, we hang out in the bar wagon. Time whizzes by. Have [...]

By |31 October 2021|UNESCO World Heritage, Uzbekistan|

Beguiling Bukhara

Countries that no longer exist - are you as intrigued by that as I am? The melancholic atmosphere of a land forever gone; somewhere ephemeral, glimpsed through a translucent curtain that is the past, just out of our grasp. DDR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union; they have all existed during my lifetime. I think we can agree that some countries [...]

By |18 May 2021|UNESCO World Heritage, Uzbekistan|

Melaka and memories of travelling with children

Can't travel. Still. (Where is that damn vaccine?) So again, I've been digging through travel memories old and older, that I've yet to write about here on Sophie's World. Fortunately, there's a lot of those. When Ali was 4, she and I took our first proper trip. (Proper, as in flights booked - winging everything else.) We spent three weeks [...]

Shichahai and the Grand Canal

Beijing can be almost unbearably hot in summer, so getting out of town can be a relief. May I recommend taking the metro out to the scenic Shichahai district in the northern part of the city? From the centre of Beijing, several busses and a few metro lines take you to Shichahai. I took metro no 8 directly. Very easy. [...]

By |26 February 2021|China, UNESCO World Heritage|

Khiva: where water is sweet?

Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassah In the last post, I told you about our journey to see the environmental tragedy that is the disappearing Aral Sea. Time to move on. We leave Muynak and the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan and head south into the Khorezm region and its capital, Khiva. Driving along the Turkmen border much of the way. Like Karakalpakstan, [...]

By |20 January 2021|UNESCO World Heritage, Uzbekistan|

Muynak and the dying sea

What does dark tourism mean to you? Do you think of Auschwitz? The fields of Flanders or Cambodia's killing fields? Chernobyl? Robben Island? Pompeii? The Berlin Wall? Places where barbaric acts of terrorism have taken place? A walk in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper or a visit to the sordid sides of Edinburgh of the past? Some might even [...]

Theft and fury in Beijing

I'm about to write a little something about China's Grand Canal, yet another fascinating engineering marvel, when I'm reminded, I haven't told you about my monetary misfortune at that very spot. I really should, as a cautionary tale. Grand Canal will have to wait. Again. So here is a do as I say, not as I do-story. Do not fall [...]

By |25 September 2020|China, People you meet, Solo travel|

Transfixed in Turkmenistan: The Gates of Hell and Other Eccentric Encounters

Hello hello, good people, and welcome to another episode of wild and wacky Turkmen tales. We can't travel at the moment, but we can reminisce, and invite you along for the ride here in Sophie's World. Why yes, that IS a burning gas crater behind us. And very windy, too. Turkmenistan outside Ashgabat Since you're reading this post, I'm going to [...]

By |8 July 2020|Turkmenistan, UNESCO World Heritage|

Transfixed in Turkmenistan: the Ashgabat edition, 11 things you’ll love

It was oddly difficult to decide how to headline this post. The 11 things you'll love-series: a tried and trusted format. Transfixed in Turkmenistan: so fitting. As usual when I can't decide, I choose both. Always works out, somehow. But enough of that; let's get on with this most peculiar of lands. Or rather, of stans. Where to even begin? [...]

By |15 February 2020|11 things, Magic of Cities, Quirky corners, Turkmenistan|

Driving the Pamir Highway – Dushanbe to Osh

Thinking of driving the Pamir Highway? It's one of the world's epic road trips (possibly the most epic), through the wild landscape of the Pamir Mountains, and along the equally wild Panj, the river that forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. You'll drive across lunar desert landscapes, past stunning turquoise lakes and golden meadows. You'll spot Marco Polo sheep [...]

By |28 January 2019|Kyrgyzstan, Road trips, Tajikistan|
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