Temple of Heaven, Beijing, September 2013. A regular sight on my travels is a wedding photo shoot. It’s not surprising given that most people want to take photos at famous monuments and sights - the same locations that travellers usually frequent.
I saw this wedding shoot at the Temple of Heaven complex, which was built more than 500 years ago. 

Temple of Heaven, Beijing, September 2013. A regular sight on my travels is a wedding photo shoot. It’s not surprising given that most people want to take photos at famous monuments and sights - the same locations that travellers usually frequent.

I saw this wedding shoot at the Temple of Heaven complex, which was built more than 500 years ago. 

On the Transmongolian train from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to Beijing, China. September 2013. I found when I was researching about the train trip between Mongolia and China (about a 30-hour journey) that there did’t seem to be many photos of the journey on the web. So here’s my contribution to those looking for such pics. I slept in a first-class cabin (the other classes were sold out), the train was Chinese and the food carriages were Mongolian and China (swapped at the border).

Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, 45km from Ulaanbaatar, Tsonjin Boldog, Mongolia. August 2013. Can something be both kitsch and majestic? If that’s possible, then perhaps this statue of Genghis Khan (called Chinggis Khaan in Mongolia) fits the bill. It’s about 40 metres high and was built several years ago (you can read more about why here) by a private company. The statue is hollow and you can take the stairs or a lift up through the body and get a view of the surrounding area from the top of the horse’s head. Interestingly, mega-statues of thousands of soldiers from Khan’s army are set to be erected at another location. You can pay a few thousand US dollars to get your face sculptured on to a soldier. Creepy or a clever way to raise money, or both?

Khongor sand dunes, Gobi desert, Mongolia. September 2013. This was probably one of the most beautiful sights in the Gobi desert. There was a lot of huffing and puffing (by me) to get up to the top, but once we were there, the view of the sunset was so unreal I felt like I was stepping into a postcard. If you look closely, you can see the gazillions grains of sand whirling about. It was very windy so I could only take a few shots so that my camera wouldn’t be damaged.

Camp Tamok, 75 minutes from Tromso, northern Norway, December 2011. This is Roar Nyheim, a Semi reindeer herder who brought a bunch of us around for about an hour on sleighs. Nyheim said it took up to a decade to train the reindeers. They had a variety of personalities that were more fascinating than the ride itself, especially the reindeer behind my friend, who was always looking for an opportunity to headbutt her with his rather large antlers (!).

Camp Tamok, 75 minutes from Tromso, northern Norway, December 2011. This is Roar Nyheim, a Semi reindeer herder who brought a bunch of us around for about an hour on sleighs. Nyheim said it took up to a decade to train the reindeers. They had a variety of personalities that were more fascinating than the ride itself, especially the reindeer behind my friend, who was always looking for an opportunity to headbutt her with his rather large antlers (!).

Hargeisa, Somaliland, October 2012. I came across this dapper elderly gentleman who was enjoying tea with his mates beside the MiG fighter jet monument in the capital city. It took some persuading to get him to let me take his photo, and I had to enlist the help of his friends. But I was just keen to capture what I thought was a lovely, expressive face and personality.

Hargeisa, Somaliland, October 2012. I came across this dapper elderly gentleman who was enjoying tea with his mates beside the MiG fighter jet monument in the capital city. It took some persuading to get him to let me take his photo, and I had to enlist the help of his friends. But I was just keen to capture what I thought was a lovely, expressive face and personality.

Copenhagen, Denmark, December 2011. One of my favourite parts of my trip to the Nordic countries was the food. I ate what was probably a year’s fill of fish in a week, and even sampled the Danish version of a hearty breakie (second photo above). Cheese, yogurt AND sausages in the morning. Why not? It was yummy and I had one very full tummy.

Konso, southern Ethiopia, October 2012. This is probably my favourite photo of the trip. We were driving near Konso when a rainbow sparkled into sight after a light shower. I haven’t altered this photo at all, or cropped it in any way. This is exactly how it looked. It was such a bonus to also capture this young woman walking past in her lively coloured skirt.

Konso, southern Ethiopia, October 2012. This is probably my favourite photo of the trip. We were driving near Konso when a rainbow sparkled into sight after a light shower. I haven’t altered this photo at all, or cropped it in any way. This is exactly how it looked. It was such a bonus to also capture this young woman walking past in her lively coloured skirt.

Near Lalibela, northern Ethiopia, October 2012. I have to say I was totally over the moon when we passed by a sunflower field on the way to visit a cave church just outside the mountain village of Lalibela. After a few attempts, I managed to capture a shot of this wee bee feeding on the sunflower. I particularly like the little yellow pollen stuck on its body.

Near Lalibela, northern Ethiopia, October 2012. I have to say I was totally over the moon when we passed by a sunflower field on the way to visit a cave church just outside the mountain village of Lalibela. After a few attempts, I managed to capture a shot of this wee bee feeding on the sunflower. I particularly like the little yellow pollen stuck on its body.

Hargeisa, Somaliland, October 2012. A big highlight of my trip to Somaliland was the livestock market a short drive from the capital, Hargeisa. The market featured mostly camels, goats and (pictured above), the fat-tailed sheep. Somali sheep are said to be unique in that they have black heads with white bodies. They were certainly very distinctive and always up for a photo, as you can see above.

Omo Valley, southern Ethiopia, October 2012.

Omo Valley, southern Ethiopia, October 2012.

Berbera, Somaliland, October 2012. Somaliland broke away from Somalia about 22 years ago after the collapse of the Barre regime in the early 1990s. It’s still recognised internationally as being part of Somalia, but it’s been run by a separate administration for more than two decades. It doesn’t see a lot of travellers, so we were the centre of attention wherever we went. Here, a woman who bought some fish pretended to use one as a telephone.

Berbera, Somaliland, October 2012. Somaliland broke away from Somalia about 22 years ago after the collapse of the Barre regime in the early 1990s. It’s still recognised internationally as being part of Somalia, but it’s been run by a separate administration for more than two decades. It doesn’t see a lot of travellers, so we were the centre of attention wherever we went. Here, a woman who bought some fish pretended to use one as a telephone.

I recently returned from Ethiopia and Somaliland, and hope to post some photos from there over the next few months. This photo was taken in South Omo in southern Ethiopia, where the bull jumping ceremonies by the Hamer tribe have become a bit of a tourist destination.

I recently returned from Ethiopia and Somaliland, and hope to post some photos from there over the next few months. This photo was taken in South Omo in southern Ethiopia, where the bull jumping ceremonies by the Hamer tribe have become a bit of a tourist destination.

I spent some time in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) over the new year and my big loves about that region is space and the austere yet elegant style of the architecture (See the pic of Norway’s Opera House above). I find myself very drawn to the landscapes and its vastness. Fields of flowers, fields of snow. Brilliant.

I spent a few days in Botswana in April at two safari camps in the Okavango Delta and it was an exhilarating experience. One of the things I rarely see during my normal working day is sunrises and sunsets and these are some of my favourite snaps that I captured during my trip. It’s fair to say that I spent most of my time gawking at these sights and saying just one word: “Wow.”