IntroductionThis page is a collection of comments and pictures relating to places and countries I have visited over the years in the Asian countries. For the full list, see the travel index.
BahrainI 'visited' Bahrain a couple of times when flying between the UK and India.
Dubai, UAEI 'visited' Dubai in the United Arab Emirates a couple of times when flying between the UK and Sri Lanka.
Hong KongI visited Hong Kong once, before it reverted back to Chinese rule, and before the new airport was built. The taxi driver on the journey from Kai Tak airport seemed to be under the impression that all the cars in Hong Kong were new, unlike 'all those old cars in Rondon'. I can only think that his knowledge of cars in London was based on movies from the 1960s! For more images, try this Google image search
IndiaI became fascinated with India in the late 1970s when my brother Mick followed the hippy trail to India. I then got a taste for the Indian style of cooking (in the many Indian restaurants in England), and eventually I just had to go there to see (and taste) it for myself.
The first visit was based on the standard tourist trip, starting in Old Delhi and New Delhi . I stayed at the at the Oberoi Maidens hotel in Old Delhi and visited the tourist sites, includng Qutub Minar . After a trip into the Thar Desert to stay at an old castle at Mandawa in Rajasthan,I visited Jaipur, and visited many places including the Palace of the Winds , Jantar Mantar observatory , and the nearby Amber Palace , which included an elephant ride up the steep zigzag pathway. I then took the Shatabdi Express to Agra Station to see the Taj Mahal . Well, that was the plan, but at the time there had been an uprising in clashes between Hindus and Muslims, resulting in many deaths and the closure of the Taj Mahal. After slipping out from the hotel , the closest a cycle-rickshaw could get to the Taj was a few miles away due to an exclusion zone set up by Indian police, so I didn't even get a glimpse. After returning to Delhi, the journey continued by air down to the former Portuguese colony of Goa . For more images, try this Google image search
The next trip started in Bombay (now called Mumbai) , but this time headed north via Udaipur to stay at the Lake Palace hotel (as featured in the 1983 James Bond movie 'Octopussy'), before going to Delhi then Agra. To be sure of at least a glimpse, the accommodation was booked at the Taj View Hotel , but luckily there was no rioting this time so I was able to tour the Taj Mahal . I then flew southwest to the city of Madras , and then took an extensive train ride to Madurai on the Vaigai Express . Meals on the train were booked when the journey started, and then the train would halt at a station, where the prepared meals were brought on board. Coffee and tea were served in plastic cups marked 'Please deform after use' to prevent re-use! After spending a couple of days in Madurai (and catching the tail end of the monsoons season) staying at what was then called the Taj Garden Retreat hotel on Pasumalai Hill, I travelled by road to Periyar , hoping to see a rare Indian tiger , but seeing elephants and other wildlife instead. Next I headed for the coast, and the backwaters of Allepey (where I saw my first water snake) and Taj Malabar hotel in the spice town of Cochin , where fishermen employ nets on gantries. Finally the journey ended in Kovalam with it's great beach and lighthouse , near Trivandrum
Other visits tended to be simple beach vacations in Goa, but one was punctuated by a visit to the city of Hyderabad , the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, and a stay at the grandly-named Ritz Hotel (Hill Fort Palace). For more images, try this Google image search
PhilippinesThe journey to the Philippines was from Hong Kong, and involved an overnight stay in the capital Manila . The next morning I took a bumpy plane ride down to the island of Boracay, where I stayed (and was trapped by a vicious typhoon) for the next week at the Paradise Garden Resort . If the weather had been better, it would have been a great place to stay, with fantastic food, and lovely beaches . Me at the hotel and on the beach . For more images, try this Google image search
SingaporeBoth my visits to Singapore were business trips, but luckily there was enough free time to enjoy the sights, shopping, and drinking!
On my second visit, I discovered the travel passes sold by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority which allowed travel using the rail and bus system, and I was able to catch a better glimpse of the life outside the city area, including a visit to the old Changi Prison Museum . For more images, try this Google image search
Sri LankaMy interest in Sri Lanka stemmed from my interest in Asian food. One of my favorite dishes is a Ceylon curry, and Ceylon is now known as Sri Lanka. My first visit was based around the coastal town of Negombo , but was vastly improved by a trip inland which encompassed the hill town of Nuwara Eliya , followed by a very scenic (and long) train journey to the town of Kandy . Another trip was to see the impressive elephant sanctuary at Pinnewala . For more images, try this Google image search
My next visit was to another coastal town, Hikkaduwa , which is a few hours drive south of the capital Colombo. This was a much better choice than Negombo, in terms of the vast choice of restaurants spread along the road. I also found a travel agency that offered Internet access, which was a welcome break from lazing in the sun, or snorkeling. Hikkaduwa was severely damaged by the December 26 2004 Tsunami that caused devastation across large parts of Asia. US Geological Survey pictures show that many houses were reduced to rubble. The toll on human life included around 1,200 who died when a train passing through nearby Telwatte was sided-swiped by the second massive wave. While I was there, I took a trip from Hikkaduwa station by train to Galle station , in the south.