The epic journey in Kyrgyzstan didn’t finish in Arslenbob, but continued on our way to Bishkek. Through some of the most desolately beautiful World.
One of the most exciting and scary tunnel journeys I have ever done, is the main Bishkek-Osh road, which passes over a number of high mountain passes – Tuu Ashu (Flag Pass) crosses the Kyrgyz Range at 3588 meters, but a tunnel under the pass means that vehicle do not have to climb right to the summit.
The Tuu Ashu pass is kept open all year round – it is such an important route – the only route between the North and South of the country for much of the year. Other passes over the Kyrgyz range are closed right until the height of summer .
The scenery I am sure you will agree more than makes up for it, and always I felt like an intrepid explorer doing this journey.
During my two month stay in Kyrgyzstan, I spent quite a few days here, and I walked up to the Walnut forest via the waterfall and back down the valley…
Arslanbob (Written and pronounced in Kyrgyz as “Arstanbap”) is one of the most famous places in Kyrgyzstan. Arslanbob (Kyrgyz: Арстанбаб – Arstanbab; Russian: Арсланбоб; Uzbek: Arslonbob) is the name of the large wild walnut (Juglans regia) forest, but is also the name of the big Uzbek village nestled right at the base of some of the most spectacular mountains in Kyrgyzstan.
In addition to the similarly named sub district, valley, and mountain range all located in the Jalal-Abad Region of Kyrgyzstan. The vast tracts of lush green woodland with nut and fruit trees in the valley of the River Arslanbob are actually the largest of their kind in the world.
This scenery combined with some of the best guesthouses in Kyrgyzstan make it one of the places not to miss on any visit to Central Asia.
The fairy-tale walnut forest of Arslanbob in southern Kyrgyzstan is a year-round destination for hiking, skiing, horse riding and food enthusiasts. The suffix ‘Bob’ is commonly used in the region meaning “a traveler and explorer”; so COME be a ‘Bob’ to Arslanbob!
With 90% of the country land above 1500m in elevation, Kyrgyzstan has some amazing valleys. Altyn Arashan is one of the most famous ones for its dreamy landscape and hot springs.
It is even more enjoyable that it is not so easy to reach it! During 2012 during my journey across Central Asia and following the Silk route to China, I spent two months in Kyrgyzstan.
This trip to the hot springs was a trip I shall never forget in the beaten up but bullet proof UAZ 452 (Commercial) Part minivan, a throwback to times long gone when things were made to last. The beginning of the road looked smooth but as you can see (although pictures cannot really show it), it quickly became rocky and bumpy, and sometimes unbelievably accessible!
Many times we crossed animal groups that were being moved to higher grass fields for the summer. Other old soviet vehicles, and horse riders, it is a great place if you want to get around on a horse, hacking is one of the popular activities there.
We went for the hot springs and they were worth every minute, we had one to ourselves and your hut will be next to the river(well not far), a concrete pool will have all the perfectly clear,clean hot spring water you need. Afterwards we had a perfect picnic nearby and then the return teeth juddering journey back! I hope you like my slideshow if so please subscribe, I am always working on new ones from my actually visited destinations.
The first structure in what is now the Đà Nẵng Museum of Cham Sculpture was built in 1915.
However, many of the Cham sculptures here were actually collected over the 20 years prior to the construction of this first building. Coming from sites around Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam Province, they were brought to this site and displayed in what was then known as “The Garden of Tourane”.
The collection of Cham sculpture was begun by French archaeologists and experts from L’École Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO). Some artifacts were sent to museums in Paris and others to museums in Hà Nội and Sài Gòn (now Hồ Chí Minh City). However, the most typical and precious objects were left here in what was then known as Tourane (now Đà Nẵng).
I have just come back from Danang in Vietnam this April 2019, One of the things I look for as a photographer is the unusual and artistic areas of anywhere I am visiting.
Here in the heart of Danang is a community project to combine sustainable tourism and turn degraded houses into desirable homes for the local people.
The project has commissioned more than 30 mural paintings, with the theme being; Culture, beauty and nature and the people of Danang.
The project was started in early 2018 and is expected to expand to other localities across the country by 2019.
Tan Thanh fishing village being the other better known project, which i also visited and will be posting the video of shortly!
If I was asked which was my favourite, i would be hard to choose, but I think the butterflies and the simple images of children playing traditional games that are painting on the school wall.
There are a lot of Buddhist temples in Thailand and there are a few unique and interesting ones – the Wat Bang Kung วัดบางกุ้ง is one of them. It is actually a temple built within a huge banyan tree! Wat Bang Kung is located in Amphawa district, Samut Songkhram.
Within the Wat entwined tree, there is a large Buddha statue pasted with gold leaves by devout visitors who will walk around the Buddha It appears that a concrete structure had been built within the tree to house the temple.
Within the grounds from Wat Bang Kung lies the memorial to Bang Kung Camp, once a strategic naval outpost. Back in 1767, after the defeat of old Siam capital of Ayutthaya by Burmese forces, general Taksin took his navy down to this area after Burmese ships blocked the route to the gulf. It was from here that Taksin led his troops to take back Ayutthaya from the Burmese and eventually becoming King of Siam.
Besides statues of soldiers dressed in 18th century military wear, there are dozens of life-size statues of Muay Thai kick-boxers displaying different Muay Thai moves, which were added in the late 20th century.
The Statue of the Heroic mother Nguyen Thi Thu
The Largest statue I have seen to any mother anywhere in my travels.
I arrived here at about 12 noon so the sun was right on top of me, it was unbearably hot, but I wanted to do this woman justice with the light and the one colour granite that she is carved from.
A great monument not just to this hero mother of the communist regime in Vietnam, but to all Mothers of the World, being here gave me a great sense of being a “Mother” and the size and grandeur is fitting to us all. Interestingly inaugurated on March 24th 2015, being my birthday day!
I found it a very calm and restful place to be, huge gardens covering some 15 hectares in Cam Mountain, sadly it was so hot when I visited that I could only manage a small part of this great monument.
Costing a little over VND 410 billion (US$19 million) contributed by local authorities and beneficiaries from inside and outside the country. Inside the actual sculpture is housed a museum honouring the lives and contributions of 50,000 Vietnamese heroic mothers nationwide.
As you approach it from the massive roadside car drop off, you will be met first by it eight pillars sculpted with images of heroic mothers from across Vietnam as well as young volunteers who fought and died in the Truong Son Mountains. houses inside a museum honouring the lives and contributions of 50,000 Vietnamese heroic mothers nationwide. This is followed by four plateaus of steps, with a smooth path running alongside for those unable to manage the very easy steps