Early Bird Catches the Wave
Getting up early is always a treat. In Canggu on the South coast of Bali the surf report tells you when to make a move.
On the Indochina Rooftop
Some of my mountaineering guests were a bit reluctant, but in the end everybody came along – up the 3.143 metres of Fansipan, the highest mountain of Vietnam. By cable car. ? Accessible like this since February 2016. And it is SO worth it! We were just so lucky with THE perfect weather conditions and very few other visitors. It seems the brand new service draws the crowds from Hanoi on weekends and in the summer months. Apparently 35.000 have been here on the long weekend around the Vietnamese Reunification Day this year alone. People had to shuttle from hotels as far as Lao Cai that time. Nearby…
Grab a Ride – One of the Last True Adventures of Hanoi
After Ubud and Rishikesh – motorbike madness one level up: Hiring a Grab driver in Hanoi! What I thought would be a quick errand at the other end of Old Town ended in one of the last true adventures Hanoi has to offer. ? Entirely fascinated by the possibilities the digital age nowadays offers I’m watching with curiosity on the live map how my “1 minute away” driver takes a lot of turns and loops before he arrives some 15 minutes later at the starting point of the trip – and this only after calling for a better offline (!) description. He looks like 12 years old, is…
The Victory of Virtue over Evil
No end to the holiday season in Bali. Just a few days after Balinese New Year we now celebrate “Galungan”, “the victory of virtue over evil”. And Ubud is getting even more photogenic than usual… The streets are lined with hundreds of “Penjors” – intricately decorated bamboo poles, featuring a little box for offerings at the bottom. The tradition says that all the gods descend on earth to celebrate on Galungan, and the spirits of ancestors visit their homes. Rituals and offerings on that day are meant to welcome these otherworldly spirits to the material realm. All the families have one or two days off and after days…
Monsters, Demons and Silence
Even 15 years in Mainz couldn’t prepare me for the processions they have on Balinese New Year. You need to see this video to catch a bit of the high energy, high adrenaline half dance, half mock-fight they performed today on the streets with their “Ogoh-Ogoh” called figures representing demons. It is about chasing away the evil spirits from the island after quite a few days of ritual and purification in families and communities. After the frantic and noisy play in the streets the whole island will fall silent tomorrow. This coming day, Nyepi Day, the “Silent Day”, requires EVERYBODY to stay indoors, not to have light or…
Sunrise over the Clouds
Admiring the stunning beauty of the planet as seen from Mount Batur, Northern Bali. When staying in Ubud this requires a super early wake-up: Tours are leaving around 2 am!
Myanmar Through the Instagram Lense
My very first attempts with Instagram postings in March 2015 happened in the miraculous land of Myanmar. The photos document most days of a 3-week round-trip starting in Yangon, going through Bago, Golden Rock, Inle Lake, Shan State, Mandalay, Ava, Bagan and back to Yangon.
Most Magic Sunrise
Pictures and words can by no means do justice to the magic of a sunrise over Bagan. Of all the places I have visited in South-East Asia this must have been one of the most mesmerising.
Beauty in the Moment
In six weeks of travelling through Myanmar I brought back some 3.000 photos taken with phone and camera. I was totally captivated by the essence of this country. These are some of my all-time favourites.
Myanmar – the Golden Land
Whatever else is going on in Myanmar – its temples make this country a Golden Land indeed and a land of true and deep spiritual practice. The Buddhist tradition is very much alive and palpable. The many sacred places attract pilgrims from neighbouring countries, who want to get a glimpse and a whiff of the stunning magnificence and charge of the pagodas and temples. Two of only six great international Buddhist Councils have been held in Myanmar. But much more than the importance on this formal level it is the miraculous and mystical that makes Myanmar shine so bright.