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Photo Travelogue

Welcome to the Editor's Photo Travelogue.

The Reasons for the Photo Travelogue

This mini-site was originally put together just to present some of my own ancient photos in a collection of galleries. Originally spanning four decades with a couple of hundred photos, it's now undergoing a transformation which will take the number of images into the thousands and present a more accurate picture of my travels and the places visited. There are several reasons for this expansion. Firstly, I came across a few of my own old photos which I thought had been lost, and decided to add some of these. Secondly, I found that better image editing tools meant that some of my other pics, which, ravaged by the passing of time, I had originally considered beyond repair, could actually be salvaged. And thirdly, after deciding to expand the galleries, I thought it best to make a thorough job of it, and see if I could fill the galleries out further with public domain images available on the Internet. So, this is what I've done.

So, what kind of travelogue is this? Obviously, it isn't just a few holiday snaps collected together, although a good number of holiday photos are included in it. Nor, at nearly four decades, is it even an adventure travel diary. To better understand what it is, a bit of background information is needed:

I began developing an interest in travel in my late teens. For most young people, long-term travel isn't possible without working to pay one's way, and so 'working holidays' are an option taken by many (even more nowadays than in the 1980s) who hope to get a better understanding of a place and its people than a short holiday can provide. It was also on one such working holiday that I passed The Point of No Return.

The Point of No Return is a point in the life of a traveller after which he (or she) no longer has a base to go home to. Which is to say, the place which was home may still be there, but there is no longer sufficient reason to go back there to live. After that, he becomes an itinerant, an international migrant, an immigrant, even an illegal alien or a stateless person. What differentiates the traveller from international migrants who have simply spent all their lives in one place, then left home for a future in another place (and perhaps the only thing that differentiates these two types of people), is that the traveller remains restless, sure that there are other landscapes worth seeing, and other people whose cultures and lifestyles are worth learning about. So, he or she never gives up on travel.

The Photos of the Photo Travelogue

I was reluctant at first to do these galleries as I didn't think I had enough photos to make it worthwhile. Of the photos I did have, most were damaged to the point of being unusable -- including negatives -- just from storing in the high humidity of north-east Taiwan for several years without taking any special measures to keep them dry. Of those that could be salvaged, most needed extensive editing. Well, that's finally been done. Many of my travels were camera-less journeys, but fortunately I've been able to make up for most of the missing pieces of the jigsaw with public domain images from the Internet. This means the galleries can now more fully serve the purpose of presenting those places as they were when I visited them, along with descriptions, and sometimes an interesting story or two. About 70% of the images were taken by myself, while most of the remainder are public domain images found on the Internet. A small number have been provided by friends and travel companions.

The galleries are presented in downloadable JPEG format, and are all in the public domain (which means they can be used by anyone, anywhere, without restrictions, and for any purpose). All images have a pixel count of 1,000 in the longer dimension. Where there are significantly higher resolutions available (mostly only for the later pics), there will eventually be a link for these on each relevant page.

The images are arranged in roughly chronological order, but as some of these go a long way back, they may not always be precisely arranged. I haven't put dates to them, because in many cases I'm not sure of exact dates, though I have mentioned those dates I can remember in the relevant descriptions. The photos are divided into four main groups, one for each decade, beginning with the 1980s. Go directly to a particular time from the links below, or start here, by clicking 'next page' at the top of this page. By default, the larger images open in the same window as the thumbnail index; click the larger images to return to the thumbnails.

The Travelogue of the Photo Travelogue

There are two reasons for the text which goes with the photos. One is to give viewers an idea of the place in question as it was at the time of my visit and provide some background information on the various places.

A variety of modes of transport were involved in the travels of this travelogue, including jet airliners, light aeroplanes, helicopters, paragliders, ferries, hydrofoils, rafts, canoes, trains, buses, lorries, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, camels and legs (walking)!

With respect to descriptions of places, I've tried to be as objective as possible; just providing statistics where possible to back up descriptions. However, as far as my own experiences are concerned, it's not possible to by anything but subjective about these. These are the experiences I had in the places I visited, so I make no excuses if people don't agree with them, find them objectionable, or even unbelievable! No two travellers will have exactly the same experiences of any given place, so these travellers' tales are just provided for the reference of anyone who may be interested.

I've been asked by several people why I should bother writing a bunch of ancient travel stories, when people only want to know about present circumstances in any given place? There are several reasons. First, it's a mistake to think that present circumstances are unrelated with those of 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. For example, I first learnt of what later became known as the 'Thai Gem Scam' in 1985, when I met a couple of Canadian packpackers who had just fallen for it. Despite that, nearly a decade later, I almost fell for a new variation of the same scam myself! In 2017, the Thai Gem Scam still exists, continues to evolve and take different forms, and people are still getting ripped of by it. So, some of the stories from my early travels need to be regarded as 'generic', travellers can still glean useful tips on the essense of things to watch out for. Apart from that, some of the stories can only now be safely related. Time has put events (or myself) out of the scope of any relevant laws. So, I'm relating a few of my travel (in the broadest sense of the word) stories here in the hope that the information my be useful to aspiring travellers today. In the later galleries, as the adventures dropped off and my lifestyle became more sedate, the focus turns from travel stories to photography...

go to Travelogue 1980s

go to Travelogue 2010s

go to Travelogue 2000s

go to Travelogue 2010s

All images Public Domain

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