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Old February 13th, 2012, 03:31 PM   #1
hkskyline
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hkskyline's 2010 Year in Review (July - December)




Shenzhen
Futian is Shenzhen's new central business district. Although full of new skyscrapers and malls, it's actually a more serene and quiet part of town, devoid of crowded streets and even traffic was not too heavy for a weekday.







Their subway exit maps are quite realistic and intricately-drawn.




Taipei
37C days are quite hard to bear, but with sunshine and few clouds, staying indoors on a weekend is a big waste of time. Taipei has a number of interesting buildings dating from the Japanese colonial era.









Voices of protest



101 from the base amidst a partially-cloudy sky is quite amazing.



If paying for a view does not suit you, there is a free observation deck in Banqiao that offers views of the whole city, including the city's 2 tallest buildings.





This view is free as well after a gruelling hike.



When was the last time you saw an airline's waiting list like this?




Taj Mahal
After a long and painful ride through local streets to Agra from Delhi, the prize emerged, stunning as expected.







Nearby, the Red Fort was also full of splendid details and architectural styles.








New Delhi
The monsoon has arrived.









Flying domestic out of Delhi is quite a pain. Everyone has to take a bus to board from the tarmac, and the planes are scattered across the landscape. Makes a nice scene to photograph though.




Shanghai
The Expo was an event not to miss. Although crowds were huge and rowdy, the weather was cool and I targeted the major pavilions towards the end of the day as crowds thinned.



The Little Mermaid was below eye-level in Copenhagen, but here in Shanghai, it was above the tourists taking a peek on the ground floor.



Many countries had put in great efforts to design and decorate their pavilions. The Dutch are among them. They suspended the exhibits above ground, and turned the ground into a park, where many tired visitors were resting.



The simple box was enhanced to create an awesome visual effect.









The North Korean pavilion was crowded, and I helped myself to a shopping spree at their postcard and stamp store.



Who wants to bring home a rug from the Iran pavilion?




Seoul

Korea is always a nice place to visit in the fall, when temperatures fall and the sun shines confidently. I was lucky to have bumped into he changing of the guard at Gyeongbokgung. Visitors could get fairly close to the actors for a first-hand view.





Two big museums border the palace, both offering many exhibits detailing Korea's history and culture. Note their use of Chinese characters in the past.





A delicious abalone skewer. Abalone is not so expensive in Korea thankfully.




Jeonju
A day-trip from Seoul, Jeonju has a historic centre comprising of old hanok houses.











Korean beef BBQ is a great delicacy!




Cairo
My first trip to Africa was a whirlwind tour of Egypt, starting in Cairo and heading south all the way to the Sudan border.



Camels are not great animals to ride on, making lots of jerk movements as it gets up and down onto the ground.



The Sphinx seemed relatively tiny and insignificant.




Hurghada
This resort town has lovely beaches, although most of them are blocked off from the public and accessible only by resort guests. As one such guest myself, I had the use of an exclusive beach, albeit flooded by Russians searching for a sunnier and warmer climate.





However, the desert is never far away, even from the beach resort. Here, the landscape looks like I've landed on the moon.





The Bedouins now welcome tourists to their village in the desert to see how they live and try out some of their local foods. It's quite amazing how they can survive in the middle of the desert. The night sky over this barren corner of the world was nothing short of stunning.






Luxor

The hard-core history lesson began at Luxor. The Karnak Temple's columns were awesome. Had the roof been intact, the visitor could truly appreciate the scale of this monument.









It's a pity photography is forbidden at the Valley of Kings. However, there are still other decent photography opportunities on the west side of the Nile.












River Nile
The Nile cruise is a very relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful scenery encompassing desert, a lush strip of greenery, and the bluish water.





Hawkers come in many forms. In this part of the world, they come by boat, and hurl their wares to curious tourists.






Edfu
After a good night's rest, the boat stopped in Edfu, and the day's sightseeing began with the temple.










Kom Ombo
Do you know your medical tools?



Do you know your calendar dates?



Can you see my belly button?




Aswan

Quite a lot of small boats and cruise boats mingle along the Nile at Aswan. The sunset became even more magical.



A quick stop at the dam shows a big contrast between the serene lake to the south and the developed valley to the north.



Slaves, march! @ Abu Simbel




Xiamen
This beautiful, laid-back coastal city does not choke in traffic or smog.



Like many coastal Chinese cities, there is a colonial legacy, and the architecture reflects this history.







In 2008, the Fujian tulou became a UNESCO World Heritage site. These residences also work as defense fortresses and can come in circular or square forms.









hkskyline's 2010 Year in Review (January - June)
hkskyline's 2009 Year in Review (July - December)
hkskyline's 2009 Year in Review (January - June)
hkskyline's 2008 Year in Review (June - December)
hkskyline's 2008 Year in Review (January - June)
Hong Kong 2008 Year in Review - hkskyline's Bonanza
hkskyline's 2007 Year in Review (January - June)
hkskyline's 2007 Year in Review (July - December)
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