When you think of lost ruins overrun by jungle, you probably think of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or a lost Aztec city in Central America. But this shot is from Nyaung Ohak in Myanmar – a cluster of temples located on the western edge of Inle Lake. To get here you have to take a boat ride through ever-narrowing channels, eventually reaching Indein village. From here it’s a short walk to the ruins. At the top of the hill is a temple in good condition, but the magic is in the ruins leading up the hill.
Ubud is very, very firmly on the tourist trail these days – it’s no longer the quiet little town it once was. But it has managed to retain a certain classiness – excellent restaurants, tasteful boutique shops, and if you wander down side streets you can still find quaint little shops like this one selling kites and textiles.
Bali is one of those touristy places where it can be hard to get away from all the crowds – and let’s face it, it’s not fun sharing with so many people! But if you make the effort, you can still find some hidden spots. Batukaru Temple probably isn’t the most hidden, but we turned up in the late afternoon and had the place to ourselves. We were the only non-locals there when we arrived, and in the hour or two we were there we only saw two other couples. It’s a beautiful temple, surrounded by jungle; some of the statues and buildings have been there so long that they look like they’re part of the jungle now.
As we entered we encountered these three beautiful women who were just leaving the main entrance and gave us a great smile as we passed each other – also not something you always get in the touristy places!
The Bo-Kaap area of Cape Town was the first area where freed slaves settled after they were liberated. As a result it was a real melting pot of cultures, predominantly Muslim, and became a center of cultural life of the city. The houses are all very colorful, probably as an expression of freedom and individualism.
December is always a dark month here in Berlin – and the clouds make things even worse! But at the end of November the Christmas markets start to open up across the city, and it just wouldn’t be the same without them. My favorite one is on Gendarmenmarkt in the center of the city. It’s a beautiful square and the market is always exceptionally well decorated. There are lots of stalls selling arts and crafts, and plenty of good food as well.