Singapore…from colonial to cool

Singapore is slinging out its safe old image and ushering in an era of cutting-edge design and culinary delights.

From the air, Singapore looks like a castaway’s paradise. The island state sits within a patchwork of perfectly circular islands scattered in the South China Sea, each haloed with a ring of tropical sand. But as the plane lands, the massive cargo ships lurking in its waters and the forest of skyscrapers become visible. Singapore may be unveiling its own version of the Eden Project at the end of this month, but it’s a city that is determinedly urban.

Evening Standard, 27 June

It’s peaceful here on top of the world: Ladakh ‘Little Tibet’

Ladakh, known as ‘Little Tibet’, is a bastion of Buddhist calm in a wild and remote region. Sarah Barrell gets a taste of village life in the Himalayas.

The Indus River was the first sign of life, making wild snaking curves through the mountains from Tibet, an icy lifeline for the few who inhabit the arid Ladakh plateau.

We’d been flying over a choppy sea of Himalayan peaks for an hour, a mass of violent geology that stretched as far as the eye could see. The pilot waited, making dizzying circles around the edge of the Indus Valley, until the dust cleared and he could put down. The landing gear was barely extended before we abruptly bumped into Ladakh’s capital, Leh, “rooftop of the world”.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/its-peaceful-here-on-top-of-the-world-ladakh-little-tibet-983580.html

Woman about world: trans-Siberian road trip

The long road to nowhere ended with a revelation

The likes of Flaubert and Freya Stark may have eulogised about it but for most, travel is merely a means to an end. In the jet age, the “getting there” bit of a holiday is simply a bland necessity between home and where you want to be.

But what if, without the act of getting there, your destination would make no sense at all? Imagine plucking one of those itinerant writers out of, say, the London docks, plonking them down, an in-flight movie and a packet of peanuts later, in the middle of as-yet uncharted Africa?

But what if, without the act of getting there, your destination would make no sense at all? Imagine plucking one of those itinerant writers out of, say, the London docks, plonking them down, an in-flight movie and a packet of peanuts later, in the middle of as-yet uncharted Africa?

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/sarah-barrell-woman-about-world-543323.html