The Silk Road

April 26, 2017 seenplaces 0

The wayposts of the Silk Road are a litany of adventure and romance crossing half the world. Already ancient when Marco Polo set out from 13th century Venice, the 13,900-km (8,700-mi) route to Kublai Khan’s capital of Beijing is still fraught with the same historic dangers. War, pestilence, religious confrontation […]

Travel Tip: Walking the Nakasendo

April 26, 2017 seenplaces 0

Developed from the 7th century onwards, the Nakasendo was formalized at the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868) as one of the five official roads for the use of the shogun and government dignitaries in ruling their territory. The Nakasendo was one of two highways connecting Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto, […]

The 88 Temples of the Shikoku Pilgrim Route

April 26, 2017 seenplaces 0

In Shikoku, ancient Japan is no ghost. The smallest of Japan’s four main islands, it remains isolated by the Inland Sea despite the increasing development of its north coast cities in the wake of recently improved access to Honshu and Kyushu. Away from this densely populated ribbon of conurbation, Shikoku […]

The Tokaido Highway

April 26, 2017 seenplaces 0

The Tokaido was designated Japan’s most important thoroughfare at its creation in 1603. It was to be the Number One highway from the shogun’s capital in Edo (Tokyo) to the imperial capital in Kyoto: the coastal route was easier than the alternative mountain route (the Nakasendo). In 1619, it was […]

Enoshima Electric Railway

April 26, 2017 seenplaces 0

It looks like a train, but the Enoshima Electric Railway has the soul of the much-appreciated local tram it used to be. It runs from Fujisawa, 51 km (32 mi) southwest of Tokyo, to the popular seaside resort of Enoshima and on to Kamakura, once capital of Japan and still […]

Maeklong Railway – Bangkok to Samut Songkhram

April 24, 2017 seenplaces 0

Built privately around the turn of the last century, the Maeklong Railway brought seafood from the fishing ports of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkram to Bangkok – a distance of about 75 km (47 mi). The line was never connected to the main rail system, no longer carries freight, and […]

Hanoi Unification Express

April 24, 2017 seenplaces 0

This is a train journey that time forgot. The term ‘express’ is used loosely, as in averaging around 50 kph (30 mph) as opposed to the 15 kph (10 mph) achieved by local trains on the single track connecting Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) to Hanoi in the north. […]

By Bike from Saigon to Angkor Wat

April 21, 2017 seenplaces 0

Don’t be afraid to refer to Ho Chi Minh City as Saigon – most of the local people still do. And it’s from Saigon that one of Indochina’s great cycling expeditions begins, taking the adventurous pedal-pusher from the former capital of South Vietnam through the Mekong Delta and on to […]

Mekong River voyage – Huay Xai to Luang Prabang

April 21, 2017 seenplaces 0

Since Laos re-opened its borders to westerners in the late 1980s, the Mekong River voyage from Houay Xai to Luang Prabang has become an absolute classic. Crossing the river from Thailand takes a matter of minutes, and you will soon find the ‘slow boats’ that will carry you downstream. These […]