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Insights from lesser visited destinations

The Most Beautiful City In The World

No, this isn’t Florence or Venice but it still holds all the charms and none of the tourism of the old country. Nicknamed “la piccolo Roma” and situated a mere 4,000 kilometers from the Italian capital, Asmara was once the jewel in the crown of the Italian empire. It’s importance and influence have waned since […]

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Bricked up in Pakistan

Life in a Pakistani Brick kiln Debt is a reality of life around the world. In Pakistan however, when you ask for a loan, you and generations of your family can be trapped for life. The center of this debt misery? Any one of Pakistan’s 20,000 brick kilns “employing” up to 2 million children and […]

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The North Korean Mass Dance

,If you find yourself in North Korea on one of the many national holidays, chances are you’ll end up at a mass dance. But what are these wonderfully colorful & choreographed events? a Celebration In short it’s a planned hour long event held during celebratory occasions. These are usually national holidays or sometimes even missile […]

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A Very Papuan Welcome

A Tale of two villages When in Papua New Guinea, get yourself to any village and let the locals take over. I visited two very close but very different villages in the Western Highland Province of the country – a short flight from the capital, Port Moresby. We were led to a small clearing in […]

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Mount Hagen Festival. Part Two – The Main Event

With a culture so pure but fading due to western influence. The town of Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea, is doing it’s part to keep this culture alive. First mooted by missionaries in the 1950s as a method to ease tensions between warring tribes. The Mount Hagen Festival officially got off the ground in 1964. […]

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Mount Hagen Festival. Part One – Behind the Scenes

The Sound of rhythmic lizard skin drumming hums on the landscape as you arrive here. Look around and it’s a 360 degree view of colored feathers, hidden faces and a rugged landscape. The Mount Hagen show won’t start for a few hours yet but already thousands are busy trying to look their best. Preparation One […]

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Munsu Water Park

Pyongyang’s premier leisure centre Situated within a stone’s throw of the foreign embassy compound and Mayday Stadium shows the importance of this place. This is central Pyongyang and within it lies the dominating outline of the Munsu Water Park. Opened to much military fanfare in 2013, the park is the centerpiece of North Korea’s state […]

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Abandoned Iraq

A lost world After the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent regime collapse, the country as a whole fell into a state of disrepair. The collapse of the central government brought with it severe humanitarian problems. Food and medical supplies were in short supply. Protecting Iraq’s ancient cultural sites were not high on […]

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Train to Pyongyang

A Journey into the unknown I have made the long journey to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nearly 50 times. The vast majority of which have been by train to Pyongyang. For many taking the train, it’s the first sight of a country they have read and heard about for years. For me, this […]

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Chechnya – Breaking the Rules

Travelling in the Chechen Republic. Firstly let me begin by introducing you to the leader of the Republic of Chechnya. You’ve got to hand it to Ramzan Kadyrov; A modern day poster boy for leadership cults of personality. Kid President. President Kadyrov formally took the reins of power from his assassinated father in 2007 aged […]

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