Brace yourself – there is a lot of visual content to go through here… To make things easier though, I grouped the photos (and one video, at the very end) into logical blocks:

In-between – all that happened when hitchhiking; NYC closer – slowing down to see the details of urban landscape; NYC wider – more focusing on architecture; NYC Pride – rainbow people; Central Park – green microcosm in the heart of the city; Chicago and suburbs; Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse – two important monuments – one for the white Americans and the other for the Native Americans (though started by a Pole – Korczak Ziółkowski); Glacier National Park – at the very border with Canada, a place of sheer beauty, good for a loooong exploration; And North American Indian Days (+video) – American Indian festival in the town of Browning

I won’t waste your and my time writing the trip itself – I guess the photos show…

My trip to South Africa was more of a time-travel as I was visiting a friend from long ago, hence this time I did not experience awesome wildlife and exoticism etc. but I think I will make up for it next time I visit this country:)

This time, though, while in SA (Hibiscus Coast and around Cape Town mostly) I managed to spot some semi-exotic and semi-wild wildlife – deers of all sorts, monkeys, seals and penguins… And I also met some interesting people – stoned and talkative employees and guests of a hostel in Cape Town, buskers, small time crooks and muggers, a Polish priest, Mrs Irena (aged 90+) with lots of stories about her soviet era deportation, I was lucky enough to take part in Zulu wedding (I was called as an emergency cameraman as the local “videofilming” company failed to deliver)… All in all, a fruitful trip, with lots of things to think about, especially regarding interracial…

Sharing some images from the trip I had to one of the most amazing places in Sichuan, China: Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si) buddhist monastery. The view of the monk shanty town (female monks living within the “island”, male monks – outside)  enclosed by meandering river is simply surreal. Too bad the authorities are “developing” the place and tearing it down…

Plus some photos from near Tagong.

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Wrzucam kilka obrazków z jednego z najbardziej niesamowitych miejsc, które można odwiedzić w regionie Siczuan: klasztor i świątynia Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si). Widok wyspy szczelnie zabudowanej mnisimi chatkami z byle czego robi spore wrażenie. Z perspektywy turysty – trochę szkoda, że władze próbują “udoskonalić” mnisie miasteczko, głównie poprzez wyburzanie jego części…

Plus kilka zdjęć z okolic Tagong.

Get prepared for all that Bali has to offer – you will have it all brought to you on a golden platter, you will have to try hard to shake off all the hawkers, you will be offered all that you don’t need from drinks to stone massage to zipline to banana boat; and you will be expected to pay a much higher price than a local would… But once you get out of those ultra-touristy areas (that cover a big part of the island, but not all of it …yet) Bali can still impress you – beautiful landscapes, thousands of family temples, delicious street food, smiling and kind people (protip: when on tight budget and not willing to spend money on transportation, politely refuse all the scooter drivers that pull over offering to give you a ride for money, by telling them you will just walk; once he realizes you are serious and he won’t be able to squeeze…

Of all the countless islands of Indonesia I decided to visit two: Sumatra and Bali (Lombok doesn’t count as I was there for half a day only just to hop on a plane). Below are some impressions of Sumatran part of my trip.

I owe huge thanks to Rudy, the greatest ever couchsurfing host from Medan and to his flatmate William… It is them (and their jolly bunch of friends) I had a very soft landing in Indonesia and I got introduced to many a local custom. The care they took of me even felt too much at some point but only until I watched some videos of people getting mugged in many cruel ways at night (especially by guys on electric scooters)… It was only then that I understood better why my friends would always give their buddies a ride back right to their door and wait until they safely got in… And the security of Indonesian Chinese (and…

On my way back home from the Philippines I had a somewhat long stopover in Kuwait. After a bit of visa-issuing chaos I walked out of the airport and did some sightseeing…

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W drodze powrotnej z Filipin zaliczyłem przydługą przesiadkę w Kuwejcie. Po chaotycznej walce o wizę (potrzebnej na jeden jedyny dzień pobytu:) wydostałem się z lotniska i pokręciłem się po okolicy…

This time my visit to the Philippines had a purpose or even two: making a chocolate video (big thanks to Mr. Grover Rosit and his family) and meeting a Filipino shaman/wonderhealer/dr quackquack (and that was made possible with a little help from Grochu – http://breakdacycle.com)… And in between I experienced the fiesta during Kadalag-An festival in Victorias City, I tried to approach Mount Kanlaon in Negros island (nope, it was a little too active recently and it was forbidden to get close but I spent some nice time in the nearby village), I visited the shaman-saturated island of Siquijor… And I have some photos and videos to prove it:)

 

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Tym razem wycieczka na Filipiny miała dwa główne cele: zrobienie materiału video o filipińskiej czekoladzie (podziękowanie dla Pana Grovera Rosita i jego rodziny!) i spotkanie filipińskiego szamana (co udało się na bardzo polskiej wyspie Bantayan, głównie dzięki Grochowi, znanemu z http://breakdacycle.com)…  A po drodze udało się jeszcze zobaczyć…

Taoyuan Confucius Temple (桃園孔廟)

My stay in Taiwan only lasted a few days and was limited to Taoyuan and its surroundings so I will skip the writing part. However, you should know that the locals are very kind and helpful and hard drives are pretty cheap. Oh, and the cheapest stay is in the brothel street (and the cheapest ever, um, room is a sort of a closet under the stairs).

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Mój pobyt na Tajwanie ograniczony był czasowo do ledwie paru dni i geograficznie do Taoyuan i okolic, nie będę się tu zatem wymądrzał i rozpisywał, ograniczę się tylko do stwierdzenia, że lokalsi są bardzo mili i uczynni, a twarde dyski sprzedają tu w dobrej cenie. Acha, i najtańsze noclegi są przy ulicy z burdelami (a najtańszy z najtańszych, hm, pokoi mieści się… we wnęce pod schodami).

Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang

(Scroll down for videos and photos:)

My stay in Laos triggered a reflexion on directions and boundaries of tourism industry development, the development that caters for more and more spleen-ed and lazy tourists (did I just say tourists? My bad – I mean, travelers… None of the thousands or millions of youngsters scaling the very same banana pancake trail would ever want to be called a tourist) and brings them the most amazing and authentic experience. Laos is a great place to ponder on it as – compared with neighbouring countries – their tourism awesomeness level is very moderate, nevertheless, the Laotians keep trying to somehow sell their resources to the visitors. And how, you might ask? They wrap the same old product, pimping it with the “adventure” and “authenticity”. I put those terms in inverted commas because oftentimes that “adventure” boils down to just laying back and letting the guide (of varying degree of competence) do the job and…

Khao Yai

Just a few snaps from the Khao Yai National Park (totally worth it! Especially when camping surrounded by Sambar deers with occasional small Indian Civet and porcupine running around; plus lots more if you venture deeper into the forest, preferably with a guide) + few other spots that I visited and re-visited in Thailand.

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Parę fotek z Parku Narodowego Khao Yai (polecam! Niezapomniane wrażenia z noclegu pod namiotem w otoczeniu jeleni oraz przebiegających tu i ówdzie wiwer malajskich i jeżozwierzy; a oprócz tego, całe mnóstwo zwierzaków ukrytych w lesie, po którym chętnie oprowadzą Was przewodnicy) a także z paru innych miejscówek, które odwiedziłem podczas kolejnej wycieczki po Tajlandii.