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Photo Samples, Asia mixed

Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Japan, Korea (South) and Bangladesh

 

For decades, India has been such a magnet for travellers that, with the exception of Nepal, the surrounding countries have been almost forgotten. For sure, neither Pakistan, Bhutan or Bangladesh contain the enormous flood of attractions you'll find in India, however, there are plenty of reasons to go there, to Pakistan and Bhutan for the nature and to Bangladesh to experience "virgin" Asian people with no souvenir sellers to obscure the experience. Unfortunately, you'll be subject to a "virgin crowd" as well who'll be staring at you from a one-foot distance 24/7. Regard it as charming!

As usual, all photos are  Claus Qvist Jessen, and none of them are to be used without my permission.

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One of the best places watch Hindu cremations is Pahupatinath, a few kilometers east of Kathmandu center. Unlike Marnakarnika Ghat in Varanasi, noone asks norty questions and photos are perfectly legal - at least if you keep discreet.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Painting religious "thankas" is a major industry in Kathmandu, Nepal. Lots are used for religious purposes, however, an even larger amount is bought by the tourists.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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One of many Buddhist stupas in the center of Kathmandu.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The top of the largest and oldest Buddhist stupa of Kathmandu: The magnificent Swoyambunath (Swoyambounath), perched upon top of a forest-clad hill. Reportedly, the forested staricase to the top inspired Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to the Led Zeppelin classic "Stairway to Heaven".  Claus Qvist Jessen

Cooking the evening meal in the old, royal city of Bhaktapyur, Nepal. Staying there overnight instead of doing it on a day-trip is greatly recommended. I stayed there a full week.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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6,700 meter high Ama Dablam, compared to Everest quite small, but to many mountaineers "the most beautiful mountain in the world".  Claus Qvist Jessen

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"Everest classic". Mid-November sunset at Everest (left), Nuptse (center) and Lhotse (back right) from the 5,400 meter Gokyo Ri.
  Claus Qvist Jessen

Local shop; Village in the Everest region.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Up along the Thorong La Pass, the 5416 meter high top of the Annapura Circuit, Central Nepal.  Claus Qvist Jessen

      

For centuries, all goods have been transported into the Nepal Himalaya on the back of a strong porter. Each load typically weighs in between 40 and 60 kgs, and it's carried in a sngle strap around the forehead. Both photos from the Everest region.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Enjoying a break and a smoke. Porter, Everest region, Nepal.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Compared to the highlands of nepal, the lowland "Terai" receives very few tourists. A pity as it's actually very photogenic, as shown by this colourful woman at a village market.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Bhutan man dressed in the traditional "gho" dres. In any other country, such a dress usually means that you have just stepped out of a bath room, but in Bhutan, the traditional dress is compulsory for public servants. Phuentsholing, Bhutan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Bringing the fire-wood; Phuentsholing, Bhutan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

A statue of Mahakala, the protector of the Avolekiteswara, "the Buddha of infinite compassion"; Phuentsholing, Bhutan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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The great Jame mashid, friday Mosque, of Lahore, Pakistan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Muslim reading the Quran in the Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. Dating from 1857 and even UNESCO-listed, this mosque is famous for its extensive faience tile work.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Local food stall; Lahore, Pakistan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Spice vendor; Peshawar, Pakistan. Most of the people in Peshawar are Afghans, and the town certainly has a much more conservative feeling than elsewhere in the country. Women are completely absent from the market.  Claus Qvist Jessen

     

A couple of friendly chai pushers; Peshawar, NWFP, Pakistan.
  Claus Qvist Jessen

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In the narrow streets of old Peshawar (Pakistan), tea (chai) is served by young boys running from the shops to the clients with their spicy drinks. Delicious!  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Darra Adam Khel, 50 kms south of Peshawar, North West Frontier Province( NWFP), Pakistan, has got two "industries". The one is home-made weapons, while the other is hashis. In dozens of small shops, any type of gun is copied and sold to the Mujahedeen and Taliban of Afghanistan. Even tourists may "test" some of the stuff. You just pay for the ammunition. Just don't try to carry anything out of the town. The Pakistani government do make control checks, and penalties are harsh.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Danish tourist (me!) in a sharwal kameez camouflage doing a test shooting of a genuine sharp-loaded, Russian Kalashnikov. The weapon is not made in Darra but was taken from the Russians during the Afghan war.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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The second industry of NWFP is hashis, which is sold quite openly. Looking closer, you may even discover stalls selling opium, although noone really like you to photograph that part of the business.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Camping at Fairy Meadows with the shady Raikot Glacier right behind and the 8,126 metre Nanga Parbat towering in the background.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The fantastic Raikot Glacier, coming from Nanga Parbat and leading all the way to the Indus River.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Shy kids from a local village, close to Nanga Parbat Base Camp, Northern Pakistan. Very likely, I was one of the first white men they'd ever seen, however, bringing along a harmonica sure helps communication.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Curious locals investigating my tent in a small village in the Raikot Region, Northern Pakistan. The mountain in the back (right) is Nanga Parba, 8,126 metres, the westernmost mountain of Himalaya.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Nomad herders from the Nanga Parbat region in Northern Pakistan.
  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Wobbly bridge. Passu, Northern Pakistan. Below, the Hunza River flows grey and silty.  Claus Qvist Jessen

 

Tajik woman crossing an equally wobbly bridge. Passu, Northern Pakistan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Baltistani porter using my Swiss Army Knife to clean his teeth. Baltistan is in the middle of the disputed area in between Pakistan and India, and curiously, the locals don't really care if they are on either side of the border. When asked, the claim that they are Baltistani. Hushe Camp, North-Eastern Pakistan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Elderly shepherd from Ultar Valley, Hunza Region, Northern Pakistan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

As Japanese as it gets: A plate of Sushi from downtown Tokyo.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Traditional cemetary; Tokyo, Japan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Shinto monk drumming during his prayers; central Tokyo, Japan.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Huge Buddha from the Tongdosa Monastery; South-Western South Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The Koreans (and the Japanese) love sea-food, here shown at a morning market in Busan, South Korea.  Claus Qvist Jessen

The South Koreans are almost panically aware of their glorious past, and frequently, passion plays show historical episodes. Exactly what this actor from Gongju is showing is hard to tell.  Claus Qvist Jessen

Filling the stomach at a communal eating place, somewhere in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Muslim Bangladeshi women normaly wear a pair of bracelets made by conch shells. Curiously, they are all made of Hindus, and very appropriately Hindu Street of Dhaka is the place to go if you want to buy a pair.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Merchant ships, though looking very much like pirates ships; Barisal, south-east Bangladesh.  Claus Qvist Jessen

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Dressed to kill. A 10-year-old Bangladeshi girl from Chittagong has just gone through a ceremony celebrating her growing from a child into an adult. Only the closest family was invited - 650 people!
  Claus Qvist Jessen

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