Mike MacEacheran | Words
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Off the map in central Sri Lanka, BBC Travel

It was six o’clock in the morning and there was not another person in sight. The first dawn rays from the east split the thin vapour of clouds and I could see all of Sri Lanka light up before my eyes.

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All the Yangon Dudes, Myanmar, Bangkok Airways

“Watch out when you visit Myanmar,” says Lu Maw, one of the country’s infamous Moustache Brothers comedians when I first meet him. “The government will not like it if you steal or pinch pockets – they hate the competition.”

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Five-star Kenya without the crowds, Lonely Planet

With so many visitors to Kenya’s world famous national parks, safari game drives can often turn into congested traffic jams. On the wide open plains of the Masai Mara or Amboseli National Parks, two of the world’s most beautiful animal habitats and Kenya’s premier safari destinations, it is now more common to see tail-backs of white vans with pop up roofs and goggled-eyed tourists hanging out of them than it is to see a lion, leopard or cheetah.

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Good Times in Toronto, South China Morning Post

Toronto the Good: that’s what the Victorians used to call Canada’s largest city. Back in the 19th century, it was a bastion of morality, where keeping up appearances was crucial and boarding houses were strictly shut at ten o’clock to prevent any untoward behavior on the streets. How times change.

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The lost rhinos of Bardia National Park, Geographical

In the remote far west of Nepal, Bardia National Park is a haven for rare wildlife, indigenous culture and biodiversity. But haunted by years of civil war, the survival of this delicate ecosystem has been in the balance. Now, local stakeholders believe the park has the potential to become one of the best ecotourism destinations in Asia.

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Ellie Saab interview, The National

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Elie Saab is a difficult man to please. The Lebanese superstar has become the most successful Arab-speaking designer in history, he has built a fashion empire from his haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, and A-list stars across the globe queue up on the red carpet to showcase his designs when award season is in full swing – but still he is not happy.

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Paris and Zurich shopping, The Strait Times

There is no argument – Paris is the shopping capital of the world. The City of Light has some of the flashiest boutiques and department stores you’ll find anywhere on Earth and they rival each other for spectacle, style and service.

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Volcano boarding in Nicaragua, TNT magazine

Is there anything more adventurous than balancing on the edge of an deathly volcano crater – with only a bit of wood for rectal-protection – in preparation to race down a 50-degree lava bed slope of molten rock at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour? Apparently there is: someone did it backwards once.

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Midnight Express from Moscow, Singapore Airlines

Beneath the fairytale roof of Yaroslavsky Terminal in Moscow, hundreds of passengers are on the move. Russian soldiers wearing ushanka fur hats, the flaps covering their ears from the cold, and elderly Babushkas laden down with suitcases rush past.

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To Everest Base Camp, Nepal, South China Morning Post

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It’s not only global warming that has made a difference to Everest Base Camp. Lined with eco-lodges, gourmet coffee shops and a few luxury touches, a high altitude trek in the Himalayas has more surprises than one may at first imagine.

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Playing elephant polo in Thailand, The National

What would you do if you had a two-ton Asian elephant charging towards you? The obvious answer, when you are in the Golden Triangle in Northern Thailand, is to take a dignified breath, dig in your stirrups and heels and aim a round-house like croquet shot at the white ball on the field in front of you.

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Pearl diving in Bahrain, Cathay Pacific Discovery

Every week, Ahmed Alkhalfan drives his Al Rasha speedboat out across the sunburnt Persian Gulf in the hope he may yet make his first million. Beneath the lapping aquamarine waves, and under a relentless sun, Bahrain’s rich heritage is resting, hidden from sight. An avid scuba diver, Ahmed is treasure hunting for the finest natural pearls in the world – and it is a passion that has been in his blood for years.

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Genghis Khan you kick it? TNT magazine

Over the years, I’ve found myself in some strange situations. I’ve had my right hand inside the mouth of a wild leopard in the African bush; fallen off a moving train outside Mumbai; and been chased by corrupt police in Myanmar.

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Isle of Barra, Scotland, TNT magazine

There are not many airports in the world where a stray cow can disrupt the flight path of a scheduled plane landing. There are also not many airports that can be closed for the day, not because of a national strike, but because of an unexpected high tide, leaving the runway submerged by the sea. In fact, there’s only one. It’s the airport on the Isle of Barra, a tiny spot of Hebridean perfection, off the coast of northwest Scotland.

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I belong to Glasgow, Scotland, Holland Herald

“I belong to Glasgow, dear old Glasgow town,” sang the jovial Will Fyffe in 1927. “But what’s the matter wi’ Glasgow, for it’s goin’ roun’ and roun’! I’m only a common old working chap, as anyone here can see; but when I get a couple o’ drinks on a Saturday, Glasgow belongs to me!”

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Buying a carpet in Esfahan, Iran, Gulf Life

I had accidentally bought a carpet. I’m not quite sure at what point the transition took place, from stumbling into the covered warren of archways, cobbled lanes and tobacco-brick walls of Esfahan’s Bazar-e Bozorg to placing my credit card on the cedar wood counter, but I was now the proud – and slightly confused – owner of a US$400  plum red and cornflower blue Baluchistan weave.

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