Yinchuan: Negative Space and Contentment

Yinchuan Nanguan Mosque

There's something peaceful about the desert, a place that appears so timeless, but is constantly reforming itself. Perhaps it is this sense of disquiet continuity that draws humans into this inhospitable landscape, and which has featured so prominently in the work of travel writers such as Sanmao(三毛).

Laos through the looking-glass: Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang, Laos, view of Nam Khan River

What did I expect, when I visited the former Kingdom of a Million Elephants, the hidden jewel of old Indochina? An alternate Vietnam, where elephant did indeed roam the streets? A “lesser” version of Thailand, without the trademark smiles and tourist services to match?