Have you ever landed in a country and thought, ‘shucks, I wish I knew more about how I can get the best photographs while I’m here’? Well we have. And we decided we didn’t want you to suffer the same fate.
It’s easy to feel the world is a shrinking place. Journeys that used to take months now happen in the time it takes us to watch Godzilla and eat a microwaved meal, and we have more information in our pocket at any time than the sum total of human knowledge for the last three thousand years. In such a world it’s easy to think there’s very little mystery left, very little tradition or magic or authenticity.
Studies suggest that the world’s 300 million indigenous people – living in mainly rural areas across 70 countries – experience greater degrees of deprivation and poverty than non-indigenous people.
Shakespeare once said, ‘The sauce to meat is ceremony; meeting were bare without it.’ Basically this translates to, ‘Festivals, they’re pretty cool, eh?’ And those Elizabethans really knew how to party, so I’m inclined to agree with his opinion. Ceremonies and festivals are the cultural glue that binds us as people.
Ordinary is one of those things that creeps up on you unawares. Before you know it you’ve been brushing your teeth with the same brand toothpaste you were three years ago. You recognise every step of the commute to work, and at the café around the corner they simply ask you for ‘Same old same old’. Days start to blend into one another like porridge, and before you know it you’re bogged down in the ordinary. Even the word sounds heavy and repetitive, with cousins like bored-inary and snore-dinary slotting in just a little too easily.
What is it about Asia that throws up strange and unusual places to rest your head? It’s as if there’s some inaudible signal being broadcast causing architects and hoteliers to try and one-up each other in a race towards the weird and wonderful. Hey, I know, let’s make them sleep in a giant elephant! No, why not in tiny cubicles stacked like sardine tins! It’s like Lewis Carol and Gaudi decided to get together and start a small interior design business.
One thing should be made perfectly clear before diving into this list: every city, village, hamlet and fjord in Iceland could likely be considered a “small-town” by definition.
Rice, beans, plantain, tortillas, quesadilla, guacamole, salsa, tequila…need we go on? Food in Central America is one (very prominent!) reason we love this part of the world so much.
Here, we share some cuisine which may have gone under the radar in the past. Move over Mexico, your neighbours have some pretty sensational tastebud pleasers of their own.