“Tourism creates jobs, jobs support families.” All your Nepal questions answered by our man on the ground
Nicholas Cowie lives with his wife and children in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu. He was there when the earthquake struck on April 25th, when pictures fell from the walls and the ground snaked and shook beneath his adopted hometown.
The traditional greeting in Nepal is ‘namaste’, spoken with a slight bow and the palms pressed gently together. It’s the acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul of another, and there’s no gesture or word that better sums up the spirit of Nepal.
The Kingdom of Cambodia sits at the heart of the Southeast Asia loop, boasting a thread of pristine white coastline and an interior of elephant trodden trails, straw hut villages and emerald jungles – all of which can be explored for a very reasonable price.
Fun fact: Tokyo has more Michelin starred restaurants than London, Paris and New York combined.
In the evenings, in Kyoto, there’s a particular hour where the light shifts from white to gold. Central Kyoto runs on a grid – north-south and east-west – which, it turns out, is absolute money for a photographer.
We’re standing on the third floor of a nondescript building in downtown Tokyo, a light and airy space used for soba noodle workshops. The air sparkles with tiny particles of buckwheat flour. At the centre of a group of 12 stunned gaikokujin (foreigners, i.e. us) a small and shrunken old man is patiently building soba noodles from scratch.
Make no mistake, lunchtime is a battlefield. For every glorious taco or triumphant baguette, a hundred bowls of ramen are left unslurped, a thousand sushi rolls sit unmunched and one greasy box of fish and chips goes unregretted.
Assam laksa has some serious culinary cred. It’s been voted #7 on the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods by CNN Go in 2011 (right behind the hamburger).