If you’ve run out of ideas for a holiday somewhere beautifully exotic, help is at hand – this new book conjures up an intoxicating itinerary for a tour of the Far East with the stunning photographs revealing the region’s most alluring spots.
Far Far East – A Tribute To Faraway Asia, published by teNeues, showcases the work of Berlin-based photographer Patrick Pichler, who documented the towering beauty of Nepal’s mountains, serene national parks in China, and the metropolitan landscapes of Taiwan and South Korea.
The book, illustrated with over 200 photographs, is co-written by Pichler and author Alexa Schels. The pair spent just over a year travelling through eight countries while working on the project, before their odyssey came to an end in December 2019.
In the introduction to the book, the authors write: ‘This is our own personal love letter to Asia. For us, this continent is undoubtedly the most exciting travel destination in the world. Nowhere else offers so many contrasts and diversity – nowhere else is there so much to discover beyond the conventional travel destinations.’
Publisher TeNeues adds: ‘Cosmopolitan and networked, genuine experiences instead of all-inclusive trips, adventure instead of predictability: this volume promises inspiration for a new generation of travellers who need freedom, adventure, and authenticity.’
Scroll down to see a handful of breathtaking images from the new photo book…
Pictured here are stilt fishermen in Sri Lanka at work in a bay between Koggala and Weligama in the southern part of the island. The men are practicing a traditional fishing technique known as Ritipanna, which originated after World War II. It involves mounting wooden stakes that have been driven into the reef and using fishing rods to catch mackerel, sardines and herring. The book reads: ‘Evenings is their time because the tides determine success. The fish bite the best just before the sun sets.’ Sadly, the tradition is in danger, according to the book, as in modern times ‘those who dream of a big catch have to take a boat far out to sea’
LEFT: The Taroko National Park in eastern Taiwan, an expansive hiking area that spans the Taroko Gorge and part of the Central Mountain Range. The book reveals: ‘Numerous waterfalls plunge into the depths here, such as the Baiyang Waterfall and the so-called Water Curtain Cave, where water flows into the cave through a rock fissure.’ RIGHT: This striking photograph, titled ‘Symbols and Superstitions’, shows a street scene in the city of Kunming in China. Discussing Chinese superstitions, Pichler and Schels write: ‘Chinese superstitions stand in stark contrast to the country’s scientific and technological advances. People ascribe great significance to animals, symbols, colours, and especially numbers’
The above photograph was captured on Inle Lake in the Shan Hills of Myanmar. The Intha people who live on the lake ‘spend most of their lives on the water’, according to the book. Far Far East reveals that the fishermen at work are known as ‘one-legged rowers’ because they stand on the back of their canoes with one leg while they use their other leg for rowing’. This balancing act leaves their hands free for fishing
LEFT: Behold, Minquan West Road in Taipei’s Datong District. The road is famed for its ‘moped waterfall’, which sees the highway exit fill with mopeds at rush hour. Schels and Pichler write: ‘ More than three-quarters of the vehicles in the city are motorcycles and scooters, which make for quick and nimble travel, with no parking problems at all.’ The book reveals that Taiwan is the country that has the most mopeds per capita. RIGHT: Taken in the early morning, the above image depicts the start of the workday for a street vendor in Busan, South Korea. According to the book, when the picture was captured, the dried fruit seller was ‘waiting for customers’. It adds: ‘By the evening, almost all of his dried fruit will be sold’
Cast your eyes above and you’ll see The Black Dragon Pool, a famous pond in Jade Spring Park in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. The book says the pool ‘harmonizes perfectly with the Chinese architecture and the natural surroundings’, labelling it ‘a popular place of tranquillity’
LEFT: A street in the lofty Himalayan city of Shangri-La, formerly known as Zhongdian, in Yunnan Province. In the 1933 novel Lost Horizon, English author James Hilton described the supposedly fictional city of Shangri-La as existing in a place where people ‘live to be hundreds of years old’. Far Far East reads: ‘Before his death, he claimed that the mysterious place surrounding the enigmatic city really existed.’ In 2001, after years of speculation, Zhongdian was renamed Shangri-La to boost the regional economy. Schels and Pichler write: ‘The mystical Shangri-La became the Chinese El Dorado – the golden city that would hopefully fill the coffers of the province. Is it really the city described in Hilton’s book?’ RIGHT: Pictured is the sacred mountain of Machapuchare in Nepal, situated among the mighty peaks of the Annapurna massif. It is 22,943ft (6,993 m) in height. The book says the mountain ‘is one of the most beautiful peaks on earth’. It adds: ‘Translated, the mountain’s name means something like a fishtail. If you look at the mountain from the west, the distinctive double peak looks like the fin of a giant fish that stretches seven thousand metres into the air as it dives in’
Pictured is Busan in South Korea, which is ‘nestled between the hills along the coast and the Sea of Japan’. The book reads: ‘Busan truly deserves to be called a mega-city.’ Those visiting the ‘mega-metropolis’ will encounter concrete facades, apartment blocks, and shopping malls as far as you can see, with bridges connecting the coastal sections in between, according to the book
Far Far East – A Tribute to Faraway Asia is published by teNeues (www.teneues.com). The cover photograph was taken in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China’s Hunan Province