The English Riviera

The name given to the bay that comprises Torquay, Paignton and Brixham in Devon, England.
I prefer to stay in Paignton as its a good central place and ideal for people without a car(like me). It has railway, coach and bus station within 200 yards of each other as well as a boat service to ferry you to the other 2 places in the bay.
You can walk the coastal paths and if you start at Berry head just above Brixham you can walk all around through to Kingswear and Dartmouth. It is very hilly so take care with footwear and clothing and obviously take food and drink as well as phone with extra battery…just in case.
There are tons of countryside walks and this is an area where google or old fashioned paper maps will help out. Truly beautiful scenery in this area.

Istanbul

I could talk for days about Istanbul, and regularly do. This is my all time favourite place to visit.
It has the most wonderful history, great food, teas and coffees along with very friendly locals.
3 long trips to the city and I still never tire of places to see, every street you turn down offers opportunity for photos. It is one of those places you explore happily, forget google maps or any tour guides I just go out and get lost in the back streets.
I found an old hani, the best terraced view in the city and some underground building renovations all with kind invitations from locals eager to shop off their city.

Hong Kong

Everyone will have seen the famous HK skyline images but you have to experience them yourself. They really do have that wow factor and even though I visited 10 years previous they were still special going back this year.
This city has so much to offer, old and new, Chinese and western all in the space of a few miles.
Tons of shopping in malls, streets and markets. River trips, remote islands to explore, one of the best hiking areas in the world and so much more.
I am lucky enough to live on the border so can pop over any time.

Shangri La.

I can’t recommend this place enough. High up in Yunnan it is a paradise for photographers. My trip was in November and despite 1 morning with an hour of drizzle the rest of the time was beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds.
Various ways to get there and the usual is Kunming/Dali/Lijiang/Shangri La. this is a good option if you have enough time, it allows you to acclimatise to the high altitude as you go. I went to Kunming then flew to Shangri La. You will need a canister of oxygen that is readily on sale in the city…I did.
The people in the city seem genuinely friendly and always have a smile. Local food seems to be hot pot, ideal for the almost zero degree nights that get chilly quickly. Most are quoted as Yak meat but we were told by a local its really just beef. Butter milk tea with sprinklings of malt you will find around the place, try it and see what you think.

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