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The path to the tea garden at Koto-in, Kyoto, Japan. Though most famous for fall foliage hues, I prefer this summertime view in soft green, saturated by rain. #kyoto #japan #japanesegarden

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Tibetan nomads gather for a celebration in the village of Xiongba. Dressed in their finest, and with cell phones in hand, Sony’s Eye Autofocus technology locks on to the center woman’s eyes to easily capture this moment. EXIF: 1/320sec, f/4, ISO100 #SonyAlpha #A9 + #SonyGMaster #SEL2470GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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Summertime festivities - Dervishes, who ascribe to Sufism, a form of Islamic mysticism, incorporate trancelike dances into their rituals performed at celebrations. #dervishes #sufism #Islam #dance #Iraq #Tikrit

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Water buffalo surfing: A farmer balances on the back of his water buffalo as they cross the Mekong River in Vietnam. #summerfun #Mekong #Vietnam #waterbuffalo

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Summer fun in Bandar Abbas, Persian Gulf, Iran. "The residents avoid living in the cities, for the heat in summer is so great that it would kill them. Hence they go out to sleep […] where there are streams and plenty of water. […] When they perceive that wind coming they plunge into water up to the neck, and so abide until the wind has ceased." - The Travels of Marco Polo - Photo from my book, Marco Polo: A Photographer’s Journey. #BandarAbbas #PersianGulf #Iran #summerfun

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Silhouetted against an early morning sunrise, a nomad encampment north of Lhasa along Route 109, near sacred Namtso Lake. This and many other my photos will be on exhibit during the Yunnan-Tibet Cultural Festival at the Modern Art Academy - ZiWU - Bridge 8 in Shanghai, until July 21st. #Namtso #Tibetan #photoexhibition #Shanghai @songtsam

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Traditional fishing nets in the Strait of Hormuz, off Bandar Abbas. These types of nets have been in use for hundreds of years. Marco Polo passed nets like these during his travels around Iran. #StraitofHormuz #Iran #BandarAbbas #fishingnet #PersianGulf

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Did you know that yaks have grey tongues? Neither did I till I took this picture in a Tibetan nomad camp. This and many other of my photographs of Tibet will be on exhibit during the Songtsam Cultural Week at ZiWU in Shanghai. Please come for my talk tomorrow, Monday, 3pm at the Modern Art Academy. #ShangriLa #Yunnan #ZiWu #photoexhibition @songtsam

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Bargaining Tibetan style, buyers and sellers, up close and personal, haggle over precious yartsa gombu, the medicinal caterpillar fungus. The world’s most expensive herbal cure all, just one worm can cost upwards of $50. Situated along the Tea Horse Road, in the eastern Tibetan region of Kham, this and many other of my photos will be on exhibit during the Yunnan-Tibet Cultural Festival at Bridge 8 in Shanghai, from July 12 - 21st. #Tibet #Yunnan #photoexhibition @songtsam

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The festival includes an exhibit of my photos on Yunnan and Tibet. Hope you can attend. Information below: ・・・ Songtsam x Land Rover x Modern Media • Never Stop Discovering | Yunnan-Tibet Culture Festival • July 12th - 21st at Bridge 8, Shanghai . To celebrate the launch of the new Songtsam Yunnan-Tibet route we invite you to the inaugural Yunnan-Tibet Culture Festival in Shanghai to sample a taste of the real "Shangri-La". Regarded as a dream route by travellers since ancient times, the new Songtsam circuit is a spiritual and cultural journey through thick primeval forests, deep valleys, and high mountain passes providing some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Join us and let Songtsam show you the gateway to the hidden destinations of Shambhala. . ⭐️ Event Highlights . * Songtsam founder and special guest talks * National Geographic veteran photo exhibition * 10m long hand-painted Tibetan thangka * Cross-regional culture forum * Mindful music performances * Tradition Tibetan handicraft experience . 🗣 Songtsam Talks . - Pema Dorjee, Founder and Chairman of Songtsam - Tashi Tsering, CEO of Songtsam - Cao Yun, Vice President of Songtsam - Special guest Michael Yamashita, National Geographic . ℹ️ Festival Information . Date: July 12th - 21st . July 12th - 17th VIP sessions: registration needed (limited spaces available) Public entry: 16:30 - 19:00 . July 18th - 21st Public entry: 09:00 - 19:00 . Venue: Bridge 8, Shanghai Address: 8 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Chongqing Nan Lu 建国中路8号, 近重庆南路 . 👉 For any questions about the event or the new Songtsam Yunnan-Tibet route please email info@songtsam.com for more information. . . . @landroverchina @yamashitaphoto #songtsam #neverstopdiscovering #yunnan #tibet #culture #festival #tibetanculture #shanghai #landrover #modernmedia #michaelyamashita #nationalgeographic #shangrila #shambhala #thangka #mindfulness #boutiqueretreat #boutiquehotel #boutiquetour #tailormadetravel #hiddendestinations #chinatravel #discoverchina #chinadestinations #instachina #instayunnan #instatibet #worldtraveller #china

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Steam and smoke, hide then reveal, two monks making yak butter tea for 400 of their brethren at Shechen Monastery. Yak butter tea is a mix of yak butter, salt, and a thick tea broth made from boiling both leaves and stems. It is highly caloric, good for energy for long prayer sessions in the cold. Situated along the Tea Horse Road, in the eastern Tibetan region of Kham, this and many other my photos will be on exhibit during the Songtsam Cultural Week at the Modern Art Academy in Shanghai. The exhibit opens this weekend. #Sichuan #buttertea #teahorseroad #ZiWu #photoexhibition @songtsam

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Tibetan nomads dance and sing during a celebration in the village of Xiongba. Sony’s Eye Autofocus technology locks onto and tracks the eyes of moving subjects. Even when the center dancer briefly closes her eyes, the AI-based Real-time Eye Autofocus maintains focus where it counts, the eyes. EXIF: 1/500sec, f/11, ISO100 #SonyAlpha #A9 + #SonyGMaster #SEL2470GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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At Dongzhulin Monastery, monks enter the main prayer hall for morning meditation bathed in light from an open door. Situated along the Tea Horse Road, in the eastern Tibetan region of Kham, this and many other of my photos will be on exhibit during the Songtsam Cultural Week at ZiWU in Shanghai. The exhibit opens this weekend. #Benzilan #DeqinCounty #Yunnan #ZiWu #photoexhibition @songtsam

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The best photographs of the Great Wall require dexterity, balance, upper body strength and stamina, as well as photographic skills. The dexterity/stamina part is necessary to jump over the fence and climb to the top for sunrise before the tourist gates open hours later. We pay our admission fees on the way out. This photograph was the opening spread of my @Natgeo story on China's Great Wall. #Juyongguan #Beijing #greatwall

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Estimated to be between 2,170 and 7,200 years old, Jomon Sugi is the oldest and largest among the old-growth cryptomeria trees on the island of Yakushima in Japan. With a height of 83 ft, and a trunk circumference of 54 ft, it is the largest conifer in Japan. Shortly after this photo was taken in 1993, the year it was also dedicated as a World Heritage Site, access was restricted to an observation deck built at a distance of 49 ft from the tree. #jomonsugi #Yakushima #oldgrowth

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Sony’s Eye Autofocus tracks and locks onto the mother’s eyes, despite a nearby obstruction, the flags waving in the foreground. Even in limiting photographic environments, Sony’s Real-time Eye Autofocus ensures the perfect portrait, by maintaining the sharpness where it counts, the eyes. EXIF: 1/320sec, f/6.3, ISO100 #SonyAlpha #A9 + #SonyGMaster #SEL100400GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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Happy Fourth of July! The tablet Lady Liberty holds reads, “July 4, 1776” the day the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence. #July4th #4thofJuly #StatueOfLiberty

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Classic panorama of Mt. Everest, adorned by the ubiquitous prayer flags. The worlds tallest mountain at 8,848m, flanked by its 5 neighboring peaks, all over 8000m. It’s Tibetan name is Chomolungma. #mounteverest #Chomolungma #prayerflags

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Moreeb sand dunes near Liwa – a heard of young camels out on their first walk at sunrise. There are several Bedouin camel farms in this area breeding them for camel racing at the nearby race track in Liwa. We had a hard time keeping up with them, riding ATVs over endless sand dunes. #AbuDhabi #UAE #unitedarabemirates #camels

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Girl in a doorway in the village of Vilachery, India. Sony’s Eye Autofocus technology locks onto and tracks the eyes, even when she looks away, and out the door. Real-time Eye Autofocus ensures the shot is sharply captured. EXIF: 1/125sec, f/6.3, ISO100 #SonyAlpha #A9 + #SonyGMaster #SEL1635GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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Abu Dhabi fish market dazzles the eye with its colors, varieties of fish and their artful displays. #abudhabi #fishmarket #abudjabilife #uae

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The Sheikh Zayed Grande mosque is the largest in the UAE and the central place of worship in Abu Dhabi for up to 40,000 People. Hard to find a bad angle on this spectacular architecture. It’s elegant minarets and white marbled domes dominate the city skyline. I loved shooting here especially at dawn when the cool light of the morning sky mixes with the warm light of the sun. #sheikzayedmosque #abudhabiarchitecture #unitedarabemirates

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Arabian nights-- Liwa Fort under desert sky. A trip to the Empty Quarter at night for star viewing is a must. With no city light pollution, one can’t help but be mesmerized gazing into a million stars. #arabiannights #liwaforts #emptyquarter #abudhabi

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi seems to float upon its reflecting pond. An architectural masterpiece, this museum was designed by Jean Nouvel. In partnership with the Louvre in Paris, it showcases art from around the world, and opened in 2017. #LouvreAbuDhabi #museumofart #artmuseum #arabicarchitecture

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Desert dunes near the Liwa Oasis in Abu Dhabi. The Rub' al Khali is the largest contiguous desert in the world, covering most of the southern third of the Arabian peninsula. Aptly named, the Empty Quarter, it can best be described as a sea of sand with rolling windswept waves. #AbuDhabi #UAE #unitedarabemirates #rubalkhali

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Amazing how Sony’s Real-time tracking Eye Autofocus is able to lock on and follow the eye of this Halloween-masked monk. The monk portrays the enemies of Tibet during the annual reenactment of the epic story of Ling Gesar, the Father of Tibet, at Shechen Monastery, Kham, Sichuan province. EXIF: 1/60sec, f/16, ISO100 #SonyAlpha #A9 + #SonyGMaster #SEL2470GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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Savoring a sip of yak butter tea on the Chamagudao, the ancient Tea Horse Road to Lhasa, the theme of my exhibition in Shanghai opening on July 12. Stay tuned for details. #buttertea #teahorseroad #photoexhibit #photographyexhibition

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Another angle on Guilin, in pouring rain. Normally I would not even pull my camera out in these weather conditions for a landscape. But for Guilin? Worth a try and here is the result. #guilin #xianggong #liriver #yangshuo #guangxi @thesilkroadjourney

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Great Wall of China at Jinshanling - the cover of my book on the subject. It was once known as the Wild Wall as it stood unrestored from the time it was built in the 15th century. Nothing wild about it now as it has been completely repaired and surrounded by tourist shops. Even a cable car stands ready to whisk you to the top. The hard part used to be climbing to the best locations for sunrise or sunset. Now it's finding an angle to keep the hundreds of visitors out of your frame. #greatwall #jinshanling #wildwall #mingdynasty #Hebei

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Colorful pilgrims at Mt. Kailash - only the most devout will do the arduous 32 mile kora, a 3 day hike at over 16,000 ft. Choku Monastery is the first of five monasteries along the route. These monasteries provide accommodation for pilgrims. Arguably it is the most sacred mountain in the world as 4 religions - Buddhist, Hindu, Bon and Jains come to worship and circumnavigate the mountain. #kailash #pilgrims #pilgrimage #kora #tibetan #tibetanbuddhism #sacredmountain

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The air rings with water music as snowmelt and spring rains sluice down the Rize Valley, tumbling in broad cataracts from one brimful lake to another. Some 23 feet high, Arrow Bamboo Falls spans nearly 500 feet in Jiuzhaigou National Park. #JiuzhaigouValley #JiuzhaiValley #Jiuzhaigou #waterfalls #Sichuan

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Inside the prayer hall at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, my Sony’s Eye Autofocus has no trouble in the low light with it’s 5 axis in-body image stabilization, and locks onto the eyes of the young monk with his hand up to his chin, even at this extreme wide angle. EXIF: 1/15sec, f/4, ISO5000 #SonyAlpha #A9 + #SonyGMaster #SEL1635GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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Tree lined road in Shilizha Village #Shandong #farmfields #ruralchina

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A young man herds his gaggle on an early morning search for food, before leading the geese to the Grand Canal just south of Huaian for a swim. Many small-scale farmers in rural communities along the canal support themselves by supplying boat crews with waterfowl meat. #grandcanal #Huaian #geese

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Fruits of the sea: The last rays of the day are reflected in oyster beds off Xiamen, China. China was the first to practice aquaculture, dating back to about 3500 BC. #aquaculture #oysters #Fujian #xiamen

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Xitang is a historic water town crisscrossed by nine rivers, numerous canals, and many old-fashioned stone bridges. It dates back to the Spring and Autumn period (770BC-476BC), with many well preserved buildings dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). #Zhejiang #watertown #canal

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Winter’s last blast with a rare April snow at Five Color Lake in Jiuzhaigou National Park. The intimate detail of this winter wonderland is easily captured with the 42.4 megapixels and 5 axis in-body image stabilization of the Sony A7Rlll. The colors and textures are amazingly reproduced. EXIF: 1/200sec, f/4.0, ISO100 #SonyAlpha #A7RIII + #SonyGMaster #SEL70200GM @sonysingapore

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London Bridge Station and Tower Bridge from the top of the Shard, London’s tallest building, a 95 story glass tower designed by noted Italian architect Renzo Piano. The best views are from the loos of the Aqua Bar. #shardview #shardlondon #towerbridge

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Great Green Wall: China is building a new Great Wall – this one aimed not at repelling invading Mongols, but a more insidious menace from the northern drylands. This wall is being built not of stone but of trees – billions of trees, enough to stretch nearly the distance from San Francisco to Boston. Its purpose: to push back China’s vast deserts. The project, officially dubbed the Green Great Wall, was launched in 1978, and is slated to continue until 2050. It aims to plant some 88 million acres of protective forests, in a belt nearly 3,000 miles long and as wide as 900 miles in places. It all adds up to what is easily the biggest tree-planting project in human history. #greatgreenwall #hexicorridor #gansu #poplartrees #gobidesert

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Ringside seats for Tibetan Gedong Mask Dancing: Joseph Rock, the legendary National Geographic explorer in the 1920's called it "devil dancing" as the masks have an enraged and menacing look, to strike terror into evil spirits and chase them off, but they don't symbolize demons. Monks perform this yearly ritual dancing on one foot to the beat of cymbals, drums, and traditional Tibetan horns to the delight of the local crowd. The occasion is the New Moon festival. #shangrila #yunnan #Tibetanculture #tibetanbuddhism

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Dongzhulin: This 350 year old monastery houses over a 1000 monks belonging to the Gelug, or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism. Gelug is the newest, and most well know sect to much of the world, with the Dalai Lama being the most influential figure. Here, monks enter the main prayer hall for morning meditation. There are still some spots available for my photography workshop in Tibet this fall. Visit @visionarywild for all the details. #tibet #photoworkshop #tibetanbuddhism #yellowhat

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Jiuzhaigou Reflections: Best known for its dozens of blue, green, and turquoise-colored lakes, this national park is China’s most popular and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. #Jiuzhaigou #JiuzhaigouValley #JiuzhaiValley #Sichuan

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | At first it was this woman’s Thanaka, a distinctive cosmetic paste made from ground bark worn in Myanmar, that caught my attention. But as my camera’s Eye Autofocus locked on her dark, penetrating eyes, I knew they would be the soul of this shot. Sony’s Eye Autofocus technology — the game-changing innovation for the perfect portrait. EXIF: 1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO250 #SonyAlpha #A7RIII + #SonyGMaster #SEL70200GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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Shilin National Geo Park, also known as the Stone Forest for the resemblance of its limestone formations to petrified trees creating the illusion of a forest made of stone. The locals call it ‘First Wonder of the World” #worldheritagesite #shilin #kunming #yunnan #stoneforest #sonyalpha #sonysingapore @natgeo.media

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Every May 5, it is Kodomo no Hi or "Children’s Day" in Japan. Families fly koinobori banners in the shape of a carp or koi for each child in their house. In Japanese folklore, the carp is a symbol of determination and vigor, overcoming all obstacles to swim upstream. Samurai warrior figurines and samurai kabuto helmets are also displayed in homes to inspire strength and bravery. #kodomonohi #childrensday #koinobori #goldenweek

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Sponsored by @sonysingapore | Kathakali, the classic Indian dance form from Kerala, communicates the story through footwork, hand gestures and most importantly, the eyes. Sony Eye Autofocus perfectly captures the mood and emotions of the actor, continuously tracking his eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul of a portrait. #SonyAlpha #A7RIII + #SonyGMaster #SEL85F14GM #SonyEyeAF @sonysingapore

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It's tea time in Taiwan, where the world's best Oolong tea is grown. The highest grade tea leaves are picked by hand, in early spring. #teatime #oolongtea #taiwan #teaplantation

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Green Guizhou: It won’t be long before the terraced rice fields in this southwestern province of China are a sea of green. #ricefields #ricepaddies #riceterraces #Guizhou

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Fan dance in Shanghai: As the warmer weather arrives with spring, fan dancers start to perform on the Bund. Part of Chinese heritage for over two thousand years, it is an ancient form of folk dance that serves various purposes. The fan dance is used to pass down stories and traditions of Chinese culture, it is a form of entertainment, and also serves as a form of exercise. Here, a group of elderly fan dancers practice their routine in the morning. #chinesefandance #fandance #traditionaldance

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Prescribed burn in Mendham, New Jersey: As a volunteer fireman, we often set fires to prevent the buildup of combustible material when weather conditions are right. #prescribedburn #controlledburn #fireprevention