At the historic port city of Southampton, the River Test joins with other watercourses in a wide and windswept estuary, big enough to make cruise liners and container ships look tiddly. But its upper reaches are in stark contrast.


“Air Manis Beach is a beautiful place to visit. Here we can walk in the sea at low tide and visit the attractive Pisang Island. Air Manis Beach is a favourite spot for Europeans in Padang,” noted L. C. Westenenk, a senior official of the colonial government at Fort de Kock, a 19th century Dutch base in West Sumatra, when he visited Padang.

Snow Shapes

If you look closely, snowflakes may look like six-pointed stars. But do you know that they come in even more shapes? Here are some of them! (more…)


When I decided to visit Russia in January, in the coldest part of winter, no one was more shocked than my Russian friends. “You do realise Russia is in the northern hemisphere?” one asked, convinced I’d got mixed up. “Change your ticket come in July.”