Category Archives: video

chinese new year – segamat style!

Much like Christmas for me, Chinese New Year is the annual opportunity to spend time with the family, play games, repay your sleep debt and eat often and well. Unlike Christmas, conversation occurs mostly in one of three Chinese dialects, most of your meals are taken outdoors and New Year’s Day cuisine is completely vegetarian!

Click through on the video below for my take on the Yap family celebration.

Chinese New Year  from Tim Way on Vimeo.

the malaysian jungle railway

From where the Thai border meets the South China Sea down south to Singapore, a single track line cuts through the middle of the Malaysian peninsula, linking the deeply Muslim north with the mixed and more developed south of the country via isolated communities through the thick jungle. Local schoolchildren and market-goers use the train as their only available means of transport, and stack the aisles and vestibules high with organic matter.

You can join them, as Tim and May did, and experience the sights and smells (there are so many smells!) of jungle transportation, so long as you’re at the station for the off by 4am!

The Malaysian Jungle Railway from Tim Way on Vimeo.

Stalin’s last stand – Travels in Uzbekistan

Things have never quite returned to pushing the condemned from the top of minarets, but where Mohamed meets Marx, the Soviet regime of terror favoured by Stalin lives on.

The world is largely ignorant of this mumblistan, the seventh most corrupt country in the world, whose government holds so many thousands of innocents in jail under the auspices of the war on terror and whose cotton is boycotted by many western clothes retailers due to slave and child labour concerns.

But the country has extraordinary history. In 1405, within just 30 years, Timur, the country’s national hero, built an empire that stretched from India to Syria, centred on Samarkand, his sumptuous capital. The resplendent buildings of his reign have been restored and rebuilt.

Uzbekistan sounds like an interesting place to visit, no?

This video is split into two parts, due to upload size restrictions.

stalin’s last stand from Tim Way on Vimeo.

stalin’s last stand – part two from Tim Way on Vimeo.

the hiker’s ode to kyrgyzstan

Wedged between China and Stans three,
Lies the carved Kyrgyz land of turning tree
From Russki Bishkek we travelled t’orient,
A land of potatoes and local inhabitants…

I’ve much more respect for song lyricists after penning this video verse of a Kyrgyz hike:

The Hiker’s Ode to Kyrgyzstan from Tim Way on Vimeo.

as weird as it gets

Turkmenistan is a flat desert with some of the world’s largest gas reserves underneath.

Above ground, a real mix of religions combine to provide a country which is almost more weird where the egomaniac Turkmenbashi hasn’t put his print. Canyons that would be at home in SW USA attract no tourists, holes in the desert are permanently ablaze, and Ashgabat’s unique – gold and marble and soon to be crumbling unique:

As weird as it gets from Tim Way on Vimeo.

the eurasian bridge

Turkey’s a funny cookie. Where does it fit?

European in outlook, Ankara and Istanbul are quite apart from the rural honesty of the vast majority of this enormous country, criss-crossed by railway lines taking the scenic route around the mountainous interior. Well on the way to European integration (French veto permitting), despite having recently outlawed the most significant Kurdish political party, this bejeweled Eurasian nation deserves your investigation:

the eurasian bridge from Tim Way on Vimeo.

to the roof of the world: episode three – the roof of the world

The high Pamir: a country-sized slab of nothingness. The most beautiful of desert nothingness. Victimised since independence, punished in the UN civil war settlement, a people already without anything and kept alive by the Aga Khan for may years eek a life when none should feasibly be possible.

Deep blue glacial lakes, sheep with horns as wide as a human is tall, hundreds of kilometres of porous international borders and sheer perfection in vistas:

to the roof of the world: episode three – the roof of the world from Tim Way on Vimeo.

to the roof of the world: episode two – the aga khan’s people

A ramp to the roof of the world leads up the Wakhan Valley, great game vortex. NGOs outnumber tourists, potatoes provide entire meals, Afghanistan is just there and beauty in nature, both human and physical, is all encompassing:

to the roof of the world: episode two – the aga khan’s people from Tim Way on Vimeo.

A couple of factual inaccuracies contained in this video have been brought to my attention:

– Due to the Wakhan Valley’s inaccessibility and distance from the production/processing sites, it is highly unlikely that large quantities of drugs pass over the river. The most likely route is closer to Dushanbe.
– The Wakhan frontier between the Russian and British spheres of influence was finalised in 1895 by commission parties from each country heading to the region and taking detailed altitude, latitude and longitude measurements. T. Hungerford Holditch, who took part in the British Commission describes his memories of the trip, including the huge bonfire held in the Wakhan when they came to agreement and realised they wouldn’t have to spend the winter in the freezing cold! “English and Russian topographers worked side by side and shared equally in the rough and tumble of demarcation”, he writes.

Thanks to Robert Middleton, whose website is a leading resource on the Pamirs, for pointing these errors out.

to the roof of the world: episode one – the road to monday

Western Tajikistan would extend far further to encompass Samarkand and Bokhara, had Stalin not gerrymandered to prevent ethnic unity in the Soviet Union. Today, it goes as far as Penjakent, the hopping off point for the Fan Mountains – home to isolated communities of sheep and grain farmers in a landscape straight out of a news report from norther Afghanistan, just a (giant’s) stone throw away:

to the roof of the world: episode one – the road to monday from Tim Way on Vimeo.