My Photographs: Top 5 Shanghai.

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The Pudong, August 2009. Nothing whets the appetite for a trip to Shanghai like some Google Image bingeing of the city’s breathtaking Pudong Skyline. Located east of the Huangpu River on Century Avenue, directly facing the waterfront Bund neighborhood, The Pudong offers up an irresistible stretch of Shanghai’s most iconic buildings. This photo shows my favorite Pudong structure, The Oriental Pearl Tower, a 468-meter TV Tower built in 1994. Featuring a shopping centre, a revolving restaurant and multiple viewing decks, it stood as China’s tallest structure until 2007 when the Shanghai World Financial Centre surpassed it.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Yantai, China.

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Beach 2, August 2009. Welcome to the sleepy port city of Yantai in Shandong Province. I’d been travelling around Shandong for several weeks when someone recommended Yantai as a pleasant place to head purely for a spell of beach lazing. “The beach isn’t actually up to much,” he admitted with a wry smile. “And the city centre doesn’t have anything going on”. It was quite the sales pitch, but nevertheless I felt fascinated by this seemingly unloved coastal outpost. Most of the visit was spent here on Beach 2 reading; sleeping, swimming and watching people build sandcastles.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Qingdao, China.

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Xinhao Shan Park, August 2009. The coastal city of Qingdao is my favorite place in Shandong Province. There are cobbled streets and European-style squares with churches and German architecture. Away from the insanity of the central strip, there are secluded beaches and peaceful parks. And you shouldn’t skip the craziness of Beer Street and the Tsingtao Brewery, while there are also stunning beauty spots like this hillside park and its splendid three hundred and sixty degree views across Qingdao.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Queen’s Day, Amsterdam.

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Queen’s Day, April 2011. Some say you haven’t truly experienced Amsterdam until you’ve seen it in the incredible carnival mode of Queen’s/King’s Day. Right enough, the entire city is transformed beyond recognition every April as hordes of patriotic Nederlanders take to the streets, pubs and canals to celebrate the life and times of their glorious monarch.

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My Photographs: Top 5 The Heineken Experience, Amsterdam.

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The Heineken Experience, October 2010. You can’t miss the imposing form of the old Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam. Plonked on a narrow stretch of pavement on Stadhouderskade at one of the city centre’s busiest crossroads; the building dates back to 1867 and functioned as the original brewery until 1988 when a larger more modern facility was constructed on the outskirts of the city.  

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My Photographs: Top 5 EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam Eye Film Institute, April 2012. The Amsterdam EYE Film Institute is a stunning building located on the north bank of The River IJ, just across the water from the city’s Central train station. Opened by Queen Beatrix on the 4th of April 2012, I was lucky enough to witness every stage of its construction as part of my daily commute. I was working as a writer, script editor, voice over and interviewer of Hollywood stars for the Dutch media production company FCCE. Every day I cycled through Amsterdam’s most picturesque canal streets before wheeling my bike onto the free ferry for the short chug over to Amsterdam North.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Seoul Subway, Korea.

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Seoul Subway, February 2015. I’ve never really done a Top 5 like this before. Maybe it’s because I normally associate subway journeys with claustrophobia, stress, inconvenience and smelly armpits. But in Seoul all my experiences were a total breeze, from the wide, spotless ultra-modern carriages to the pleasingly icy air con and abundance of available seats. Sure, things got more hectic during rush hour, but still a piece of cake compared to the hell-on-earth ordeals of Beijing and London.

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