Silke Gondolf // Asia

2019 North India

Ladakh: Leh, Matho, Chilling, Likir, Alchi, Lamayuru, Basgo, Rangdum, Padum, Zanskar, Darang Durung Glacier, Parkachik, Nun Kun Mountain Massif, Karsha, Kargil, Dzongkhul monastary, Stod Valley, Mune Gompa, Tsarap River, Zanskar River, Pangong Lake, Tso Moriri, Tso Kar.
Autumn in North India: most tourists have left Ladakh and Zanskar, the farmers and herders prepare for another long and probably harsh winter in the some of the highest Himalayan region on earth.

2017 Japan

Kyushu: Oita, Beppu, Saiki, Ume, Fujigawachi Valley, Hoto Island, Tsukumi, Usuki Buddha, Mt. Shiroyama, Kagoshima, Sakurajima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki. Honshu: Hiroshima, Miyajima Island, Kawaguchiko, Mt. Fuji, Nara, Kyoto, Osaka.
Japan by train, best thing ever.

2014 Myanmar

Yangon, Bagu, Bagan, Mandalay, Myitikyna, Wai Maw, Kyaing Tong, Inle Lake
A gold mine for foreign investments. The Burmese government is selling the land and their people. Myanmar has a Chinese touch already.

2014 Cambodia

Siem Reap, Anlong Veng, Cambodia, Northern Thai Border Area
Khmer people are energetic, alert and they havea sense of humor. Cambodia is still recovering from the tragic loss and harm during the Khmer Rouge regime.

2013 Vietnam

Hanoi, Ha Giang, Yen Minh, Pho Cao, Dong Van Province, White Hmong
Pho Cao, this is one of the remotest places I have been. The Hmong believe that people have seven souls and they prepare for their deaths as early as puberty starts.

2005 India: Kashmir

Kashmir: Srinagar, Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Khimber, Dara, Palang
I was revisiting the old houseboats a colleague of mine photographed 20 years ago for a STERN reportage. The police in Kashmir thought I am a spy. I got into trouble. And the big earthquake didn’t help the situation either.

2005 India: Ladakh

Changthang, Tso Moriri, Tso Khar, Karzok, Alchi, Lamayuru, Hemis, Spituk, Shey, Thikse, Leh Gompa
People know days and seasons, but they do not know hours, minutes or seconds. And they have never seen shoe laces – I made people stop and touch my shoes. They only wear felt boots, no laces there.

2004 China

China had become my third home, away from home. China changed over the last 10 years. The traditional Beijing Hutongs have almost completely disappeared, ring roads were added and the air is even more unbearable.

2001 China

Peking, Chengdu, Chongching, Kunming, Lijiang, Guilin, Mt Emai, Yaoshan, Dali, Leshan, Baoshen, Dazu
China is a huge and very diverse country. There is not “one” China, but one time zone, to enhance national unity.

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2001 Tibet in Kodak Color

Lhasa, Nam Tso, Drive from Kathmandu: Zhangmu, Nyalam Pass, Lalung Pass, Tingri, Shigatse, Tashilunpo Monastery, Gyantse, Phalkor Monastery, Karola Pass, Khumbum Stupa, Yamdrok Tso Lake,Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Norbulinka Palace, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery
The trip and stay in Tibet was during 9/11. The “War on Terror” started, heavy military vehicles drove close to the Afghan border. I was stuck in Tibet.

1998 Mongolia

Ulan Bator, Dalanzadgad, Gobi Desert, Nomads, Chojin Lama Temple, Bogdkhan Monastary, Gandan Monastary, Zuunmod Manzshir Temple, Countryside Nadam, Ger, Bayanzag, Yolym Am Valley, Bactrian Camels, Morzag Sanddunes/Gobi, Terelj
Mongolia is the country of my childhood dreams. No fences, horses, wide landscapes, constant wind and you can see as far as your eyes can.

1997 China

Beijing: Forbidden City, Lama Temple, Hutongs Beijing, Great Wall, Badaling, Simatai, Behai Park, Ritan Park, Tianzhe, Ming Tomb, Confuzius Temple, Chinese Circus, Drum Tower, Tientan
Buying an original Chinese bicycle for the 8-week production period was a smart idea. This magic China Bike, the brand was called “Flying Pidgeon”.

1994 Thailand

Bangkok, Koh Samui, Surathani, Chantaburi, Nong Kai
Seeing the changes after 10 years. Now there was a paved road all around Koh Samui and electricity and European sex tourists everywhere.

1992 Japan

Tokyo, Fukui, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Akihabara
The Japanese “Economy Bubble” busted. I experienced my first earthquake inside a NHK TV studio, where every equipment rag was mounted from floor to ceiling. Everything was safely swinging back and forth.

1991 Sumatra

Brestagi, Bandang, Medan, Lake Toba
Children were all excited to see a white person in their village. Most places in the countryside had no roads, no electricity no connections to the buzzling world around them.