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Now at: Kilometre 16 000 in Russia. The point of this blog is to communicate our experiences throughout the "Dévélotour Asia" project, and to explore the realities of a development that does not destroy the future. New articles illustrated with photos appear regularly, usually at least once a week, charting the countries crossed and people met as we put the kilometres behind us. There’s room for comments, questions or your own thoughts. More pictures can be found in the Photo gallery section.
|The trans-siberian across Russia|
Oil threat bypasses Baikal to re-emerge further East 5 October 2008 As we end our cycle journey by Lake Baikal we are closing a loop - we were here 3 years ago to report on a planned oil pipeline that threatened (...)
Naadam: Nomad Olympics 17 July 2008 If any games deserve to be called "green," surely it’s Mongolia’s Naadam. Far from the political and media agitation of Beijing, this annual (...)
From steppe to slum: urbanising Mongolia 15 July 2008 The nomads we camped with on July 1st brought in their animals like any other night, while 200 km away the Mongolian capital was burning. Here in (...)
Mongolia - mining a new future9 July 2008 A land of desert, steppe and untouched open space, the only thing Mongolia has to offer to the world is its wild nature. And it’s the country’s (...)
Mongolia: life in an extreme climate22 June 2008 Strong wind, sand storms, heat, extreme cold and even rain in the Gobi desert: during our 15-day Gobi crossing we sampled the unpredictable (...)
Beijing: clean on the inside, dirty on the outside10 June 2008 Crossing a megalopolis by bike gives you a good idea of how polluted it is. Arriving in the Chinese capital from the South we followed a long (...)
Eating Chinese: fuel for 1.3 billion10 June 2008 Water shortages, industrial expansion and population growth threaten Chinese food supplies at a time when the country relies strongly on its (...)
China: destroy and reconstruct!27 May 2008 China wants to be seen internationally as a modern country with a thriving economy. Just as Beijing’s old streets are continuously being replaced (...)
China pedals on27 May 2008 Our cycle across China comes at a time when many Chinese are swapping bikes for cars while the Western world watches in horror, prophesising (...)
China on red alert for emissions !26 May 2008 In 2006, China overtook the US to become the world’s number one CO2 emitter. Crossing the country by bike, we plunge into China’s coal-powered (...)
Tribal China - surviving modernity28 April 2008 Our route leads through Guizhou, one of China’s most ethnically diverse provinces, and also one of its poorest. Here are a few images and (...)
China: what is left of the land of the poets?19 April 2008 With its fantastic landscapes and idyllic countryside Southern China has inspired artists and poets, earning itself the the epitaph of "China of (...)
Deforestation – on the green gold trail29 March 2008 From Laos to China, the tropical wood trade is fast destroying SE Asia’s forests. Sustainable wood labels could help reverse the (...)
Vietnam... what man has done with geological wonders19 March 2008 Translated by Rashaad JORDEN“Halong Bay, number one!” That’s how the Vietnamese boast about the beauty of their country’s most visited landmark. The (...)
Laos, future battery of Asia... but at what cost?10 March 2008 Translated by Rashaad JORDEN
Building a new Laos27 February 2008 Images from a little country undergoing big changes, as reflected in building styles.
Laos: a smiling welcome19 February 2008 Since getting into Laos we are under the spell of this country where everyone seems to be smiling. It all started in Vientiane with the (...)
How I rediscovered Thailand11 February 2008
Thailand urban style: Bangkok boom1 February 2008 [en]Bangkok got stylish urban living from the economic boom - but lost out on quality of life with a transport system that doesn’t match the (...)
Rural Thailand: off the beaten track1 February 2008 The motorway is for people in a hurry. It’s the quiet country roads that show us the real Thailand and its inhabitants. Far from the madness of (...)
The two faces of Thai tourism23 January 2008 Thailand’s striking natural beauty makes the destruction of its coastline by tourism all the more distressing.
Tsunami: a lesson in natural disasters? 9 January 2008 As we travel up the Indian Ocean coast devasted by the Boxing Day Tsunami back in 2004, we talk to survivors and try to assess what has changed (...)
Andaman Islands: fun on the ferry 28 December 2007 After Calcutta, three days of marine adventure await us before reaching dry land and our next destination, the Andaman Islands. The best way of (...)
Calcutta - concrete jungle, urban village24 December 2007
Ganges - unclogging India’s artery6 December 2007 [en]Every day at sunrise, Professor Veer Bhadra Mishra takes his morning dip in the Ganges. He has taken a ‘holy dip’ every morning since 1950, (...)
Veg or non-veg? Good reasons to go green 3 December 2007 India is undoubtedly the country that boasts the largest number of vegetarians. During our two month bicycle journey through the country, we’ve (...)
India: On yer bike2 December 2007 Of all the countries we’ve crossed so far, India is surely the cycle capital of Asia. Having said that, the extreme pollution and lack of hygiene (...)
India: Urban apes - in pictures24 November 2007 No need to get out into the countryside to get close to nature here in India... Monkeys are everywhere, and they’re so similar to humans in their (...)
Holy monkey! India’s sacred animals claim their rights 19 November 2007
Historical monuments – surviving in the era of pollution18 November 2007 The architectural masterpieces Agra , Fatehpur Sikri, Orcha and Khajuraho, historical Indian cities we’ve seen during our bicycle journey, strike (...)
Wild India under attack from people and climate11 November 2007 With its 93 national parks and 486 nature reserves, India is the ideal place to observe wild nature – well, at least in theory. Of the country’s (...)
India: time to reduce, reuse, recycle 30 October 2007 By the roadside, in the rivers - rubbish is everywhere. How to get rid of it?
Tibetan refugees put eco-theory into practice25 October 2007 The Dalai Lama’s green preaching filters down to everyday life in Dharamsala.
Air pollution: wind of change 23 October 2007 From Lahore to Delhi, cycling across several large Indian cities, we’ve met several different strategies more or less successful in the fight (...)
India: welcome to the land of colour, music and tolerance!13 October 2007 , Each border crossing brings a surprise: this time, across the barbed wire fences of Wagah-Attari, India welcomed us with (...)
Pakistan: little angels and bad boys 7 October 2007 A few contrasting portraits of northern Pakistani children from our cycle down the Karakorum Highway
Cycle-tourist’s heaven and hell meet in Pakistan7 October 2007 [en]Cycling through Pakistan during Ramadan, amid a rising wave of political protests and just before the presidential elections didn’t seem like (...)
The Himalayan ice fortress under climate attack7 October 2007 A health-check for Himalayan glaciers as we cross the Pakistani Karakoram.Translated by Rashaad JORDEN
China’s selective tourism policy29 September 2007 Our first experiences as independent Western travellers in the Chinese province of Xin Jiang
Xin Jiang, China: head out on the Karakoram Highway25 September 2007 From Kashgar to Tashkorgan, an ideal route for cycling tourists with spectacular panoramas on the glaciers of the Kunlun Mountains, in western (...)
Over the mountains, no petrol24 September 2007 [en]From rice to renewables– a few thoughts on energy [fr]Du riz aux renouvelables – quelques réflexions sur l’énergie [es]Del arroz a los renovables (...)
Kashgar, a cycle-nomads’ oasis14 September 2007 [en]Spending a few days in Kashgar, the old Silk Road oasis, we quickly felt part of a global tribe of cycle nomads.[es]Pasando unos días en (...)
Kyrgyzstan : back to school 13 September 2007 Bouquets were everywhere, as were students in their Sunday best. We were able to photograph several scenes from the first day of the new school (...)
Yurt surfing - green tourism in the mountains 12 September 2007 In the mountains of Pamir Altay, semi-nomadic shepherds share their animal-skinned roof as well as their daily life with (...)
Roadside merchants - fair trade, local products31 August 2007 Far from the luxury supermarket "Mir" in the capital, Uzbek villagers looking to get closer to the consumer lay out their products directly on (...)
The rebel women of Central Asia30 August 2007 [en] "Are European girls virgins when they get married?" From Istanbul to Tashkent, the question comes up again and again, asked directly and (...)
Uzbekistan: streets are for cycling!29 August 2007 A few pictures of happy cyclists taken on the road in Fergana Valley
Samarkand: ancient heritage of a bygone era 22 August 2007 Founded in the 5th century BCE, Samarkand had its golden age in the 14-15th centuries under the reign of Amir Timur, who turned it into a (...)
Rural Uzbek life: big family, few external needs 17 August 2007 Following an encounter with a local cyclist and his broken chain we were invited into an Uzbek family farm, and learnt about its inhabitants’ (...)
Where on earth has the Aral Sea gone?16 August 2007 “People say there is another sea underneath the seabed and that the water went underground," says Lyuba, a retired telephone operator who has seen (...)
Modern-day nomads of the Karakalpak desert (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan)9 August 2007 The people of the Ustyurt plateau - welcome to Central Asia
Kazakhstan - Uzbekistan: the desert by bike9 August 2007 A few images from the cycle journey across the desert - much less monotonous than it might be expected.
The tarmac bites into the sand9 August 2007 On the map the Karakalpakstan desert seemed one of the most uncertain sections of our itinerary. Looking across the Kazakh-Uzbek border, this (...)
A week in the Kazakh desert: water and sun… 30 July 2007 500 km, 40 ºC, 10 litres a day each: three numbers that summarize our first week of cycling.
Crossing the Caspian Sea: the Ferry of Chaos23 July 2007 A chaotic ferry crossing that holds some clues to the ecological disaster that has hit the Caspian.
Baku - petrol, pollution and a warm welcome20 July 2007 In Baku after two weeks of trains, the oil-boom city reveals its dirty secrets to us.
Paris - Baku: plane or train?17 July 2007 Shaken but not stirred after 15 days of trains and buses, we feel better prepared for cycling across the central Asian (...)
Turkey: Eastern faces looking West14 July 2007 A few portraits from pre-election Istanbul.
One wheel in Asia12 July 2007 Tropical heat, hard, hostile asphalt and friendly locals are a foretaste of what is awaiting us in Asia
Cycle-railing it across Europe: descent into the surreal10 July 2007 Paris - Berlin - Warsaw - Vienna - Budapest - Sofia
La grande messe avant le départ du déVELOtour Asia a eu lieu enfin ce matin à la salle polyvalente du Lycée « Les Bruyères »2 July 2007 Nos éco-cyclistes ont particulièrement attiré l’attention sur les buts pédagogiques et humanistes à atteindre et les moyens mis en oeuvre pour (...)