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The Oriental Caravan's 

Postcard from 

Tokyo to London

September 2007

Click on any image to see it enlarged


All images copyright
Phil Colley Photography

the car

the cause...


the crew


the route

(map courtesy of EUROWATCHCENTRAL Limited)


Early morning Osaka, Japan Amazing hospitality, Korea Busan, Korea

En route from Busan to Seoul - the first (and last!) sign that we were actually on the Asian Highway
Asian Highway map
Iranian cargo ship at Tanggu docks, China Car marques to Karl Marx? Mao's portrait in Tiananmen Square, Beijijng

Happy man Some of the going in China got rough... Uighur girl, Urumqi




Somewhere along the Gansu corridor Cyclist, Hami

Arrival in Zhengzhou



Young boy, Hami Commuting home, Hami Young man, Zhangye




Road-side stop, near Xian Chinese settler in Urumqi,  Traffic jam, near Xian




Girl, Zhangye Happy man in situ Passing through the Great Wall of China, Gansu




Chinese chess, Zhangye Camouflaged cyclist, Hami Kazakh yurts near Lake Sairam,
Sunset precedes a hellish night time drive to Almaty, Kazakhstan Uzbeki driver, Uzbekistan The road to Samarqand...
Registan Square, Samarqand Samarqand Courtyard of Kalan Mosque, Bukhara




Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in Merv (Mary) - once the largest city in the world, Turkmenistan Merv Negotiating bovine traffic, Merv
Bizarre architecture in a bizarre city, Ashgabat. One of many gold statues of megalomaniac Sapurat Niyazov (aka Turkmenbashi), recently deceased President of Turkmenistan.  Learn more... A giant 'book' statue of Niyazov's strange political testament, the Rukhnama, Compulsory, though not exactly compulsive, reading for Turkmenis the book opens up periodically to play a video of the ex-President's life. Study of the book comprises a third of the country's education system. Available to read online here...
The Niyazov Olympic Stadium awaiting the day... Niyazov's successor - Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov Changing money on the black market, Ashgabat




Phil's birthday celebrated in Ashgabat Beautiful baby poster, 'Russian Bazaar', Ashgabat Camel's pose one of the main road hazards in Turkmenistan - particularly after sunset when they lie down on the still warm tarmac to sleep



Car and tractor Guitar at sunrise, awaiting the Caspian ferry at Turkmenbashi port After a long, dusty night sleeping under a car cover in a flowerbed we finally board the ferry, which also takes oil freight trains




Caspian water snake On board the ferry across the caspian Sunset over the Caspian

Azerbaijan's former President Heydar Aliyev with de rigueur dictator's moustache. Now succeeded by his son, Ilham. Azeri pastures Old houses, Tbilisi, Georgia



Tobacco drying, Samsun Down on the duck farm with some muck-spreading friends in Samsun Turkey's beautiful Black Sea coast

Tower block, Belgrade, Serbia Presque la... France Bulletin board, Ivanic Grad, Croatia
Roads already travelled... Our arrival in Paris coincided, coincidentally, with the arrival of the 2007 Peking to Paris Vintage Car Rally almost 10 years to the day since Phil's participation in the same event About to board the ferry across the Channnel. Time for a quick cup of tea with LIz. And then home...


That's all for now.
Wishing you a safe
and happy autumn.

With best wishes,
from Phil

and all aboard
The Oriental Caravan



Donations still being taken at



Trips for 2008...

Japan - the Land of the Rising Sun

Japan - the Narrow Road to the Deep North

Japan - in the Footsteps of Pilgrims

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             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links