Travel Snapshots: Travelling in the Far East

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo travelling in Bangkok Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand 1992

Photographs from my early travels

A photo essay of me travelling in Asia

I started travelling long before Breathedreamgo was launched, long before I went to India in 2005 and long before digital cameras were invented. Recently, I dug out my old photo albums and scanned a bunch of photographs of me travelling around the world — to Asia, Europe, Central America and Australia. So, for a lark, here I am in in Tokyo, Japan and Bangkok and Koh Samui, Thailand in the 1990s.


In 1992, I moved with my then-boyfriend to Tokyo, Japan. He was working in the film business (for a cinema company), and I was a full-time tourist. I spent my days in Tokyo learning how to shop in the Daimuru supermarket — I had to take lessons, I kid you not — and how to negotiate the bus-and-train system. I bought a book written by an expat in Tokyo called You can’t there from here to give you an idea how complex it is. The highlight of my year in Japan was taking the bullet train to Kyoto, the Paris of the East, by myself during Himani (Cherry Blossom Festival) and staying at a 300-year-old ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) and sleeping on the matted ground.

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo travelling in Kyoto Japan

Philosopher’s Walk during Cherry Blossom Festival, Kyoto, Japan 1992

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo travelling in Kyoto Japan

In Kyoto, Japan 1992


While we were in Japan, we travelled to Australia and Hong Kong for business and Thailand for pleasure. It was a few months after an uprising, and tourism was way down. We stayed at the world’s top-rated hotel at the time, The Oriental in Bangkok; and flew down to Koh Samui and stayed in a perfect Thai-style bungalow on the beach. At that time, it was the best vacation of my life. In the top picture, above, I am celebrating after finding an out-of-the way restaurant in Bangkok listed in my guidebook. Below, a rainy day in paradise.

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo travelling in Koh Samui Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand 1992

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo travelling in Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand 1992

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo travelling in Bangkok, Thailand 1992

Lunch at The Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand 1992


One of my favourite places in Japan, aside from Kyoto, was a small, traditional seaside town we visited called Shimoda. The traditional Japan of legend lives on in this town, where you could still see people walking in the streets in print-block robes and wooden shoes after bathing in natural hot springs; and sipping tea and sake in small cafes like the one pictured below. I will never forget the seafood nor the gardens filled with hydrangeas. There is a a historical park in Shimoda dedicated to the “opening of Japan” and featuring a bust of Jimmy Carter. They love Jimmy Carter in Japan. George Bush Sr. not so much. (I was in Japan was he threw up on the prime minister.)

Photograph of Mariellen Ward of Breathedreamgo in Shimoda Japan

In Shimoda, Japan 1992

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7 Responses to Travel Snapshots: Travelling in the Far East

  1. icyhighs April 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    “…long before digital cameras were invented”

    God its only been a few years since they became so common but it feels like a whole different lifetime.

  2. icyhighs April 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Sorry, also meant to say: the photographs look great, esp. the one with the cherry blossoms in it.

  3. Mariellen April 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Hello Icyhighs! Yes, it is absolutely amazing to be in Japan during the Cherry Blossom Festival. I was really lucky.

  4. Shivya April 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Such lovely pictures, Mariellen. Feels like the sixties. Wonder if Tokyo still looks anything like this.

  5. Nisha May 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Awww you look so different and so very pretty!
    Have you written more posts on Japan?

  6. Mariellen May 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks Shivya! I would love to go back to Japan on a blogging trip. (Hello Japan Tourism, are you out there?) It would be interesting to see how it’s changed … and how I’ve changed!

  7. VInayakan Aiyer June 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    The blog is not about India…but I liked reading it as much. I have Kyoto big on my list. I also want to see how a samurai sword is forged.

    Wish I had know you before….after the Japan tsunami in March 2011, I came across an article where Japanese govt. were inviting travel bloggers to visit and write about Japan to boost tourism. Sadly, I just don’t recall the website now.

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