As tourists we were taken to see working farms, schools and study centres. We bought sweets for the children in carefully orchestrated meetings. We saw children play in bands and we were invited to dance with them. I have no idea what they thought of the foreigners who they treated like royalty but we did have a good time.
One thing you have to do in North Korea is show your deference to the great leader.
I might not risk it now but at the time a summer holiday in North Korea seemed a good idea.
The Burmese people were so friendly and willing to explain their culture to us. I wonder if this has changed now they have had so much more exposure to tourists.
From Yangon we flew to Bagan, an ancient city in the Mandalay region. From the 9th to the 13th century it was the capital of the Pagan kingdom. Now tourists visit to view the pagodas.
Myanmar, or Burma, as it used to be called was top of my wish list for years. So when Aung San Suu Kyi said tourists could visit as long as we tried to spend money with the locals, not the government, we booked to go.
The Kerala backwaters are canals, rivers, and lagoons all connected together over a huge area.
Tamil Nadu is known as the land of temples. One of the biggest is Ekambaranathar.
And another from the past.
We flew into Chennai for our tour of southern India. Once called Madras, Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu on the Coramandel coast.
The most famous trip from Yogykarta is to Borobudor.