Views From My Window
China, India, Turkey, Israel, The Maldives. Talk about diversity! Asia’s ‘Views From My Window’ are dramatic, simple, a riot of colors, monochromatic, and tranquil.
China – The Yangtze
The views from our window onboard the Victoria Jenna constantly changed as we cruised slowly down the Yangtze River for four days. We passed gorgeous traditional villages, emerald green waters, massive limestone caves, and towns cloaked in smog where hundreds of skyscrapers reach for the heavens.
The suite on the highest floor of our hotel in Lhasa had a full-on view of the iconic, spiritual, Potala Palace. We drew the curtains on day one and never closed them again. The view was mesmerizing at ever time of day: from dawn to dusk and the dark of night.
Lijiang – China
Old Town Lijiang is so breathtakingly beautiful that it’s like stepping into a fairytale. Our boutique hotel – Jun Bo – overlooked a canal, narrow bridges, weeping willow trees, and a traditional Chinese tea shop. We had views galore through expansive walls of glass in the shower, the bathtub, the living area, and bedroom.
Uchisar – Cappadocia – Turkey
Turkey is located in both Western Asia and Southern Europe. This unforgettable view of Pigeon Valley from our cave cottage – renovated and outfitted with French flair by an expatriate French architect – was a living painting. At sunset, the volcano and sky blush in pink while Pigeon Valley is dusted in white powder. Tourists flock to Cappadocia in summer. The beauty of winter is the best-kept secret. [View from Les Maisons de Cappadocia]
Jerusalem – Israel
Israel is at the crossroads of Europe, Western Asia, and Africa. Geographically it belongs to the Asian continent and is part of the Middle East region. From my window, I looked out at the garden path of the 3 Arches Hotel, flanked by sentinel cypress trees and the iconic King David Hotel, built in 1931. From my side window, I had a view of the array of arches – each group different in shape and size – that led to this stunning, historical, 1925, YMCA building being renamed the 3 Arches Hotel.
Dharmshala – India
Eagle’s Nest rests in a forest at the foot of the majestic Himalayan mountains, above the village of Dharmshala. From my window I have a view of the Himalayas, beams of early morning sunshine streaming through the forest, the pet donkey grazing on lush green grass, and the Langur monkeys swinging from tree to tree.
The Aravalli Hills – Rajasthan – India
The 17th Century hunting lodge of the former Maharajah of Jodhpur is tucked into a secluded spot among the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan. Now transformed into a boutique heritage hotel, the Rawla Narlai welcomes guests in search of a respite from the chaos of city living. The views from my window, particularly at sunrise and sunset, envelop me in a meditative state of serenity, and I lose all sense of the world beyond here.
Alleppey – Kerala – Southern India
I draw back the drapes to be greeted by the cognac colored sky and waters outside my bedroom. A bird flies by, a fisherman glides through the water balancing on his narrow skiff, and a classic Kerala, Chinese fishing net catches the morning light.
The Backwaters – Kerala – Southern India
For two days and two nights, we cruised the Backwaters in a traditional Kettuvallam houseboat that looked very similar to this one that came gliding past our window. It was just Stan and me and a crew of three. The views from our window and covered deck were so captivating and everchanging that it was impossible to concentrate on reading a book or writing my journal.
The Maldives is a small island nation located in South Asia in the Arabian Sea. If ever there was an idyllic destination where beauty and tranquility reign supreme, it’s the Maldives: calm turquoise waters where patterned fish in a palette of brilliant colors feed on the coral – which, unfortunately, is fast disappearing – powder-white soft sand, and swaying coconut palm trees. This is the view from our window that greeted us every morning at the Bandos Island Resort.