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View David Astley's profile on LinkedIn

I’m a British/Australian expatriate who has spent about 15 years living in Asia and many more traveling the world.  I was born and went to school in the UK, started my career as a journalist in the print media, but spent a large proportion of my working life in broadcasting in Australia and Malaysia.  I retired as Secretary-General of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union in June 2010 and am now chairing the Asia-Pacific Media Alliance for Social Awareness (The Media Alliance) which is based in Singapore and produces media campaigns to raise public awareness of pro-social issues such as sustainable development, renewable energy, poverty reduction, access to safe water, climate change adaption and mitigation, etc.

My role with The Media Alliance takes up about 50 per cent of my time. For the rest of my time I am working a photographer and editor of tropical gardening books and preparing a new online gardening magazine for tropical regions. My most recent book is 'The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics' which was co-authored with Dr Chia Tet Fatt and published by Marshall Cavendish in November 2011 and launched at the triennial World Orchid Conference in Singapore on 13 November 2011 (although the first copy of the book was actually sold on 11/11/11 which is considered a lucky date in Chinese and Indian cultures!).

There's a Facebook Page for the book at www.facebook.com/tropicalorchids, so if you are on FB and are interested in tropical orchids, click 'Like' on that page and you'll receive occasional tips on growing orchids on your FB newsfeed, as well as photographs of some beautiful orchids that weren't used in the  book (some of which are my photos, together with images shared from other sources).

There's also a link to the Kindle e-version of the book in the lefthand sidebar which is available from Amazon.com

My personal interests – travel photography, tropical plants, world music, organic gardening, natural foods, and advocacy of human rights, social justice, protection of the environment and sustainable living – are largely extensions of my professional activities (or perhaps that should be the other way around?)

I started this website in 2004 to share some of my early travel photographs with family and friends, and over the years added a few other odds and ends. For years I have been trying to find the time to update it – but there never seems to be enough hours in the day – but if you have stumbled across it by accident, you are welcome to browse what is here.

Most of the photo albums on this site are personal photos, hot-air ballooning photos (another favourite pastime of mine) and a few of my older travel photos which I am progressively removing because I no longer regard them to be of an acceptable standard for publication. My newer travel photo albums are at:


I have also posted a selection of travel photos to Trek Earth at:


The slideshow below features my 50 favourite travel photos from my Trek Earth gallery.

You can find me on TripAdvisor at  http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/DavidAstley and on TravBuddy at http://www.travbuddy.com/banyanman

And you can follow me on Twitter at:


('banyanman' is the screen name that I use for most of the online communities of which I am a member, but someone else beat me to that name on Twitter)

I'm also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/banyanman but I only add friends there that I know in real life.

I moved my blog to blogger.com in September 2007 as I liked the tagging and archiving system there better than the Squarespace platform that I use for this website. You'll find that at:


I will shortly be adding a separate blog on this site to be called 'My Garden' which will contain updates of the garden that I am developing at Timberland Heights in the Philippines. That blog is being created so that in future years, when the garden is established, I can show people what the site looked like when I first started the development in 2011.

Home page photos: TOP - Great Wall of China at Simatai. BOTTOM - Machu Picchu, Peru.