Hiding Out – Watching for Wildlife in Taman Negara

Jungle Trekking in Malaysia – Taman Negara National Park “None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.” - Rudyard Kipling We share the boat with only the driver and one other traveler. It is a two-hour trip through the dense jungle along the winding Tembeling River. Monkeys lounge on the beach, water buffalo wallow in the mud, and monitor lizards crawl along the banks. We also catch a glimpse of a native Orang Asli family bathing on the shore. Kuala Tahan - Gateway to Taman Negara [...]

Nomads, Gompas and Koras – Buddhist Festivals on the Tibetan Plateau

Pilgrims, Priests and Prayer Flags - Buddhist Monasteries on the Tibetan Plateau “I am confident I will set foot again in Tibet in my lifetime.” - 14th Dalai Lama Despite the altitude, it is stiflingly hot and we have to get out of the city. One week in Lhasa is enough time to see its highlights and the outlying temples accessible as day trips. Most tour operators offer excursions of varying lengths to sites farther afield. So, we hire a 4X4 and driver for a few days to visit several monasteries and [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:05:13-07:00October 8th, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ramazan In Turkey – The Fast and the Curious

Dawn Til Dusk - Turkish Travel During Ramazan “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.” - Muhammad This year, we didn't have turkey for Christmas, so we went to Turkey for Christmas. After all, it is where Saint Nicolas is buried in his tomb near Myrna. We land in Istanbul and spend a week visiting the obligatory sites including Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar. The city’s skyline is pierced by countless minarets as far as the [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:06:37-07:00September 10th, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Following The Herd – Nepal’s Dashain Festival

Flocking to Nepal's Dashain Festival - Herders and the Herded "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being." - Mahatma Gandhi Finally, after hiking for ten days up the lush Marsyangdi Valley, we trudge across the 4516 m Thorung-la. Below, the trail descends into the desert-like Mustang of the Kali Gandaki River – a stark contrast to the way up. Descent to Dashain Our climb down to Tatopani coincides with the preparation of the Hindu sacrificial festival [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:08:12-07:00August 6th, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Road To Damascus – Palmyra To Bosra

The Road To Damascus Part Two - Travel In Southern Syria Before The War “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” - St. Augustine If the world were a book, it would be a history book. And travel, to a large extent, is a trip through the past – an experience we hope will help us understand the present, and imagine the future. So, in our continued effort to visit as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (ie. history) as practical, we head to the [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:09:46-07:00July 9th, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Road To Damascus – Aleppo To Hama

The Road To Damascus Part One - Travel In Northern Syria Before The War “The natives showed us extraordinary kindness.” - Acts 28:2 The second intifada forces us to reconsider our plans. Access to the West Bank is restricted and most sites closed, so we promise to visit the land another time. Overland options along the eastern Mediterranean are limited, and we decide to take ferries from Turkey to Egypt via Greece. We ring in the New Year waiting for the boat to take us from Marmaris to Rhodes. Meanwhile, outside [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:10:11-07:00July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , |0 Comments

A Slow Boat Through Laos – Cruising The Nam Tha River

Drifting Down The Nam Tha River - A Slow Boat Through Laos “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” - A. A. Milne Peace and Baaah All travel is slow travel in Laos. For two days, we stare at the countryside out the back of a truck, waving to children as we drive through their villages and negotiating landslides. Finally, we arrive at Luanag Nam Tha. The Nam Tha River starts near this growing town in northern Laos, and continues until it reaches the Mekong. [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:27:05-07:00June 4th, 2018|Categories: Asia, Perspective|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Benares Or Bust – Overland Odyssey Through Central India

Overland Travel In India - An Odyssey By Bus And Train “Take me to the station and put me on a train. I've got no expectations to pass through here again.” - Rolling Stones Slow Travel, Whether You Like It Or Not Of the two ways to get overland from Khajuraho to Varanasi, neither is very convenient. So, we opt for both. Overland travel in India is usually pretty slow travel, whether you like it or not. The train doesn’t actually go from Khajuraho, but from the “nearby” town of Mahoba. The [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:30:41-07:00April 9th, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Waxing Spiritual – Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival

 Waxing Spiritual - Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival “Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” - The Buddha Rebirth and Suffering Life sucks. This is an underlying principle of Buddhism. We are reincarnated in an endless cycle of death and rebirth (samsara) in which we suffer (dukkha) until we become enlightened (nirvana). For anyone interested in Eastern religions, few countries offer greater access to exploring Buddhism than Thailand, where 95% of the population practices Theravada Buddhism. Often, when most people think of Thailand, they [...]

By |2019-02-22T21:36:17-07:00January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Asia|Tags: , |0 Comments