Kathmandu, Before The World Shook – Part 2

Kathmandu’s low-slung buildings weren’t built to withstand the jockeying of a trembling earth. Often constructed of brick and mortar while ignoring already weak building codes, the city’s structures were no match for Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake. News of the Nepali devastation … Continued

Tangled Up and Kathmandu

Tangles of wire crisscross the streets of Kathmandu like a canopy of Christmas-lights: wire strands, thick as basketballs or thin as a spaghetti noodles tremble in the Nepali breeze. Shops and people scurry about in this foothill town where layers … Continued

Up to the mountains Where I’m going To….Kathmandu

Kathmandu and Nepal assume a mythic place in popular culture; between Bob Seeger’s 70s crooning “I’m going to Kathmandu” and as a gateway city to the jagged Himalayan peaks, the city’s a confluence of cultures swirls among its dusty, rutted … Continued

Buddha’s Windswept Prayers

  Oceans of color flutter in the sky like a kaleidoscope of parrots migrating with the breeze. The heavens of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha, are alight with prayer flags: blue, white, red, green and yellow, each representing a natural … Continued

A Birth That Shook the World

  Nearly 1500 years ago, a child’s birth sent shockwaves through Asia and the globe that continue to shape people and ideas to this day. The child’s mother, Queen Mayadevi, gave birth in Lumbini, in what is now southern Nepal and where … Continued

Buddha’s Golden Rock

In Southern Burma, a gilded rock hangs precariously on the edge of a mountaintop, suspended by a single hair of the Buddha. The sun shimmers on its glowing face while pilgrims meditate and paste gold leaf at its foot. According … Continued

The Soothsayer’s Golden Temple

Burmese history is a rocky affair. From political instability to the earthquakes that shake the country’s foundation, many of its temples have been rebuilt over the tremulous years. Bago, a city a few hour drive or train ride south from … Continued

An Afternoon with Myanmar’s Militant Monks. Well, Not Exactly

Militant monks?  Sounds like a contradiction; but not in Myanmar, a beautiful, elusive country full of paradoxes and conundrums that tease the traveler’s mind. Monks play a huge role in Myanmar – from spiritual leaders to fomenting political discussion and descent. … Continued

Laos Part 3: Vientiane & Luang Prabang

Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is often overlooked by travelers but given a few days, you’ll be smitten by the city’s laid-back vibe, a rarity for any Southeast Asian capital. Further north, Luang Prabang, the former colonial town and royal … Continued