Southeast Asia by Sea: Hitting the Highlights on a 17-Day Cruise

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the 1969 movie, “If it’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium,” a busload of tourists travels across Europe at a whirlwind pace, spending only a day in each country. At the time, seasoned travelers poked fun at the idea of such a madcap itinerary. After all, how could anyone experience a country’s culture in a […]

Taiwan’s Temples and Its Pantheon

  [dropcap]T[/dropcap]here is no shortage of gods, or temples, idols and icons in Taiwan. As in many other destinations in Asia, the Taiwanese pantheon is wide and deep. But unlike some other parts of Asia, the temples here have a daily vibrancy. The rich culture and history of the Taiwanese people and of the region […]

Vietnam and Cambodia – Memorable “Pinch Me” Moments

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]emorable ‘pinch me’ moments abound in Southeast Asia   As the stars fade and the colors of the sky begin to slowly change, the dark shadows of Angkor Wat’s temple walls gradually emerge. The anticipation builds among the hushed crowd as the towers and their reflection in the moat surrounding the vast complex become increasingly […]

Vietnam’s Training Restaurants for Disadvantaged Youth

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he resiliency of Vietnam is remarkable. Despite being ravaged by wars with France, the United States and China, the country’s economy is surging. English schools are popping up everywhere as people strive to learn the language of commerce and tourists arrive by the planeload to see UNESCO world heritage sites such as dream-like Halong Bay, […]

Bangkok: The Side Tourists Rarely See

  [dropcap]T[/dropcap]he chubby six-year-old with the heavy-duty water cannon scanned the crowd, looking for targets.  He spotted me, one of the few Western tourists in sight, and hesitated. I smiled. That was all he needed. The wet blast from his weapon hit me square in the chest. I didn’t mind. There are worse things than […]

Guam Glories in Welcoming Visitors

  [dropcap]G[/dropcap]uam offers an exciting, warm, vibrant island paradise experience, with great scuba diving and snorkeling, golf, beach-combing, wonderful shopping with better prices (especially with its duty free status and local markets) and spectacular sight-seeing and landmarks. It’s exotic in its own way, yet American.   It’s “where America’s day begins!” as they say. Morning begins […]

Oita Encounters

[dropcap]V[/dropcap]enturing outside of the usual tourist trail (Tokyo,Osaka or Kyoto) can prove to be vastly rewarding in Japan, for the inquisitive traveler. A simple visit, for instance to Oita prefecture on the island of Kyushu reveals lesser known little wonders. In Oita city, a stop at the newly built art museum (OPAM) is a must […]

Dog Sledding on an Alaskan Glacier

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]laciers and dog sledding, what can be more descriptive of Alaska? OK, perhaps igloos, but I didn’t see any of those.     Exhilarating, breathtaking, immense, all words, describing our recent participation in a true Alaskan experience– dog sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier.  Temsco Helicopters, Inc. operates this awesome Alaskan adventure in conjunction with the oldest […]

Colorful Costa Rica

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ustainable tourism takes flight in the tiny coastal village of Punta Islita.       “Have you heard the macaws yet?” asks a man standing in the open-air lobby of the Hotel Punta Islita while I am checking into the luxury eco-resort that perches on a hillside overlooking a crescent-shaped beach on the Pacific Ocean. […]