You Gotta Have Seoul

Seoul is often seen as a pass-through city by travelers flying to various parts of Asia. And that’s how my husband and I saw it until, in late 2019, we decided to spend nine days there and see what Seoul had to offer. Turns out, it has a lot to offer. Traditional, modern, colorful, and […]

Seoul, Korea: Then and Now 

My trip to Seoul, Korea was going to be a nostalgia trip. Fifty years had passed since I was stationed there for a year when I was in the Army. It turned out to be not so much nostalgia. So much had changed that the things I remembered have been replaced with a modern bustling […]

Reverent Myanmar

The World’s Most Devout Buddhist Country  The headlines are jarring. In account after account, they report incidents of jailed journalists, ethnic genocide, and other appalling human rights violations. They’re grim snapshots of Myanmar, Southeast Asia’s most mystical, least understood land—a country of more than 100 ethnic groups that opened its doors to foreigners less than a decade […]

Niigata, Japan: Rice, Sake, Snow

As the bullet train works its way north from Tokyo, the capital’s high rise gradually gives way to a suburban sprawl increasingly punctuated by rural pockets of green. Then mountain ranges emerge on the horizon, and, but for the occasional blurred towns, civilization begins to give way to vast swathes of farmland.

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 […]

A Japan Eco-Adventure…On Bike!

Kosenji temple in Shikoku Japan

A Japan eco-adventure, cycling through the Shimanami Kaidooffers, offers the active eco-tourist a breathtaking experience.  [dropcap]F[/dropcap]ew countries can claim to have a relationship as close to nature as Japan does. While casual visitors to Tokyo and Kyoto may view an endless sea of concrete at first, they soon realize how Japanese citizens find ways to […]