All Asia Trips
Afghanistan. Bhutan. Bangladesh.
Borneo. Brunei. Cambodia. East Timor. Indonesia. Laos. Malaysia. Myanmar. Philippines. Singapore. Thailand. Vietnam.
Hong Kong. Taiwan. Tibet. Macau.
Japan. North Korea. South Korea.
Central and North Asia, includes Russian Asia
Western Asia: See Middle East
Recent Asia articles
- Exploring Myanmar’s Road To Mandalay by Riverboat - Rudyard Kipling wrote the words. Frank Sinatra sang them: “On the road to Mandalay Where the flying fishes play An’ the dawn comes up like thunder Out of China ‘cross the bay.” And I for five days lived them. The Ayeyerwady is the Road to Mandalay In 1852, Britain annexed the country they called Burma [...]
- Exploring the Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia by Bicycle - I’m covered in sweat. Sweat is pouring down my back under my t-shirt, and my hair is soaked. I don’t mind the sweat, because I’m looking at my favorite temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park so far: Ta Phrom. Unfortunately there are about a million other people looking at it with me. At least that [...]
- Sleeping like Monks in the Caves of Goreme in Cappadocia - As an independent traveler, it happens every so often: You find yourself walking beside a road in the middle of the desert, cars whizzing by you with little regard, no more than a bottle of water and a book in your bag. It was that way one afternoon in middle of Turkey as I made [...]
- Shopping at the Sunday Market in Chiang Mai, Thailand - Paper umbrellas, lanterns, cotton scarves, silk pillow covers, table mats, handbags, slippers, Thai spices, herbal remedies, handmade soaps, natural cosmetics, jewelry, Buddha statues, elephant statues, toys, silk ties, clothes, incense holders and incense sticks… I can’t think of many things that are not sold at the Sunday Market in Chiang Mai. Ratchadamnoen Road, one of [...]
- Ferrying to the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul - On the ferries to Princes’ Islands, I would always drink copious amounts of tea. Waiters with dangling trays roamed up and down the decks touting chai for less than a dollar, delivering a tear-drop Turkish tea cup on a little glass saucer, complete with spoon and paper-wrapped sugar cube. Usually, I’d buy a simit, a [...]
- Walking Istiklal Cadessi into the Heart of Istanbul - Standing at the corner of Taksim Square, I gaze into the multi-faceted soul of Istanbul: Istiklal Cadessi (Independence Avenue) is a wide pedestrian-only street that stretches about a mile and half, from Taksim Square to Galata Tower, and from about noon to beyond midnight any day of the week, it heaves with people. Before arriving [...]
- Hot-air Ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey - An hour before sunrise, a van pulled up to our cave hotel. I had had trouble sleeping that night so rather than pace around the well-appointed stone room, I sat outside appreciating a view so different that I knew I’d never see anything like it again. Millions of years of volcanic eruptions, along with wind and [...]
- Peering at Pandas in Chengdu, China - I suppose I could have gone to my local zoo and seen pandas there, but it’s not the same as actually seeing them in their native habitat, or at least, their native country. So Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center was on my list of must-sees. But my first sight of the creature was a [...]
- Soaking up the Unique Culture in the Chinese Public Baths - Before I went to China, I saw the Chinese movie, The Shower. In the film, the public baths were a place to forge friendships, unload your troubles and even play cards. Bathing was part of it — but only part. It piqued my interest. I thought maybe a visit to one might give me a little [...]
- Visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Security rule no. 6: “When getting lashes or electrification you must not cry at all.” A board on the courtyard lists 10 rules for the S-21. The facility, in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, was once a school. Between 1975 and 1979 it became the headquarters of the Khmer Rouge regime’s internal security police, and a [...]
- Learning about Cambodia’s History at the Choeung Ek Memorial (Killing Fields) - I hold it together until I see the Killing Tree, but then it’s impossible to stop the tears. The Killing Tree, as the sign next to it explains, is “the tree against which executioners beat children”. Previous visitors have attached colorful ribbons to the trunk to remember the babies and children who were smashed to [...]
- Standing Sentinel on the Great Wall, Badaling, China - The last of the fall color was about to disappear from the trees growing in the shelter of the Great Wall. “A really awful place to be a sentry in winter,” I said. My companion nodded. We were looking out from one of the many watch towers dotted along the Wall’s length. Behind us, the [...]
- Exploring the Historic City of Ayutthaya, Thailand, by Bicycle - As I park my bicycle next to a 7/11 and a collection of souvenir shops, I realize Ayutthaya is not going to be the step back in time I hoped it would be. It feels more like a history theme park. Before I came to Ayutthaya – the old capital of Thailand – I had [...]
- Learning the Art of Vietnamese Cooking from a Hanoi Celebrity Chef - They are EVERYwhere in Vietnam, from the largest city to the smallest village and even aboard tourist boats in Ha Long Bay. No, not T-shirt sellers. We’re talking cooking classes. This is THE thing to do in Vietnam and I sampled several. There was the well polished class in Hoi An … 15 people at [...]
- Tripping Around the Forbidden City, Beijing, China - “Careful,” my companion said, reaching out to catch me as, once more, I tripped over a high threshold. I had been gazing upwards at some of the roof decorations as we explored the Forbidden City and had forgotten yet again, to watch out for the twelve inch high thresholds across the many entrances to various parts of [...]
- Admiring Thailand’s Largest Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, Bangkok - My first thoughts, when I enter Wat Pho in Bangkok, are extremely non-spiritual. There are too many people. They all stand in my way. Despite big signs that ask visitors to “dress respectfully”, many Western women have decided to turn up at a Buddhist temple in hotpants. Bangkok is steaming and I’m sweaty and everything [...]
- Discovering Jewish History in Shanghai, China - The elegant three-story, white-columned Jewish Center surprises me with both its size and what it contains. Not only does it serve as a place of worship, but it also has a mikvah with a state-of-the-art Jacuzzi—pretty fancy for a ritual bath — a community center, and a gift shop. And the center’s Torah was donated [...]
- People Watching in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China - Who can forget the iconic image of the young man in 1989 defying the might of the Chinese army in the shape of a tank in Tiananmen Square? It’s a picture that was beamed around the world. So, of course, Tiananmen Square was one of our must-see sites in Beijing. Its name comes from the [...]
- Living Large at the Burj al Arab in Dubai - “Ah, not the elevator,” my friend said in the lobby of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel. “We will ride the submarine to the restaurant.” And indeed, we did. After entering a small capsule with bucket seats and fastening our seat belts, lights flickered, sirens screamed, dials trembled and we were pushed back by what truly [...]
- Road-Tripping to Remote and Quiet Pangong Lake, Ladakh, India - I’m feeling quite intrepid. I am sitting on the back of my boyfriend’s Royal Enfield motorbike and we have just crossed the third highest motorable mountain pass in the world, Chang La in India’s Ladakh. We are heading towards Pangong Tso, a salt water lake in east Ladakh at around 4350 meters (14 270 ft) [...]