Asia: home of ancient civilizations, tropical jungles, and the tallest mountains on Earth. Travels in Asia are a sensory barrage, the aroma of spice markets, the brilliant colors of clothing, the cacophony of some of the most crowded cities in the world.

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Asia: The Bucket List

Gobi Desert Camels (Roberta Sotonoff)

Wandering Mongolia’s Gobi Desert

It’s a little over a one-hour flight south from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad, the gateway to the Gobi Desert. For centuries, nomadic tribes, along with their goats, chickens and gers (foldable circular tents or yurts) roamed this desert by foot, horse or camel. I do the same in an air-conditioned four-wheel-drive ...
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The construction of the Taj Mahal in the 17-th century took 22 years (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Connecting with the White Marble of the Taj Mahal

  The grand finale of my trip to India is neither a massive fort nor a sumptuous palace,  it's a mausoleum: the Taj Mahal. For some of the Indian celebrities interviewed on the occasion of its 350th anniversary (in 2004) the love story was the essence; for others it was the harmonious architecture; ...
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The view from the Burj Khalifa

Scraping the Sky at the Burj Khalifa, Dubai

I lean against the wall of silvered mirror tiles and watch as the doors close, then wait for that lurch of my stomach as the elevator begins its long journey. But surprisingly, it doesn’t come. It’s a smooth ride, the only indication that we are travelling swiftly upwards is the ...
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Where the Tooth Relic is kept. (Roberta Sotonoff)

Attending the Perahera Festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Tammattam drums throb in the distance. The steady boom, boom, boom of these small-sized, kettle-like drums grow louder. Their rhythm is almost hypnotic. Then comes the sound of cracking whips. A troupe snaps them to the drum beats. For the next four hours, I am dazzled by what passes before me ...
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Players and caddies ride on a golf cart at Nirwana Bali (Photo credit: MCArnott)

Teeing-off over Rice Paddies at Nirwana Golf Club in Bali, Indonesia

She briefly scouts the fairway and points to my ball, in a narrow ditch along a rice paddy. All eyes are on me as I give it my best shot. When a splash of mud squirts in all directions including mine, I am miffed. Yet, my caddy smiles and my ...
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Myanmar Road to Mandalay Shwe Kyet Yet jetty

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 and readily ...
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