Sculpting Buddha – A Meditative Exercise in Laos

On a shady street on which we regularly strolled during our stay in Luang Prabang, Laos, we watched a sculptor as he gradually turned rustic concrete into the smooth likeness of Buddha. I wonder what the man pondered on those quiet afternoons — as he was overlooked by other Buddhist figures in progress — inContinue reading “Sculpting Buddha – A Meditative Exercise in Laos”

Scenes from Vietnam’s Markets

The stalls and baskets of Vietnam’s traditional markets overflow with a colorful spectrum of tempting produce: spiky green durian fruit, porcupine-like pink rambutans, chubby carrots, and spring-green onions that could inflict tickling torture. Ladies clad in nón lá hats share the new day’s gossip while selling mountains of rice paper, slabs of tofu, live chickens, flowers and herbs.

Photo du Jour: Golden Smiles in Luang Prabang, Laos

A pair of Buddha statues soak up golden-hour sunshine at Wat Xieng Thong. This shimmering and magnificent temple is located in the Laotian city of Luang Prabang. It dates back to the 16th century.

Khmer Architecture in the Shadows of Angkor Wat

In Angkor Wat’s shadows, this pagoda is likely overshadowed by her formidable neighbor. But the pagoda’s stupas, Khmer painting, and intricate facial details are lovely – situated on a compound just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Basket Boats, Chinese Fishing Nets & Non La Hats: A Thu Bon River Boat Ride From Hoi An, Vietnam

Along Hoi An, Vietnam’s riverside, numerous boat owners offer to rent their wooden vessels for journeys of an hour or more. Since Hoi An’s coastal position afforded it such a great trading fortune in centuries past, we were eager to explore the Mekong’s waters by boat. With a rate negotiated, we hopped onto the watercraft. TheContinue reading “Basket Boats, Chinese Fishing Nets & Non La Hats: A Thu Bon River Boat Ride From Hoi An, Vietnam”

Photo Du Jour: Street Art For Sale in Luang Prabang

With vivid strokes and vibrant hues, artists depict Buddha, saffron-clad monks, and shimmering banyan trees on delicate paper. This artwork can be found in Luang Prabang’s night market, as well as at stands set up along the town’s brick sidewalks. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the paper as it’s being made, drying in theContinue reading “Photo Du Jour: Street Art For Sale in Luang Prabang”

Stairway to Heaven: Hiking Through the Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines

Ifugao tribesman carved the Batad Rice Terraces out of the Cordillera Mountains more than 2,000 years ago. Often cloaked in a mysterious fog, these magnificent rice paddies are located on the Philippine island of Luzon, about 470 km (290 miles) from Manila. Thanks to their grand scale and their amphitheater-like appearance, the terraces have beenContinue reading “Stairway to Heaven: Hiking Through the Batad Rice Terraces in the Philippines”

Photo Du Jour: A Girl Riding a Tricycle in Banaue, the Philippines

In the small town of Banaue, which is perched high in the Cordillera Mountains overlooking 2,000 year-old-rice terraces, a young girl rides on the back of a tricycle. Tricycles are a popular form of public transportation in the Philippines. They’re the equivalent of a tuktuk (Thailand) or rickshaw (India).