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5 tips for leaving Bangkok with a smile

5 tips for leaving Bangkok with a smile

The Thai people refer to their capital as the “City of Angels” but for visitors it can be anything but angelic. It’s a mega-city. At mid-day it can be unbearably hot, particularity if you’re coming from a cooler climate. The script they use is nothing like our alphabet and the English spelling of streets can change as you walk along. Hardly anyone speaks English. Taxis might stop when you flag them down but are just … Read entire article »

Filed under: Great cities, Thailand, Travel itinerary

Jim Thompson’s house and garden, Bangkok, Thailand

Jim Thompson’s house and garden, Bangkok, Thailand

Down a narrow, nondescript Bangkok lane, the graceful red roofs of a traditional Thai residence rise above a lush tropical garden, in serene contrast to the city’s modern clamor all around. This is the home of an American named Jim Thompson, and it stands today as a continuing memorial to a remarkable man and to his love for Thailand’s rich culture. So reads the promotional description of the ‘house on the Klong’ that I stumbled upon … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardens of the world, Thailand

Photo gallery of Luang Prabang, Laos

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

The alms ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos

The alms ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos

Early every morning in much of Southeast Asia monks can be seen out on the roads collecting alms. This is an ancient, religious tradition and those who give alms earn merit for their next life. There is a town in the mountains of northern Laos where the alms gathering ceremony is simply spectacular because it involves almost 30 monasteries and several hundred monks. Luang Prabang is on the Mekong River about 425 km north of Vientiane. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Laos, Memorable moments, Spiritual travel, Travel itinerary

Thai festivals to plan your visit around

Thai festivals to plan your visit around

Thailand is well known for its festivals. Many involve making merit at Buddhist temples so it is an ideal time to get-thee-to-a-temple, fade into the background and be part of the Thai culture. Festivals can also be about elephants, lights, rockets, processions, boats, and fish. There is often much merry-making! These occasions can do wonders for your spirits, make your worries float away, bring you luck and prosperity, and even ensure a good crop. The date … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Thailand, Travel itinerary, Why travel

The spirit houses of Thailand

The spirit houses of Thailand

Outside virtually every house and building in Thailand there is a miniature structure that looks like a little temple or old style Thai house. This is where the spirits that inhabit that particular plot of land live and it provides a comfortable shelter for spirits who might otherwise live in the heavens. The structure may include statutes, figures of animals or people, a platform for incense, candles and vases of flowers, even for bottles of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Memorable moments, Spiritual travel, Thailand, Travel itinerary

Why backpackers are dying in Vang Vieng, Laos

Why backpackers are dying in Vang Vieng, Laos

A 19-year old Australian tourist went missing while tubing down the Xong River on January 23 and it took three days for his body to be found in the deep part of the river. His name was Daniel Eimutis and he was on holiday in Vang Vieng, Laos with six of his friends. Earlier last month another young Australian died after jumping from a platform into the same river. These were not freak accidents for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure travel, Laos, Travel itinerary

These are not your typical Thais

These are not your typical Thais

The word “Thai” means free and Thailand stands for the “land of the free”. The country was only named that in 1949 and it was previously known as Siam. About 95% of Thais are Buddhists and Buddhism plays a very significant role in their daily lives. Very few people in Thailand speak English, even those who work in tourism. There is a push by the government to change that before the Asean Economic Community is formed … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Memorable moments, Thailand, Travel itinerary

Monk spotting photo gallery

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips