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Riding the buses » Memorable moments

Underestimating San Francisco (and what lies beyond)

Underestimating San Francisco (and what lies beyond)

San Francisco is much more than a travel destination for someone who grew up in the 1960s as I did. Unfortunately I only realized that when I was on board the plane that was taking … Read entire article »

The orangutans of Borneo

The orangutans of Borneo

When I visited the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in Borneo earlier this year I was lucky to see several orangutans for there is no guarantee that they will show up, even if their feeding platforms are … Read entire article »

Visiting Garifuna villages on the coast of Honduras

Visiting Garifuna villages on the coast of Honduras

Honduras is a small country in Central America that is best known for its Bay Islands where foreign tourists scuba dive along the second longest coral reef in the world. I had the opportunity to … Read entire article »

A scooter on cobblestones in Bucerías, Mexico

A scooter on cobblestones in Bucerías, Mexico

Judith and Charlotte have travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. During the 1980s, Judith travelled for six months with her 14-year-old son and Charlotte took a year off work to travel … Read entire article »

How not to hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge

How not to hike the Tiger Leaping Gorge

The Tiger Leaping Gorge in northern Yunnan is considered to be one of China’s best hikes. Foreigners have been trekking it since the 1980s although few Chinese do. I was travelling on my own and … Read entire article »

The amazing journey of the Monarch Butterflies

The amazing journey of the Monarch Butterflies

High in the mountains of northeastern Michoacán, the Mexican Federal Government has created a sanctuary for monarch butterflies. The 160-sq-km reserve is the winter home of an estimated 100 million butterflies which migrate there each … Read entire article »

Sailing down the River Li, China

Sailing down the River Li, China

The Lijiang River (often called the River Li) starts in the Cat Mountain in Xing’an County and flows 437 km to the West River. The 83 km between the city of Guilin and the town … Read entire article »

The very doable Shanghai, China

The very doable Shanghai, China

It seems to me that just about everyone has heard about the remarkable effort China made in getting Beijing ready for the 2008 Olympics. Well, the country’s efforts for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai … Read entire article »

New York City with the girls

New York City with the girls

There is something intoxicating about New York City for it’s a place I return to time and again and always find something new to do and see. It’s a 24/7 city where you can grab … Read entire article »

Being a foodie at the cottage on Vancouver Island

Being a foodie at the cottage on Vancouver Island

Andrew and Erin Sunter rented a cottage on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada for a couple of weeks this summer. They enjoy cooking, which is one of their hobbies, and wanted to … Read entire article »

Travelling by tuk-tuk in Southeast Asia

Travelling by tuk-tuk in Southeast Asia

I took many, many tuk-tuks in Southeast Asia and they certainly weren’t just for tourists for that’s how most locals get about. There are tuk-tuks propelled by motor and others by cycle . I wasn’t … Read entire article »

Visiting the Tirtha Empul Temple during the full moon

Visiting the Tirtha Empul Temple during the full moon

What is Tirtha Empul? Tirtha Empul is one of the most important Hindu temples in Bali. It is in the village of Tampaksiring, about 18 km north of Ubud. In English it is called the Holy … Read entire article »

Why is my hair orange? Tales of a blond in Asia

Why is my hair orange? Tales of a blond in Asia

Me to fellow traveller: “My hair isn’t normally this colour.” Fellow traveller to me: “But it goes well with your eyes.” My hair turned orange in China in a hairdressing salon of a 4-star hotel. That was … Read entire article »

Should you “vote with your feet” and skip the Besakih Temple in Bali?

Should you “vote with your feet” and skip the Besakih Temple in Bali?

The Mother Temple of Bali may be the most important temple on the whole island but foreign visitors increasingly skip it because it’s not worth the hassle. “This place is run by gangsters, ” says … Read entire article »

“Will they bite me?” Visiting a Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali

“Will they bite me?” Visiting a Sacred Monkey Forest in Bali

Hanging out with monkeys is not my idea of fun for they can be quite aggravating and even a little scary. But they’re also cute, especially the babies. So when I found myself walking past … Read entire article »

“The Chinese people have stood up”: So says the National Museum of China

“The Chinese people have stood up”: So says the National Museum of China

The National Museum of China underwent a four-year reconstruction and expansion project and was officially opened March 1, 2012.  It is across from Tiananmen Square and from the second floor you can look down on … Read entire article »

The women who carry rocks on their heads

The women who carry rocks on their heads

I was staying at a B&B in the middle of a rice field on the edge of Ubud in Bali. It’s not far from one of the touristy streets but you can’t get to it … Read entire article »

A Buddhist wedding in Laos: Toss back the whiskey and dance

A Buddhist wedding in Laos: Toss back the whiskey and dance

I was in northeastern Laos and having one of those over-the-top travel days when my guide asked if I’d like to go to ‘a veden’ for lunch. He assured me it would cost nothing.  I … Read entire article »

Plain of Jars: Where giants partied and the US dropped their bombs

Plain of Jars: Where giants partied and the US dropped their bombs

The Plain of Jars has been called the most mysterious place in Laos. Visitors go there primarily to see huge jar-shaped stone vessels. What they are and how they got there is still in dispute. … Read entire article »

The Baci Ceremony: White threads, banana leaves and marigolds

The Baci Ceremony: White threads, banana leaves and marigolds

You often see banana leaves rolled into small cones and decorated with marigolds in Southeast Asia. They are sold at markets everywhere, at temples, and other sacred places. These banana leaf decorations are called makbeng … Read entire article »

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