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7 of the World’s Best

7 of the World’s Best

Best Hikes Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Spain Inca Trail, Peru West Coast Trail, Canada Nijmegen March, Netherlands Dogon Country, Mali Tiger Leaping Gorge, China Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, Canada Best Gardens Les Quatre Vents, Canada Great Dixter, England Sissinghurst Castle, England Barnsley House, England The Humble Administrator’s Garden, China The Garden of Ninfa, Italy Royal Botanic Gardens, Sri Lanka Spiritual journeys The Ganges, Varanasi, India The Golden Temple, Amritsar, India Cultural Triangle, Sri Lanka Angkor Temples, Cambodia Bali New Year, Indonesia All Saints Day, Todos Santos, Guatemala Alms ceremony, Luang Prabang, Laos Wildlife adventures Penguins (and icebergs), Antarctica 30 bears, … Read entire article »

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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 Spring Water Temple. About 90% of the Balinese population is Hindu and there are countless temples and shrines on the island but this one is particularly special because of its water.   What’s so special about water? In Hindu rituals, water is important … Read entire article »

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

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

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

Monk spotting in Thailand

Monk spotting in Thailand

Where most men spend at least a short time in the robes I had just arrived in Thailand and in fact was leaving the Bangkok airport when I spotted my first Buddhist monk. He was dressed in a saffron robe with simple sandals on his feet. But he was pulling a suitcase-on-wheels and heading towards the taxi stand just like me. A little too urban, I thought. A few hours later, in the historical Bangkok district of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Spiritual travel, Thailand, Travel itinerary

Spiritual Journeys

Spiritual Journeys

Editorial: A pilgrimage is described as a journey to a site that has special spiritual powers or significance. The person who makes the journey is called a pilgrim. India is known for its pilgrimage sites and Hindus are encouraged to visit them during their lifetime. One Christian pilgrimage is the shrine of the Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and the most important Muslim pilgrimage is, of course, to Mecca. For those of us who are not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editorials, Spiritual travel