Avignon

img_2960.jpg © 2016 . All rights reserved.

Despite the French rail strike, I managed to arrive in Avignon, France, in good time from Annecy today.  The Palace of the Popes (above) is the main landmark of Avignon and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was home to … Continue reading

Invader

img_2986.jpg © 2016 . All rights reserved.

I’ve noticed a few pieces around Avignon by French urban artist Invader. I’m sure there are many more! 

Cocktail revolution

img_2425.jpg © 2016 . All rights reserved.

On a recent long weekend in Santa Monica with the Ya-ya’s, a delicious vibation was discovered… The margarita verde at The Water Grill.  I’m having a lot of these encounters lately. Creative, unheard of, scrumptious cocktails in great locales. I … Continue reading

Kean

My tuk-tuk driver for Siem Reap, Kean. © 2012 . All rights reserved.

My time in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is coming to an end so I wanted to give a shout out to my super awesome tuk-tuk driver, Kean! A hard worker, all business, always on time and a very nice young man. … Continue reading

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei © 2012 . All rights reserved.

One of the last temples I visited, and one of the most admired by Angkor historians, is Banteay Srei. As of April 22, 2012, this site is 1,045 years old. It is small compared to other temples, but almost every … Continue reading

Day Off

wpid-Photo-May-14-2012-015.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Climbing around Angkor is pretty tiring. I am lucky enough to have some time off between exploring. Here are some non-temple shots.  Above is my hotel’s pool. It’s really getting in to low season around here. You can easily have it … Continue reading

Angkor, Day 2

wpid-Photo-May-14-2012-1739.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Morning at the south entrance to Angkor Thom. Another representation of the myth The Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Some of the deva heads (here) and the aspara heads on the other side have been restored.   Some of … Continue reading

Angkor, Day 1

wpid-Photo-May-12-2012-1927.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

I’ve landed in Siem Reap, Cambodia and begun my exploration of the ruins of Angkor. This was the center of the Khmer civilization during the 9th-15th centuries and there are hundreds of temple and city sites in this region. At … Continue reading

Cambodia…

Phnom Penh - palace © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Cambodia is a country with a powerful history. For centuries it was a reigning powerhouse of Asia, seeing the leadership of many popular kings and the creation of Angkor Wat and surrounding sites. The Angkor period would likely rival any … Continue reading

Phnom Penh

phnom penh © 2012 . All rights reserved.

I arrived in the capital city of Cambodia just after an afternoon downpour. Again, I’m grateful since it brings the temperature down a few degrees! A $7 US tuk-tuk ride got me to my hotel, The Blue Lime. A few … Continue reading

Saigon

wpid-Photo-May-7-2012-2141.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Officially it’s Ho Chi Minh City but most everyone still calls it Saigon. The heart of the city is more international and modern than Hanoi, while still keeping grounded in lots of Vietnam flavor. I was impressed with Saigon’s green … Continue reading

Full Moon in Hoi An

wpid-Photo-May-4-2012-636.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Lucky me, I arrived in Hoi An, Vietnam on Friday, May 4. It was a full moon and Hoi An’s monthly Legendary Night celebration. It’s like a street festival with vendors and food, entertainment in the square, lots of candles … Continue reading

Ha Long Bay

wpid-Photo-May-1-2012-1801.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

I knew a cruise through Ha Long Bay would be one of the highlights of my trip. But I wasn’t prepared for the magnitude of the beauty and magic of this place. There are dozens of junk (an ancient Chinese … Continue reading

Ah, wats…

wpid-Photo-Apr-23-2012-1636.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

As I make my way through Vietnam, I have to admit I am missing the beautiful and diverse wats I saw in Thailand. Buddhism in Thailand is pretty “user friendly”. I’m still getting a grasp on the spirituality of the … Continue reading

Hanoi Comes Alive

wpid-Photo-Apr-27-2012-1948.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Hanoi, Vietnam, my next world capital… This is one unreal place. And I thought Bangkok was pumping! To be fair, I am staying in the Old Quarter, which is overrun with motorbikes and everything and everyone spilled out onto every … Continue reading

Local Eats

wpid-Photo-Apr-24-2012-1632.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

I’ve been enjoying pad see ew for breakfast. How lucky am I?   Another delicious fruit here is the mangosteen. Amazing!!   A classic Thai dessert is mango with sticky rice. I have also had it on the side at … Continue reading

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang16 © 2012 . All rights reserved.

This wat is larger than most and features one of Chiang Mai’s tallest landmarks. This is the largest chedi I have seen here. It has been partially destroyed over hundreds of years due to earthquakes. There is one area they … Continue reading

Wat 101

wpid-Photo-Apr-23-2012-1627.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

  If you would like to know more detail, here is a nice explanation of a wat from the website asiatours.net. I find them extremely similar to visiting chapels in Italy, Spain or France. Except instead of Jesus, it is … Continue reading

Around Town

wpid-Photo-Apr-20-2012-259.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

The local Wats (temple sites) are quite photogenic and there is no shortage of opportunity – the Chiang Mai area alone has around 200 of them. I will post highlights from those soon. But here are some random shots from … Continue reading

Bangkok, continued

wpid-Photo-Apr-19-2012-1859.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Some additional shots from Bangkok… The reclining Buddha at Wat Pho – for scale, see the people in the lower right corner. He is quite breathtaking in person! Close up of Buddha’s spiral footprint Close up of mother-of-pearl inlay on … Continue reading

Cooking Class

wpid-Photo-Apr-23-2012-000.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Baan Thai Cookery School, Chiang Mai, Thailand. For about $30, the class runs from 9a-3p with an hour break 1-2. You make five dishes and the class begins with a short tour of the market and the ingredients you will … Continue reading

Sunday Market

wpid-Photo-Apr-22-2012-428.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Imagine the biggest street fair of the year in your town. It’s probably once a year, right? In Chiang Mai they put one on EVERY Sunday. And it’s not even the only one. There are other night markets and bazaars … Continue reading

Whew!

wpid-Photo-Apr-21-2012-1751.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

I’m up north in Chiang Mai, Thailand now and I’ve taken so many photos and have so much to share! I have only been on this trip for five days and my mind is blown already. I will have many … Continue reading

Hello, Bangkok

20120420-141644.jpg © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Bangkok: 12 million people with someplace to be. It’s a city on the move and every last square foot is spoken for by someone making their living. Intimidating at first but once I started making my way around- not bad … Continue reading