I packed my luggage to Singapore for a yin yoga teacher training for 6 days. During my stay, day time is all occupied by training. Night time is the only chance to see the city. I gotta make the most out of it. Food Our training is located near the Orchard Road MRT station, where the magnificent malls and speciality shops stand with pride. Singapore is a mouthwatering gourmet country. The food here is a mix of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian spices. In recent years, healthy ve
After traveling to quite a few places in Asia, if you were to ask me where I would choose to live in Asia outside of Japan, my answer would be Penang. We came here knowing nothing about this island but so glad that we found this gem! There are way too many good reasons to fall in love with Penang. It is diverse, cosmopolitan, and exciting! It embraces modernity while retaining its traditions. Its foods are phenomenal and its nature is abundant and easy to reach. George town i
Malaysia was not on our list when we set off for our journey. We decided to add it on only because it’s got the cheapest flights connecting to India. Surprisingly though, I felt in love with it badly mainly because of Penang.
Langkawi is a little island near Penang, we came here anticipating a few days chilling on the beaches.
Once we got here, I realized that it’s not the kind of island I expected. It doesn’t have the soft white sand beaches like Koh Tao. It lacks the
What’s a better way to travel than having a local good friend showing you around their town. Three years of friendship in Kyoto, now it’s our turn to see Wen’s country, Indonesia. Wen studies arts in Solo. It’s surreal to see him here. It seems like we get to know our friend on a deeper level. Like an onion’s first layer being peeled off. At the same time, he leads us deeper down to the local’s life, penetrating the superficial tourist layer. Wen introduces us to his friends,
After Bali, our next destination is Yogyakarta on Java in Indonesia. Yogyakarta, in short Jogya is the cradle of civilization on the Java island. It used to be the centre of ancient Mataram Kingdom, nowadays, a hub of art and education. We came here mainly to see Borobudur, the biggest Buddhist temple in the world.
From Bali to Jogya is quite a shift in terms of culture and religion. In Bali, Balinese Hinduism is the main religion. Whereas in Jogya, Islamic garbs worn by wo
We had the chance to see a very unique side of Bali during our stay. It wasn’t in the plan, but just happened that an important event fell on one of the days we were here.
Ngaben, a cremation ceremony in Balinese Hinduism only happens once every three years, according to the locals. It’s a funeral ritual that sends the deceased to the next life or even moksha, free from the cycle of reincarnation. Preparations started long before the event. In the villages, people built lem
Bali, the magical and the most famous island in Indonesia that attracts millions of people to come visit every year. The charm of this island is not only limited to its beaches, its lush green rice terraces, unique culture, mountains, Bali has everything to offer nature lovers. It is also a paradise for yogis around the world to come for retreats, teacher trainings or just a few days to relax their body and mind. I haven’t showered for 3 days already before arriving. After My
An Unexpected Yoga Class in Yangon After a 14-hour night bus ride we arrived in Yangon from Inle Lake in the early morning. Today is our last day in Myanmar. We went straight to Bandoola Park just to chill out before we head to the airport. This park is in the center of the city near Sula Pagoda, right across the city hall. Every morning, throngs of local people gather to do their exercise here.
This place has its political significance. In 2007, protests against the natio
(Continued from my last post on Inle Lake)
Our boat took us far to the second lake in the area. Our driver dropped us off at the bank of the lake and we had about 1 hour of free time to explore the villages.
Most of the travelers don’t go as far as the second lake, so we were the only visitors in this quiet village. We roam around aimlessly, saw some small temples and some kids playing soccer. When we were about to turn around and go back to the boat we heard some kids’
We booked a boat for a day to see Inle Lake from sunrise to sunset. We paid a bit more and told the boat driver to skip all the touristy shops and just lead us to the nature.
Before dawn we departed. Thick clouds above us covered the sky. As the sun slowly climbed up behind the mountains and extruded its first rays of sunshine, the surface of the lake started to shimmer with tremulous light. The clouds were getting thinner. Replaced by the blue sky. On the bank of the lake,
“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.” --Albert Einstein
If I ever have kids one day, there are four qualities I would really want to teach them. Curiosity, kindness, concentration, and perseverance. I believe the lather three can be cultivated to gain more. Only curiosity is something we have to try hard not to lose as we age. Kids possess such strong curiosity because th
How should I describe Bagan? You have to see it to believe it, words and pictures don't do this place any justice. I love the rich history and captivating details of Angkor, but Bagan is something different. Standing on top of one of the many bigger temples and overlooking 2200 temples stretched out in all directions in 40 square miles, at the edges of the horizon, temples connecting with the mountains and the sky. As you breathe, you realize you’re in tune with the vibration
The first six countries we have been to so far are not completely new to me. I’ve been to all of them at least once before this trip. But starting from Myanmar, I’ll be stepping into the unknown foreign lands. I’m so thrilled for what lies ahead, and it feels like my adventure has just begun.
I’ve wanted to visit Burma for a long time. Since I was a teenager, Aung San Suu Kyi had been my role model and I had longed to see the country described in her books.
Yangon is our
Chiangmai is like the Kyoto of Thailand, surrounded by mountains, it's in a windless basin. Heat gets trapped and it feels like an oven in the summer days. The monsoon rains come unexpectedly, washing this temple-filled ancient capital city. It's my second time in Chiangmai. The first time I came here 9 years ago for a 10-day vipassana course at Wat Rampeng at the end of my backpacking trip. It taught me to always remember to continue the journey within. No matter what our jo
The sleeper train took us on a 12-hour journey from Ayutthaya to Chiang Mai. The journey was really pleasant, especially when there was a super humorous car attendant. We were looking for a pure land in the Northern Thailand and found Mon Cham on a hill ridge of Mae Rim!
It’s a less discovered area with very few tourists. We left the hotel at 6am, rode a motorbike all the way up to the top of the mountain, and saw this amazing camping site & cafe that overlooks spectacular
The red peacock flowers bloom passionately, decorating the blue sky and the earth in the hot summer months in northern Thailand. We took a local train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam to see the brick-ruins of hundreds of temples and palaces. We explored the city on bicycle for two days, imagining what the empires must have looked at its zenith hundreds of years ago. One of the highlights was the sandstone buddha head embedded in the tree roots. I’ve see
Ko Tao is a cutie island in the southern Thailand that is synonymous with diving. You don't need a second reason to come here. It has many diving schools packed on the island which means high quality and very cheap courses. I've dreamed about exploring the biodiversity of the seas first hand and to meet colorful marine creatures. My fairytale started very romantically. I thought I was in Europe the moment I got here. With Asian faces we look like a minority. Caucasian and Lat
There has been so much changes since I came here 9 years ago. Muddy and bumpy roads are now replaced by wide concrete streets. Many new hotels including five-star resorts opened their doors to welcome guests from abroad. At night, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from on Pub Street, all the menus are in English and prices quoted in US dollars. I see significantly less people with missing limbs begging for money this time. No more red signs warning about the
Apsaras are female dancing deities created by gods and demons as they successfully churned the milky sea. They are all over the Angkor ruins, Check out their beautiful crowns and jewelry. All of the apsaras were carved differently by ancient skillful artisans. They only wear a piece of silky sampot, leaving their full and elegant upper body bare. Some of them are holding a lotus flower, some of them hold fingers in kurana mudra. I heard that out of the about 1700 apsaras ther
Ta Prohm is another very unique temple at Angkor, built in 1186 by Jayavarman Ⅶ in honor of his mother. The whole area of Angkor had been abandoned for hundreds of years, when it was rediscovered in the 19th century, all the temples had been swallowed by jungles. It’s still taking a lot of efforts to restore the architectures, Cambodia can not do it alone. Many countries are helping out with the restoration work at angkor. Each country would choose one temple and join force w