Expat Life – Back in Chiang Mai

Expat Life – Back in Chiang Mai

  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to move to another country? To be an expat in a foreign land? For six months I had a sampling of what that’s like in Thailand. It’s easier than you might think. At first, it can seem really foreign, different language, even different alphabets…     different foods…     different religions, and different customs.     For someone like me, who finds all of these differences fascinating, it’s...

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Arashiyama: Bamboo Groves & Zen Dreams

Arashiyama: Bamboo Groves & Zen Dreams

On the outskirts of Kyoto lies a place of amazing beauty, a place so green and silent it speaks to your heart and soul…at least before or after the hordes of tourists pour through… According to Wikipedia, Arashiyama is a nationally-designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty, and deservedly so. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere. There’s a hush in the place, a special feeling, that is hard to put into...

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Kyoto – Temples and Geishas

Kyoto – Temples and Geishas

Kyoto is a city of contrasts – modern buildings and very old temples, the latest fashions and traditional kimonos. It’s the kind of place I envision when I think of Japan. My first morning in Kyoto, I navigated the train system to get to Fushimi Inari, the temple of 10,000 gates (which should also be called the temple of a million steps!). It sits at the base of a mountain with thousands of giant red gates all in a long row snaking...

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42 Ways to Tell You’re in Tokyo

42 Ways to Tell You’re in Tokyo

1) The trains look like they came out of Star Trek 2) The traffic looks like a crazy giant video game 3) There are whole malls full of video games 4) You’re the only non-Asian on the train 5) The floors are covered with tatami mats and you’re sleeping on a futon on the floor 6) There are lots of rules about when you wear shoes vs slippers vs special bathroom slippers 7) Chop sticks are the norm 8) People walk around outside in kimonos and face...

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Temples, Tribes & the Golden Triangle

Temples, Tribes & the Golden Triangle

North of Chang Mai in Thailand is the city of Chang Rai and the famous White Temple, and nearby, several different Hill Tribes make their homes. A little further north, is the Golden Triangle, which makes for a very full but fun and interesting day. First, on your way, stop by the hot springs, where you can buy and boil eggs (quail or chicken) in the steaming water… Then head to the White Temple, which rises like a sparkling white sugar...

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