The sound of chimes ushered me in, as if on cue, as I approached my first temple in Bagan. I hesitate a bit, unsure if I was even allowed to go inside; there were hardly any other people around. I take a step forward. Then another. I take off my slippers and walk into the brick arch that revealed the temple of Sulamani. If this was a movie, there would be a gust of wind and a grinning shaman, bathing in heavenly light, waitingon the other side to bestow on me eternal wisdom. But there was no shaman, only a small family on their way out. There was still a hint of mystery in the air, nonetheless. Continue reading “A Pagoda Safari in Bagan”
As my very witty friend aptly put it, “How can it be 9 pm? I swear it was just April 2 nights ago!” Almost three quarters of the year is done, and the -ber months are on their way. Pretty soon, we’ll be wrapped again in Christmas carol melodies and the mad rush of bargain gift shopping. But before we snuggle up in our warmer … Continue reading Springtime in Kansai: The Vid
I impulse-booked my ticket to Taipei based on street food alone; I’ve heard the chow was phenomenal. That being said, I didn’t have much of a plan when I landed in Taipei, aside from the Lantern festivities in Pingxi on the coming Sunday. Happily, Taipei was a fun place to play it by ear.
My adventure started on an early Friday morning. Our plane touched down on the break of dawn, and with the Taipei transport being very easy to figure out, I arrived way ahead of everyone in the hostel, including the receptionist. It was a good thing that the Bangka district was precisely where you’d want to be if you’re killing time in the morn. I strolled through the alleys behind our hostel, where the wet market was slowly coming to life. Colorful meat balls and vegetables decked the tables to tempt you to brew a hotpot. Butchers went about carving out whole carcasses of pork, while live chickens clucked away, perhaps in mourning for their fallen comrades, undressed and hawked on display. Continue reading “Taipei Day 1: A Time to Be Bright, and a Time to Get Steamy”
Just when I thought I was getting savvy with flinging myself off to new, strange places, China happened.
This trip was supposed to be a solo jaunt, but I don’t think it would have been quite the same experience if seven of my pals didn’t sign up for an adventure in the Orient as well. There were more than enough bloopers and good times to go around, after all! Continue reading “Lessons in Mandarin”