Heed the warnings on Koh Jum

Welcome to the Jungle. And, Yes, That IS a Scorpion.

To a certain (semi-large) sector of my friends, I’ve been coined the Fresh Air Fund Kid, an allusion to the program that sends city kids out to the boonies for a few days to get their nature on, and I’m any indicator, return to the city happily aware of how […]

Longtail boats, Koh Mook

Thai Island Hopping Heaven

Does life get much sweeter than hopping longtail boats among Thailand’s perfect Andaman Coast islands? Um, that’s a rhetorical question. Answer: NO. It absolutely does not. Here’s why: 1. The view from your beach blanket, more often than not, looks quite a bit like this: 2. Once you’re happily ensconced […]

Phallic offerings, Princess Cave, Railay Beach

Large Phalluses Are Always Welcome

It’s one of my favorite lines of one of my favorite TV shows, HBO’s “Rome.” Atia of the Julii sends a gift to placate her arch-nemesis, Servilia: a large African slave with a pink ribbon tied around his, er, well-endowed man parts. Her daughter looks at her dubiously and asks […]

Railay Beach West

Yes, Belinda Carlisle, Heaven Is a Place On Earth

The list of superlatives that could describe Railay Beach, Thailand hardly do its stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty justice. I’ve got to admit, after the unforgettable Maldives, it’s hard to be overwhelmed by even the loveliest beaches. So many are truly gorgeous, like Koh Kong, Cambodia, but few will be as pristine and […]

Stormy days on Koh Samui, Thailand

I Ain’t Afraid of a Big, Bad Monsoon!

I blissfully began my stay in the lovely isle of Koh Samui, Thailand by basking in a few hours of perfect sun. But alas, my cheery reverie would shortly be followed by a 3-day stretch of intermittent torrential rains — the kind with thunder claps that make you leap out of bed […]

i'm happy to report, Ronald McDonald still gives a cheery "wai"

Bangkok, City of Frowns?

Why is it that almost universally, as you head south in a country, the vibe becomes more mellow, the people generally more friendly? At least that’s been my experience at home in the States, in India, across various European countries, in Vietnam, and now I’m desperately hoping, in Thailand. I […]

The intricate carvings of Banteay Srei

Temple-palooza: Seeing Beyond Angkor Wat

Few things in my life will ever be as mesmerizing as the temples around Angkor. My greatest surprise was that Angkor Wat, itself, did not meet my rather high expectations. Sure it’s huge and an extraordinary feat of architecture, but personally, I found the real magic of the temples to […]

The Orphanage

The Orphanage

Plotting my RTW trip has admittedly been purely selfish; I get to go, see and do what I want – and I’m lucky for it. There’s solid chance that trend would have carried on were it not for my new friend Jeanne, whom we met while in Phnom Penh. While […]

The perfect beach at Koh Kong Island, Cambodia, which remains undeveloped..

Photographic Evidence: Why I Left It All Behind

To be fair, this postcard-worthy deserted beach on Koh Kong Island off the coast of Cambodia isn’t specifically the first and only reason why “I left it all behind” to travel to globe – but it certainly counts for something. Seriously, I left to explore, to be changed and learn […]

Phnom Penh's Royal Palace

Cambodia, Part I: Phnom Penh

Spending a few days in steamy Phnom Penh gave me the chance to settle and explore a city I imagined I would like, but really started to love. The architecture is gorgeous and otherworldly – the rooftop peaks and curling spires of temples and pagodas and palaces are decorated with […]

Blow Skin Chicken: When Dinner Turns … Sculpture

Blow Skin Chicken: When Dinner Turns … Sculpture

It’s not appropriate, no. But it is gosh darn delicious. Seen above are the bony remnants of a “blow skin chicken” dinner. According to American expat, food writer and new friend, Richard Sterling, the cook actually blows air (yes, from his mouth – sadly more details are fuzzy) between chicken […]

U.S. Air Force Plane displayed at the War Remnants Museum

My Vietnam Travels in the Post-War Era

I think it’s impossible – at least I hope it is – to be an American traveling through Vietnam and not be periodically overwhelmed with the thoughts, sorrows, guilt, tears, imagined horrors and ultimate futility of the Vietnam War, or as it’s called here, the American War. There are moments […]