Kōfuku-ji

Kofuku-ji, Dosojin

The walk from the station is short, but filled with distractions.  The smell of yakitori skewers emanates from a non-descript doorway.  As you continue to walk up the shopping street, your nose begins to detect another aroma that draws you in.  The famous local curry shop Wakakusa provides you with a delicious spinach curry that […]

White Horse Temple

White Horse Temple, Entrance Gate

The dusty city of Luoyang in China’s Henan Province does little to inspire a sense of history at first glance.  The functional grim architecture is very much of the new China.  The hastily constructed blocks appear hazy in the dust cloud that penetrates the crevices of this industrial city.  First impressions can be deceptive and […]

Kinkaku-ji

Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion on the Mirror Pond

Clutching your bus day ticket, you clamber aboard the busy Kyoto bus that pulls up in front of you.  Finding a seat, you keep one eye on the LED display at the front of the vehicle and one on the route map.  The efficient and punctual service takes you on a meandering tour through the […]

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas 101

Sakyamuni, Phra That Nong Khai, Nong Khai cover

Navigating the various Buddhas and bodhisattvas can be a very confusing task.  Every temple can seem filled with overwhelming imagery.  With a little knowledge, a visit to a Buddhist temple can be a rich and fulfilling experience that takes you through the heart of Buddhist philosophy.  Each school of Buddhism has its own venerated figures, […]

Shitenno-ji

Shitenno-ji Garan with Kon-do and Pagoda

The chilly late-morning air of Dotonbori cuts through your heavy winter jacket.  The smell of grilling king crab legs keeps your spirits up as you stumble through the promised land of fried Osakan cuisine.  Takoyaki vendors call you to their octopus caricature decorated stalls with persuasive pitches.  Huge neon signs that are famous throughout Asia […]

Hồ Trúc Bạch

Chua Tran Quoc

Your xe ôm (motorbike taxi) flies through the ancient streets of the Old Quarter passing hawkers trying to pass off nylon as silk.  The narrow streets are disorienting and you feel like you have been taken up in a whirlwind.  Breaking through to a more open space you approach a large body of water.  To […]

Kek Lok Si

Pagoda and Pavilion of the Seated Buddhas

Your journey from the KOMTAR tower in central George Town is relatively uneventful.  The clean efficient Malaysian bus sets a benchmark that all future public buses you take will fail to equal.  The  sleek modern bus glides effortlessly along the spotless smooth roads.  Arriving at the suburban town of Air Itam, you are surrounded by Chinese […]

Temple of the Chief Minister

Daxiong Baodian

Walking amid the smells of freshly baked nang bread in the ancient city of Kaifeng, it is hard to imagine that it was once the capital of China.  Its newly refitted city walls enclose the hustle and bustle of the old city that was oddly positioned on an almost indefensible piece of land.  The city […]