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The Ordained Dton Yaang Naa Spirit Trees of Thailand

The first time I saw the Dton Yaang Naa trees I was transfixed. I was returning from a press trip to learn about the care of Elephants in the Kingdom of Thailand, when our van driver turned down Chiang Mai-Lamphun Road. Twin rows of behemoth trees flanked the narrow, twisting road as far…

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Artists from Around the World Sketch my Photo of a Traditional Penang Shophouse in Malaysia

Here’s something new and fun and (for me) very exciting. A few days ago I received an email from Leslie Parsons (@montrealsketcher), an artist from Montreal. “I have a strange request for you,” he said. “A popular urban sketcher from Malaysia found an image on Pinterest that he wanted all the other urban…

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The Cherry Tree Blossoms of Thailand

Most people have seen gorgeous photos of the cherry tree blossoms in Japan and Washington D.C. Far fewer have heard about the flowering cherry trees in Thailand. I was among the ignorant, until a year of not being able to travel internationally due to COVID-19 forced me to explore more of my adopted…

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Celebrating Makha Bucha Day in Chiang Mai, Thailand

It may have been nearly 14 months since I’ve been able to travel internationally, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting at home here in Chiang Mai. I’ve taken advantage of COVID travel restrictions to do something that’s long been on my to-do list: delve more deeply into Buddhism. Even though I embraced…

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A Fresh New Look for Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel

I’ve always heard it said that when I don’t know what to do, I should do nothing. Though it may sound simplistic, that idea has always worked for me, and the past year has been a prime example. I returned home to Chiang Mai, Thailand, from a trip to Antarctica, Argentina, Chile, and…

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Elephant Tourism – To Ride or Not to Ride, That is the Question

Not long ago, if anyone had asked me if I believe it is acceptable to ride elephants, my answer would have been a resounding “NO!” My point of view was challenged this past November, when the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) invited me on a press trip to learn more about the care…

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