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Tag: culture

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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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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Visiting Armenia, An Unexpectedly Delightful Experience

They say timing is everything. Certainly, timing was my main consideration when visiting Armenia. Truthfully, the three countries that make up the Caucasus region in far eastern Europe were on my radar for one reason. I’d read several stories by travel writers who were totally smitten by the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, but…

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Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia, Dwarfed by Mount Ararat

Khor Virap. The name refers to the famous monastery in Armenia that is the number one pilgrimage site in the country. But the name has a deeper, hidden meaning. The church stands on a low hillock, built over a deep vault carved out of solid rock. Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned within…

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