What You Need to Know About Visiting Tam Wua Forest Monastery for Meditation 

Wat Pa Tam Wua Forest Monastery opens its gates to all who wish to come. As long as you can be in Thailand legally and get yourself to the monastery, you are welcome. And as long as you follow the rules, you’re welcome to stay for as long as you wish. But before I dive … Read more

Why I Spent New Year’s Eve in Silence at a Monastery

Tam Wua Forest Monastery

As the holiday season approached, I met more and more people on the road trying to figure out what to do for New Year’s Eve and asking other travelers for suggestions. I was no help to them though, as I had already decided to spend my New Year’s Eve in silence at Tam Wua Forest … Read more

The Monk on the River Kwai

On Dec. 28, 2014, an Air Asia flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore crashed into the Java Sea, killing all onboard. That same morning, we flew on an Air Asia flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap, and gasped when we got finally on Wi-Fi and saw news of the crash. First, disbelief. Then, thankfulness. And … Read more

The Mountain Across From North Korea

The Manchu people consider it the birthplace of Bukuri Yongson, the ancestor of the Jurchens and modern Manchus. The Korean people consider it the birthplace of Dan’gun, the legendary founder of Gojoseon, the first ever Korean kingdom. Changbaishan, literally perpetually white mountain, is a mountain range that sits on top of the border of China and North … Read more

In Search of Manchuria: Introducing “The Words of the Emperor”

Originally posted Wednesday, August 1, 2012 Formerly an official state language during the Qing Dynasty, China’s last imperial dynasty, the Manchu language is now on the verge of extinction. There are more than 10 million ethnic Manchus in China, yet fewer than 20 native speakers remain. Introducing…In Search of Manchuria For those who have followed … Read more

An Account From North Korea

North Korea account

Originally posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 I meant to write this post upon my return to the States, but alas, life can be a frenzy and other topics were so much easier to write about. But in light of recent reports of executions and staged accidents of North Korean officials and that of labor camps … Read more