Notes from Home: A Window to the World

May 6, 2024Notes from Home

“From airplanes we occasionally look up and are briefly held by the stars or the firmament of blue. But mostly we look down, caught by the sudden gravity of what we’ve left, and by thoughts of reunion, drifting like clouds over the half-bright world.” ~Mark Vanhoenacker, Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot The first time I … Read More

Getting Sick While Traveling: Taking A Break in Bangkok

January 25, 2024Thailand

I really wanted to see the Buddha face hidden in ancient tree roots. We had just returned to Bangkok from Angkor Wat and were settling in at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel for the final two nights of our travels. The following morning we would be heading out on a private tour to Ayutthaya, the … Read More

Angkor Wat Day 2: Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm Temple & A Bonus Tour

January 22, 2024Cambodia

It’s 8 a.m. on our second day in Angkor Wat, and our tour guide Salon is adjusting our itinerary. “We are supposed to visit Angkor Thom first,” he tells us, “but I’d rather start at Ta Prohm. This is a very special temple, and if we go early, we’ll avoid the crowds. Everyone seems to … Read More

Angkor Wat: Exploring Cambodia’s Magnificent Ancient Temple

January 21, 2024Cambodia

“At [Angkor], there are ruins of such grandeur that, at the first view, one is filled with profound admiration, and cannot but ask what has become of this powerful race, so civilised, so enlightened, the authors of these gigantic works?” ~Henri Mouhot, French naturalist & explorer who first documented Angkor Wat to the Western world, Travels … Read More

A Day in Bangkok: Wat Arun, Grand Palace & Chao Phraya River

January 18, 2024Thailand

It’s a two-hour drive from the port city of Laem Chabang to Bangkok. The reason for the long trek isn’t so much the miles between the two cities as it is the traffic. “We have the worst traffic in the world!” our guide tells us as we reach the edge of the city. This is Herb’s … Read More

Touring the Mekong Delta: The “Rice Basket of Vietnam”

January 16, 2024Vietnam

Grassy shades of green drift past my window like colors from a box of Crayola 64 crayons. Workers appear in the distance, up to their knees and waists in the fields, their conical hats bobbing as they move. Deep green coconut palm trees and golden wispy plants partially submerged in marshy water frame the scene … Read More

A Day in Ho Chi Minh City: Ghosts of Grandeur & Ghosts of War

January 14, 2024Vietnam

“I’m going to quickly take you from the Stone Age to 1858, when the French took over control of Vietnam,” our tour guide Thang was telling us. We are standing outside Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, site of the Fall of Saigon in 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its … Read More