The past few days I have been meandering around the old city of Chiangmai, popping in and out of the many Buddhist temples scattered everywhere. Chiangmai is the temple capital of Thailand, hosting in the 2 km square old city and surrounding area more than 300. There is an expression common across southeast Asia that I became familiar with in Nepal: “Same, same, but different”. This is a perfect description of visiting… Read More

Even before stepping foot in Thailand all I heard about was the food and recall that in my blog about Bangkok, the quantity and variety of street food caught my eye immediately. Well, after being here for more than two weeks, that impression has only been strengthened. I spent the day in a Thai cooking class, therefore food is a natural topic for a blog (or maybe two!). No matter where I… Read More

I said good-bye to the elephants today, a week early. I had originally planned on volunteering for three weeks, but after two weeks my body told me to stop. As I have previously mentioned there is a lot of physical labor involved in taking care of such large animals- heavy lifting which includes a lot of bending, carrying banana trees – in all forms – everywhere, being on your feet constantly, either… Read More

The most important thing to keep in mind regarding elephant care is: it’s all about input and output. And such a prodigious amount of both! I am sure there are statistics somewhere that state how much an average elephant eats, but from first hand experience I can testify that it’s beyond amazing. The WFF is either fortunately, or by design- and I am not sure which- located in a major banana growing… Read More

The taxi arrived at my hotel in Bangkok promptly at 9 am on Sunday morning to pick me up for the three hour drive to the Wildlife Friends Foundation (WFF) in southwestern Thailand, my home for the next three weeks. The WFF, founded 17 years ago by a Dutch ex-pat living in Bangkok, rescues animals, focusing on but not limited to, elephants, and reintroduces as many as possible back into the wild…. Read More

In a nutshell it’s all about the street food! It took me only ten minutes of walking along a street in the Ratchaparop district on my way to the hotel after alighting from the airport bus to decide I am going to love Bangkok. There were street vendors everywhere preparing all kinds of food, much of it unfamiliar to me. So many culinary experiences waiting to happen! The trip to Bangkok was… Read More

Before I move on to my experiences in Thailand (and I have been in Bangkok less than 48 hours and can tell you there is a lot to write about, not the least of which is the street food!), I wanted to post some more pictures from “roaming around Kathmandu”.

Today I’m leaving Nepal after nearly two months of wonderful adventures. As opposed to gracefully fading away, however, the last four days after returning from Bhaktapur have been exceptionally hectic. Not only were there several interesting historical and cultural sites that I wanted to visit in Kathmandu, but I had agreed to do several talks during the last week of my visit. Thus the last four days have been anything but slow… Read More

Visiting Bhaktapur was really a treat. It is an extremely old city, dating back centuries, an ancient capital of Nepal and has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In addition the old part of city is not only still intact but also still functioning as a residential area for lots of people. While the main palace has been turned into an art museum, the city’s numerous temples and other… Read More

The past three days I have spent in Sauraha, Chitwan, a place totally opposite of the cool, mountainous area of Nepal I left. It is flat, super hot and extremely humid. I felt like I was back in Houston. The town is the main entry point to Chitwan National Park, an approximately 1000 square meter area of protected preserve in the south of Nepal. The town is a popular place for Nepali… Read More