Candi Cetho: A Creation of Those Who Remained

Chapter 2, Part 9 The narrow road keeps going up, climbing the slopes of Mount Lawu, an active volcano rising more than 3,000 meters on the island of Java. We are more than… Continue reading

Cirebon: A Cultural Melting Pot

Chapter 2, Part 8 As Demak rose to prominence and became independent from Majapahit, another sultanate began to flourish on the northwestern coast of Java. Previously under the sphere of influence of the… Continue reading

Rise of Islam in Java

Chapter 2, Part 7 Since more than a thousand years ago, the island of Java has been an important economic and cultural center among the vast archipelago which today makes up most of… Continue reading

Zheng He and the Treasure Voyages

Chapter 2, Part 6 Far from the heartland of Arabia where it was born, Islam reached the farthest side of the world known by the Arabs as Tsin, China. Muhammad himself in a… Continue reading

Sabang and Hikkaduwa: After the Tsunami

Chapter 2, Part 5 We were at Ulee Lheue, a mid-sized port on Mainland Aceh at the northern part of Sumatra where we would catch the boat to take us to Pulau Weh… Continue reading

Banda Aceh over the Centuries

Chapter 2, Part 4 Centuries after the introduction of Islam by Muhammad to the people of Mecca and Hijaz (Medina), the new religion spread quickly from the Arabian peninsula to North Africa and… Continue reading

Vijayanagara: the Legacy

Chapter 2, Part 3 “In this city you will find men belonging to every nation and people, because of the great trade which it has, and the many precious stones there … the… Continue reading

Vijayanagara: the Golden Period

Chapter 2, Part 2 In the 14th century Harihara I established Vijayanagara, a Hindu kingdom which would later become the most powerful empire in the history of South India, and Harihara II –… Continue reading

Vijayanagara: the Beginning

Chapter 2, Part 1 Powers rise and fall, a constant change on earth like the ebb and flow of the sea. Men’s insatiable need for power has caused the world’s political borders to… Continue reading

Kirtipur the Brave

Chapter 1, Part 21 For centuries the Malla kings had reigned over the Kathmandu Valley marked by periods of repetitious amity and enmity among the rulers of Kathmandu (Kantipur), Patan (Lalitpur) and Bhaktapur.… Continue reading

Kathmandu the Eclectic

Chapter 1, Part 20 Our driver who picked us up from Bhaktapur tried to reach our hotel using the number I gave him earlier. He tried several times, to no avail, until he… Continue reading

Patan the Beautiful

Chapter 1, Part 19 One early morning at the reception in our hotel, situated amid the labyrinthine alleys of Kathmandu, we asked a lady, presumably the manager, about the cost of taking a… Continue reading

Bhaktapur the Resilient

Chapter 1, Part 18 One dynasty falls, another rises. One kingdom declines, another flourishes. It is one of many patterns that repeat in perpetuity over the course of the history of mankind. As… Continue reading

Indein: Abandoned and Forgotten

Chapter 1, Part 17 Far from the crowds and bustle of tourists and locals at the center of Inle Lake, our small boat headed to the southwestern side of the lake. Our boatman… Continue reading

Bagan: An Empire in Decline

Chapter 1, Part 16 Almost two centuries of endless temple construction which began during the reign of Anawrahta, the founder of the kingdom of Bagan, resulted in nearly two-thirds of arable land in… Continue reading