Lebanon: Charming at Every Turn

Mention the Middle East, and many of us would immediately think of endless desert, oil-rich kingdoms, conservative societies, and probably never-ending conflicts. As the second smallest country in this region (only Bahrain is smaller in land area), Lebanon appears to be the odd one out. […]

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Eastern Asian Religions under One Roof

In the 21st century, we often see antiquity as a period of time when great artworks were produced despite limitations in technology. From Greek statues in fine marble and the colossal architecture of ancient Egypt, to classical masterpieces displayed in the Vatican and ornately-decorated manuscripts […]

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Tang Shipwreck: Digging into Controversy

In the ninth century CE, an Arabian dhow sailed from the Middle East to China, possibly bringing precious cargo from Africa, Arabia, Persia, and other places along its journey to the Far East through the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, and all the way […]

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Island Life in Cheung Chau

Hong Kong is a calm, slow, idyllic, low-rise, and bicycle-friendly place with lots of greenery and nice white-sand beaches. Sounds hard to believe? That’s because I’m not talking about the Hong Kong most people know: a dense metropolis and shopping destination whose skyline is filled […]

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The Mills: Revitalization with Sensibility

Companies build factories to mass-produce goods. They utilize them until they reach their maximum capacity, and then they build newer and bigger facilities to keep up with increasing demand. Or they cut down on the production capacity if they can’t stay ahead of their competitors. […]

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Hong Kong at a Slower Pace

Hong Kong is a fast-paced city – no doubt about it. Those who have been there must have come across and seen firsthand how fast the people walk, how efficient and punctual the MTR trains are, and how quick the service at restaurants is, to name […]

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The Ascent to Tiger’s Nest

Long before I finally set foot in Bhutan, I had dreamed of visiting a monastery in this Himalayan kingdom so marvelous it has become an iconic landmark of the tiny country. Its cliff-side location provides a spectacular setting and its name evokes curiosity: Tiger’s Nest. […]

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Paro: Bhutan’s Sleepy Gateway

Our last morning in Punakha started quite uneventfully; James and I had switched back to our pants and shirts and Kinga and Phuntsho to their gho. As usual, we left the hotel at 8.30 but this time instead of moving eastward as we’d been doing […]

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Beauty Has A Name: Punakha

On the morning of our second day in Punakha Valley, we looked up to the sky before leaving our hotel; the sun was mostly obstructed by grey clouds, although it wasn’t as windy as the day before. “There’s a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal,” […]

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Entering the Divine Madman’s Land

Once upon a time in Middle Earth, nine fellows traveled to the east to deliver a powerful ring back to its source. At one point they had to traverse the arduous pass of Caradhras, through snow-capped mountains with harsh weather and enchanted air. It was […]

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Thimphu: Up Close and Personal

“Happiness is a place.” This is the slogan of Bhutan’s tourism campaign which I saw in increasing frequency as soon as I arrived in this Himalayan kingdom. Many people travel long distances to Bhutan in search for happiness, something they can’t quite find amid the […]

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