As scheduled, we are flying to Europe today from China.
Asia has been our home for almost 18 months. Now that we’ve become accustomed to dumplings, noodle soup and Nescafe with condensed milk for breakfast, we depart with mixed emotions (well, our emotions towards Nescafe are clear: we are very happy to leave it behind). We also leave behind the richness of Asia’s chaotic streets for a different European pace punctuated with cafes and medieval stone architecture. Continue Reading »
Lhasa. The name has a particularly mysterious and forbidden ring to it these days. Maybe it’s images of Tibetan cowboys on the high plateau or flashes of defiant monks protesting in the face of Chinese police last March.
Recently, the Chinese government reported that the situation in Tibet was “back to normal” in preparation for the arrival of the Olympic flame there. Even with the Olympic torch safely relayed through Lhasa this past weekend with an escort squadron of blue track-suited torch guards, Tibet still remains closed to foreigners.
We travelers always hope for a bite of the forbidden travel fruit. So imagine our excitement when we checked in for our flight at an empty Kathmandu, Nepal airport a few weeks ago and learned that our flight to Chengdu, China was laying over in Lhasa. Continue Reading »
Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit trek didn’t make the first cut of our respective **25 Things To Do Before I Die lists. But maybe it should have.
With bathroom books like 1000 Places To See Before You Die serving as life-prescriptive authorities, we’re hesitant to describe anything as a “must-do life experience.” “Must-do” sounds presumptuous and “life experience” sounds trite. But what the heck. Continue Reading »
Though we are not mountaineers, we have done our share of trekking. Then, just last week, we came off a 15-day trek in the Himalayas in Nepal that looked and felt something like a “best of” of our previous treks. We would like to think that’s saying something, what with journeys in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Burma and bits of the western United States under our hiking belts. Continue Reading »