Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos

The Disappearing Man

Pha That Luang glistened in the distance, a beacon on the far side of the sea of tarmac. On my side a few stubbly trees gave shelter to a smattering of dozing songthaew drivers. Their makeshift hammocks, strung across the bed of their little pick-ups, rustled as they spotted me and began to lazily shout.

“Tuk tuk! Tuk tuk!”

I ignored them as I searched the shaded oasis.

The driver I’d arrived with, and not yet paid, was gone.

Continue reading “Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos”

Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathon, Thailand

“Please be invited to pay homage to the thousand years Buddha, the happy monk and the four faced statue of Brahma. Our officer is being service to you inside.”

“What do you figure is down there?”

“I dunno.”

“Think we can go in?”

“Yes?”

“Let’s go,” I say to my friends as I slip past and slowly descend into the tunnel.

Reassured by the echo of accompanying feet I mentally pull out my “tourist card” just in case. It usually works wonders displaying a confused expression when people find you in places you shouldn’t be. A bit of scolding might be dispersed but that’s easy enough to digest.

Continue reading “Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathon, Thailand”

Batu Caves: Hindu Temple

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…. Our voices melded into a rhythmic trot. With each stomp we made our way past bystanders and left a trail of numbers. 50, 51, 52, 53, 54… The sunlight was beating down on our backs. The heat penetrated our clothes and gathered on our skin. The numbers began to catch in our mouths as our climb slowed to ensure each number was included. 123, 124, 125… “I want a picture,” I gasped balancing on a step to catch a shot of the scene ahead of us. “Ok.” 234, 235,235-236… “Oh wait, we are out of sync.” 234, 235, 236… Seeing the stairs cut away just ahead our legs pumped as we threw ourselves up the last few steps. 269,270,271 aannnddd 272…

Continue reading “Batu Caves: Hindu Temple”

Wat Phumin, Nan, Thailand

When I first laid eyes on Wat Phumin I saw a fortress within which the quiet denizens of the area could seek sanctuary. Even with a bustling textile fair throwing clamoring bids and chatter about, and a fashion-show blasting music right across the way—the merriment couldn’t breach the temple’s grounds.

The two rolling serpent creatures, or nagas, upon which the temple seemed to rest—looked as though they were holding back the din, biting the air clear of noise and careless speech.

Continue reading “Wat Phumin, Nan, Thailand”

Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Nan, Thailand

There is something mysterious and alluring about a human figure forever captured in a forward motion. It’s the ultimate symbol for so many things humanity upholds.

Progression. Preservation. Hope. Strength. Compassion. Protection. Isn’t it easy to imagine these figures are ever prepared to step forth to protect the people of the area?

A statue caught in mid-stride frames these ideas within the grace of movement.

I mean, while a standing statue casually gazing forward is a remarkable sight in its own right, there is something extra special about a statue stepping out into the world.

Continue reading “Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Nan, Thailand”

The Chinese New Year In Bangkok!

Up periscope

From my side a winding creature fixed to the staff in my hand rose to peer over the masses. Glancing left then scanning to the right its small drum heart pattered as the weighted strings spun out and pelted its surface. The sound of rain droplets bouncing off a tin pot radiated from the dragon’s sway. It bobbed through a 360-degree turn then shook its head and zipped down to my side once more.

Continue reading “The Chinese New Year In Bangkok!”

Travelling to Siem Reap, Cambodia

So after giving you an introduction to Cambodia’s circus skills I figured I should back-track and let you know about the trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap in case I have anything helpful to share.

I was travelling solo. Yep one of the things I learned was that I am in fact capable of travelling solo. I even managed to slow my sprinting heart rate down and relax for most of the trip.

Continue reading “Travelling to Siem Reap, Cambodia”

Wat Phanan Choeng: Ayutthaya

Orange. And through the haze of orange a stern face looking down upon me. Red walls gilded with golden patterns enclosed the space, protecting an enormous buddha. The face was shining though there were no windows. The corners of its lips cracked upward. Its gaze was unwavering. Continue reading “Wat Phanan Choeng: Ayutthaya”

Wat Yai Mongkol: Ayutthaya

It was the stairs that struck me. Were they so worn away because of the material of the steps? Or was it a result of the feet of countless visitors?

The stairs were steep and treacherous. One had to step very carefully, especially while travelling down. They were narrow and edged. I could feel the troughs and peaks under my sandals. I remember those stairs.

It’s as though I am still there. Continue reading “Wat Yai Mongkol: Ayutthaya”

Wat Ban Tham: Kanchanaburi

Yesterday the leafy ceiling of the forest overshadowing the Erawan Falls had kept me deliciously cool. The trundling river slipping by had assisted a soothing breeze of fresh, moist air.

Now my foot lunged to the next ledge—springing up with the explosive effort of an athlete attempting to clear the lofty pole in an Olympic high-jump event.

Continue reading “Wat Ban Tham: Kanchanaburi”