Singapore Slinging

Modern Singapore was founded when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, a British statesman, landed in the area in 1819 and negotiated a treaty with a previously banished sultan to establish Singapore as a trading station for the British.  Singapore became a major port for East-West trade, growing from a small fishing port to a major world…

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Bangkok in a Day

Going from Kathmandu to Bangkok was more like changing worlds than just one timezone.  “Red shirts warn of civil war.” Normally a headline that would keep one out of ‘red shirt’ territory. But since we’re safely in Singapore now, we’ll admit that we did stay a day in Bangkok, and had a wonderful, peaceful, enjoyable day in…

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K-k-k-k-k-k-Kathmandu

Nepal is a land-locked country the size of Iowa, with a population of 28 million. 2.5 million live in the capital, Kathmandu. Kathmandu gained notoriety in the 1960s when its Freak Street was a hippie nirvana.  Marijuana and hashish were legal and sold openly in government licensed shops into the 1970s. These days you’re less likely to see tie-dyed hippies in…

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In The Shadow of Mt. Everest

Weather is the ruler of life and activity in the Everest region. On April 18, weather caused catastrophe on Everest. An avalanche on the Khumbu Icefields killed 16 sherpas, the worst disaster ever on Everest. More than 4,000 climbers have summited Everest since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first did in 1953. The ripples of…

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Tiger’s Nest: The Cultural Icon of Bhutan

As the grand finale to our trip in Bhutan, we climbed to Tiger’s Nest monastery (Taktshang) near Paro. Tiger’s Nest is by far the most photographed site in Bhutan. It is a beautifully located monastery clinging to the cliffside at 10,000 feet above sea level. Its multiple temples combine with the natural mountain environment for a breathtaking result. Bhutanese legend…

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A Royal Encounter, Hiking with the Queen Mother of Bhutan

So, you’re just going to have to trust us on this one because we have no photographic proof, but we did, indeed, hike and share a small lunch with the Queen Mother of Bhutan yesterday. It was truly a serendipitous once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. We thought our new friend and guide, Jigme, was going to achieve Nirvana right on the…

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