Sunday, October 02, 2005

What was left of my road upon returning home to Kunming after a trip back to the states this summer...don't worry, it's better now!

The "road" outside my house in Kunming...

Blue skies in China. Believe me, this is an extraordinary sight!

Monks playing with their cell phones outside a monastary in Litang, Sichuan

Goats outside of a buddhist temple in Litang.

Posing with the fake palm tree in Litang, Sichuan. Do note that I was wearing all my clothes at the time as the city is at about 15k ft...oh the Chinese aesthetic!

Jeff above KangDing in the Sichuan province.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

One of the largest Mao statues in all of China is locaed in downtown Kashgar. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's one of those, look how far my power extends kind of things.

The medina close up. Told you it was an old town...

Just incase you needed an overview of Kashgar, here it is. The big green blog in the upper-right-hand corner of the picture is China's biggest mosgue, the Id Kah Mosque. All the small buildings around it are what I would call the "medina," or old town (at least that's what they call it in Morocco), but I don't know if that's what it's called in China. So basically, it's the old town ;o)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

This is a picture of the Malinta Tunnel, also on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay. Dug into a hill, there's something like 100 ft of rock protecting it from bombardments, and is therefore the place where both the Americans and the Japanese held out until the very end in protecting the Philippines. Now there's a multimedia sound and light experience inside which was pretty unique. They have this one part where they play what sounds like a bombing really loudly over the speakers and the whole place is shaking from the sound. I can't imagine what it was like being in there for bombardment after bombardment!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

This is a picture of a statue of MacArthur saying "I shall return," his "last words" before leaving Corregidor Island, the US's last stronghold against the Japanese in the Phillipines during WWII.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Interestingly enough, I had to go to a polo match in Manila in order to see my first live Chinese Lion Dance... it was cool though!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Here's a picture from the first polo match that I've ever seen live and in person. It was actually a really good match, although one of the players fell off his horse and was walked on by it. That's never any good!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Chesa lighting a goodluck candle thing in Manila. It actually comes from tranditional Filipino animalistic religious traditions, but it was conveniently right next to one of the main churches in town. Unfortunately, I can't remember what red stands for...

Monday, March 07, 2005

We were in Thailand just before their national election, so political ads were...ubiquitous. They were cool though! They all had pics of the people in uniform and whatnot. Much more interesting to look at than American political ads. And plus, their main party is called Thai Rhak Thai (or Thai Love Thai) Party.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

This is me in front of (well, actually within the compound of) Angkor Wat. We're talking the real deal here. This is what everybody is really referring to when they speak of Angkor Wat. In case you're wondering (I'm sure you were), that tee (which cost me $1.25) has the Khmer alphabet on it. Neato desu ka?

Monday, February 28, 2005

Alright, well I'm afraid this one might be too dark, but I thought I'd try to show it to y'all anyway. This is a pic of a really cool shadow puppets performance that we saw in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I'm not sure when I last updated my site here, but here's a pic of me with the steamed bread "snot" concoction I was describing on my other blog. See, it really does look like snot! I wasn't just making it up!

One of the interesting features on almost all of the buildings were the "sculptures" (I'm having trouble finding the right architectural term. It's more than a bas-relief but attached to a wall so not really its own sculpture) of apsaras that lined most of the walls. Apsaras are the dancing women pictured there. Actually Angkor Wat and its environs are where most artistic and cultural traditions in SE Asia (including Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia) originate from. Granted now the Thai dancers tend to wear tops...unless of course they're on Patpong Alley, but that's a different story!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

He he! Jeff having fun with the remains of a statue. Again, we're in the vicinity of Angkor Wat.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

This is another shot coming from Angkor Wat's environs. I'm spacing on the name at the moment of exactly which temple this was from, but the trees growing out from the buildings were certainly a sight. I remember at first that I was almost disappointed at the ruin of the sights, but then after hearing the story of a well mapped building that they couldn't find after Cambodia re-opened after Pol Pot because it was so covered in jungle, I decided I could be forgiving!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Just wanted to let everyone know that I made it back safely to Kunming. I also thought I'd take the opportunity to restart the daily photo thing now that I've got LOTS of photos to share from my trip! So, without further ado, let me give you a pic from Cambodia of Bayon, which is a temple located at the exact center of Angkor Thom (Angkor Town) near the famous Angkor Wat. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it before because of all of the smiling faces (there are over 200 of them!).

Saturday, January 29, 2005

We met briefly with the school director of the village to pass along pens, pencils, and notebooks for the children.

Adorable Lao kids in the village neighboring that of Zone.

Jeff in the rice paddies of Laos. I managed to only fall in like once. The problem was that my shoe kept on getting stuck in the mud. Blech!

Fording the river outside of Zone's village. It almost gave Marie-Liesse a heart attack, but we all made it across safely!

Jeff at the top of a very high waterfall outside of Luang Prabang, Laos in a scenic and very peaceful spot.

Jeff jumping off a waterfall outside of Luang Prabang, Laos. Good times!

Taking Thai cooking lessons in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Jeff the serious happy camper when he encounters his much beloved Mr. San Francisco at a Swensen's in downtown Chiang Mai, Thailand. I didn't even have to get good grades for this one! :o)

Interesting and rather different Indian-influenced wat (temple) found in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Well, I had to include at least one picture of the tourist trap/haven in Bangkok known as KhaoSan Road. Have to admit that it hasn't impressed me much...

Sorry this is sideways, but who could resist a waiing (bowing slightly as is courtesy in Thailand) Ronald McDonald?!

Back soi (alleys) in Bangkok. I was a bit surprised to find stilt houses in the middle of town right off a canal, but I suppose it makes sense.

And now we'll start over with a new series of photos starting from present time and working back. This is a pic of the grand finale of a dance performance I saw at Vimanek Mansion this afternoon in Bangkok, Thailand. It is the largest golden teak wood mansion there is, and was the home of Rama V (former King of Thailand, we're on Rama IX if you're interested) for a mere five years of his life in the realy 1900s. It was an interesting show, but I was a little annoyed at the finale which had all the dancers carrying the Thai flag and the flag of another country. The good ole' stars and stripes was not to be found, though Malasia's flag almost counts I guess.

Cool (and very different from any other kind that I've seen before) guard at a temple in downtown Hanoi, Vietnam.

A junk in the somewhat cloudy (and cold!) Halong Bay in northeastern Vietnam.

Crossing the Mekong in Vang Vieng, Laos (in between the capital of Vientiane and the former capital of Luang Prabang).

Parade o' monks in downtown Luang Prabang. It was a cool sight. I was disappointed by this pic.

Aa picutre of the other side of the river from town (and our guest house) in Luang Prabang, Laos. Luang Prabang is situated at the confluence of the MeKong and some other river in northern Laos. This is "that other river." :o) Notice the farmland whose owners get up normally at 4 in the morning just on the other side!!!!!

Strolling through the rice paddies in Zone's (our Lao "guide" from our guest house) home village about an hour outside of Luang Prabang, Laos.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Kids lounging at a wat (temple) in Luang Prabang.

Cool gold leaf stencilling on a temple in Luang Prabang.

Looking to Thailand from Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

Paddling up the river to the Perfume Pagoda in Vietnam

Chesa and I fight the current to pass into a hidden inlet in Halong Bay. When we passed by the same place the next day, the tide was higher and the hole had disappeared!

Vietnamese water puppets. Soooo cool!

Vietnam paper vendor in Hanoi.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Before I left I thought I'd send out at least one last pic. This is of me and the Chinese fiance of one of the other English teachers here, Xingcan (pronounced hsing-tsahn). Whenever we all go out dancing he likes to challenge us to improv limbo competitions because he always wins. He's crazy flexible! This was New Year's Night, which might explain why I was wearing my friends pink Hello Kitty scarf...