Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia July 29, 2017 Decades ago, the town of Bukit Lawang was no doubt a beautiful spot perched at the edge of the national park. But today, it spreads along both banks like cancer, with concrete monstrosities in painted in virulent shades with ever more being constructed each day. The cafes, … More Encounters with People of the Forest
Penang, Malaysia July 23, 2017 Once upon a time, there lived a Buddhist monk called Chor Soo Kong who had moved to Penang. He was widely revered and known for his compassion to all living creatures, including snakes. When a temple dedicated to him was built in Penang in 1850, legends say that some pit … More Great Snakes!
Georgetown, Malaysia July 21, 2017 With its old temples and clan houses, colonial buildings and quirky street art, Georgetown seduces easily. The thriving night market and buzzing bars lend their weight to busloads and boatloads of travelers and a couple of days stretch into multiple ones. This is one of those cities where history blends … More Penang in Pictures
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia July 17, 2017 The cool climate of the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia is a welcome relief from the all-pervading sauna that is the rest of the country and not surprisingly, this is a wildly popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. The winding road goes past tea gardens, their meticulously pruned … More A Blooming Stink
Melaka, Malaysia July 10, 2017 The annals of Malay history say that Melaka, also called Malacca was founded in the fourteenth century by Paramesvara, a fleeing Sumatran prince. Situated on the straits of Malacca, it prospered through trade with the neighboring countries. The sultanate of Malacca soon established itself the leader in this area in … More Melaka Mosaic
Machan, Sarawak July 3, 2017 Vanessa was in Miri, on a school-sponsored field trip, when we met. While we chatted, she told me of their ancestral longhouse deep in the forest, built of bamboo and wood. Little did I know that as I listened entranced, she was hatching plans. The next day she informed me … More Lounging in a Longhouse