Let me say this right up front….I am not a beach person. But Ngapali Beach is my idea of paradise….It’s got everything natural beaches should and none of the claptrap you find at beaches in other parts of Asia and the Americas. No bars, no jet skies, no malls, no plazas, no prostitutes….
Just miles and miles of soft white sand, a few lovely hotels here and there, lots of palm trees, azure waters and peace and quiet. There is really nothing to do here, other than enjoy the natural beauty of the place, and every now and then, go for a wonderfully fresh, delicious and surprisingly cheap meal, either at your hotel or at one of the local restaurants located outside the hotels’ gates.
Things are changing, but not too fast. There used to be 6 flights a day….now there are about 15. Where there was never a stoplight…there is one now. It is remote enough that it does not attract crowds.
Check out the photos, and if you are so inclined, start planning your trip. If you need advice, you know who to ask…
While the country has certainly been welcoming more tourists than ever, if you get out of the major cities( specifically Yangon), life goes on as it always has. I can see big differences in some places, particularly in Bagan, but this is probably because the last time I was here was with my mother in 1985….when there were only 25,000 tourists a year! This year there will be more than one million. Bagan is still very much under developed, but there are nice new hotels and street lights and many more cars to say nothing of the hoards of tourists…
If you have not been yet, make your plans soon. Burma is looking to be the next Asian star….and you will want to come before that happens.
For the first time ever, I flew into Mandalay from Bangkok, which makes lots of sense if you are planning to spend time in upper Burma, including Bagan….
Enjoy the photos.
I first visited India in the 1980s. At the time, I was told of a mystical city in the desert that was so isolated you had to take a camel caravan to get there. While this may have been an exaggeration, Jaisalmer, the mystical city, was so remote that it seemed impossible at the time to get to. My dream was to one day get to the city, and in finally, a quarter century later, I made it.
Deep in the western part of Rajasthan, which is mostly desert, not far from the Pakistani border, Jaisalmer was once a booming merchant city on the trading route from India to Europe. Because of its strategic location, it was a walled city, more like a fort. Filled with twisting alleyways, Jain temples, palaces, small galleries, stalls of crafts, rooftop restaurants and old merchant mansions turned into wonderful hotels, the city retains its medieval allure and is a wonderful place to stroll, sit, stay and eat.
Cars are not allowed in, but cows reign supreme. Alleyways are so small that when you see a cow coming down the alley, best move to the side and let it pass. This is a delightful, mystical wonderful place, and certainly worth the long ride to get here.
I stayed in a 450 year old haveli or mansion, with five rooms, and still owned by the original family. It was all a wonderful experience…I even joined a camel caravan in the desert. Enjoy the photos.
This remote ancient Kingdom in southern India had its beginnings nearly 1000 years ago when Mogul invaders ravaged the south of India and inspired Indians to unite in an effort to protect their culture and religion. The Kingdom flourished under four dynasties for over 200 years and left a fantastic architectural and spiritual legacy. It is so remote that it is not as well known as
other famous sites in this fascinating country. Beyond the amazing architectural remnants is the unusual geological phenomenon of its giant boulders. Please enjoy some of my photos from Hampi.
An inveterate traveler, I have spent a great deal of time searching for new arts and artisans, mostly in Asia. I am drawn to Asia thanks to my 25-year tenure living in Japan. During that period I traveled extensively and often in Southeast Asia. Upon returning to the US, I formed Arts of Asia in order to share the qualities I admire in Asia with my friends and customers in the US. To support this mission, I continue to spend 4 months a year abroad. The search is never ending!