Kopan Monastery – Buddhist & Meditation Retreat

Kopan Monastery is home to hundreds of monks and opens its doors to travelers interested in learning about Buddhism and meditation.  I joined a 1 week retreat focusing on an introduction to Buddhism and meditation in Kathmandu and absolutely loved it!  Kopan monastery is situated high above the chaos of Kathmandu with a beautiful view Read More …

Koyasan, Japan – Where Buddhism was Founded

Koyasan is the founding location of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.  A priest then known as Kukai, and posthumously referred to as Kobo Daishi (The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching,) learned the esoteric ways of Shingon Buddhism in China before traveling to Japan in 816 and getting approval from Emperor Saga to build a mountain Read More …

10 ways to get the most out of Ubud

Ronda and I absolutely loved Ubud!  Its a must see for anyone visiting Bali, Indonesia.  You can cram everything you want to see into a few days but that will leave you wishing you were back in Ubud like we were.  We returned for another 2 nights after our stay on the Gili Islands!  Check Read More …

Getting a Vietnam Visa

When you travel to Vietnam you MUST pre-order a Visa.  Most airlines won’t let you on the plane without proof of a visa.  The good news is its really easy to order one and very affordable.  When I went to Vietnam I was overwhelmed by all the choices for Visa on arrival.  I sorted through Read More …

Taroko Gorge- Hehuanshan – Motorbiking from the Pacific Ocean to 3,416m

After hiking Shakadang Trail I was convinced I needed to see more of Taroko National Park and decided to take my scooter to the highest peak. Doing some quick research at my hostel I discovered Xiafengkou(siafengkou) had a 2 hour hike to the top of Hehuanshan at an altitude of 3,416m. Locals told me the Read More …

Top 10 Travel Photos of 2015 #5

2015 brought me good fortune and even greater photos.  My camera followed me from New Years Eve with my family in New Jersey then back to Korea before enjoying Lunar New Year in Thailand and short stint in Taiwan for Buddha’s Birthday.  Then we went up a few Korean mountains and swam in stunning Korean islands before heading back Read More …

Motorbiking around Pai

Pai (pronounced pie) is worth at least an overnight trip for anyone in willing to take a few hour ride west of Chiang Mai. This quaint village on the river is surrounded by rice paddies, temples, waterfalls and hot springs while still maintaining an expat community making it easy to have a great time. Brian Read More …

Longshan Temple – Taipei, Taiwan

Even if you only have a half day in Taipei make sure you get to the Longshan Temple!  Its a stunning Buddhist temple with regular visitors and local parishoners.  Founded in 1738 as a haven for Chinese immigrants from Fujian the settlers built Longshan in honor of Kuan-in the Buddhist goddess of mercy. How to get Read More …

A weekend in Taipei, Taiwan

A weekend is just enough to get a taste of Taiwan and realize you want to go back again before you’ve even left.  Taipei has an excellent public transit system, free wifi and lots of cultural & crazy experiences.  Here’s a quick preview of Ronda and my trip as we met my college buddy Andrew (who Read More …

A bullet train to Tokyo, where weirdness is only trumped by deliciousness

Shinkansen to Tokyo After spending the weekend in Shimanto City made our way to Tokyo for a 48 hour stay.  My travel buddies Susan and Steph joined me for whatwould be a LONG train ride, the first 5 hours of gorgeous rivers, forests and ocean views were on a standard train before we were able Read More …