Amnesia-Free Kyoto

Amnesia-Free Kyoto

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 in General Travel, Japan, Running | No Comments

When we came to Japan ten years ago, Kyoto was our first stop. We may have been severely jet-lagged, but neither of us can remember what the heck we did during that visit. We don’t think we visited any temples, we kind of remember doing some shopping (but maybe not), and I think, but cannot […]

Stuck in Kanazawa

Stuck in Kanazawa

Posted by on Feb 26, 2012 in General Travel, Japan | 2 Comments

I think I must have jinxed us when, several hours into our stay in Kanazawa I remarked, “I like it here. I wish we could stay longer than just one day.” Next thing you knew, the snow was blowing like crazy and all trains to Kyoto were cancelled for at least two days. We were […]

Waiter, There’s a Snow Monkey in my Hot Tub!

Waiter, There’s a Snow Monkey in my Hot Tub!

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in General Travel, Japan | One Comment

In a remote park in the Japanese Alps, some unique macaques spend their days soaking in hot springs. All that’s missing is the beer.

Japan, Ten Years Later

Japan, Ten Years Later

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in General Travel, Japan, Running | 3 Comments

Can there be a sharper contrast of cultures than Japan and Burma? A place where cleanliness is almost a national religion vs. one where some restaurants wash their dishes with river water and men are constantly spitting everywhere? A country with talking toilets vs. one with some of the most atrocious bathrooms that I’ve ever […]

Goodbye, Burma

Goodbye, Burma

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in General Travel, Myanmar (Burma) | No Comments

If you are planning a trip to Burma and looking for a bit of practical advice, we list some of our most important take-aways at the end of this post. Feel free to skip ahead. *                      *                      * Have you ever tried to narrate a fast-moving soccer game to someone in another room and found […]

Burmese Bus Rides

Burmese Bus Rides

Posted by on Feb 11, 2012 in General Travel, Myanmar (Burma) | No Comments

Our bus trips throughout Burma were, um, different. Burmese people have various options available to them when it comes to travel. In decreasing order of comfort, they are: highway (AC) coaches, regional (non-AC) buses, minibuses (both long- and short- distance), and pickup trucks. The highway coaches are large, comfy buses imported from Japan or Korea. […]

Jumping Kitties! (And Other Marvels of Inle Lake)

Jumping Kitties! (And Other Marvels of Inle Lake)

Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in General Travel, Myanmar (Burma) | No Comments

As I write this, we’re sitting in a shack on the side of a dusty road, waiting for our bus to Toungoo. We’re just outside Inle Lake in eastern Burma, having spent the last three days here enjoying the best of Burma: good food, friendly people, and beautiful scenery. I can’t say either of us […]

I’m Baganning to Like it Here

I’m Baganning to Like it Here

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in General Travel, Myanmar (Burma) | 3 Comments

I must admit that I haven’t completely fallen in love with Burma. There have been plenty of awe-inspiring moments and a few truly bizarre experiences here and there, but for every cool conversation with monks on a bridge there’s a dumb-ass bus or taxi driver that I want to strangle with my bare hands. It’s […]

Sleepless in Hsipaw

Sleepless in Hsipaw

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 in General Travel, Myanmar (Burma) | 3 Comments

After the hustle and bustle of Mandalay, we looked forward to heading to the small town of Hsipaw (pronounced “see-paw”), high in the hills of Burma’s Shan State, for a little peace and quiet. Instead, we barely slept. There are all of three guesthouses in Hsipaw, and after doing a little bit of research, I decided […]

Mandalay: It’s Not What You Think (But It’s Alright)

Mandalay: It’s Not What You Think (But It’s Alright)

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in General Travel, Myanmar (Burma), Running | 2 Comments

Hear the word “Mandalay” and your mind is likely to conjure up images of gently swaying palm trees, dark-stained teak houses, and women with long skirts, conical bamboo hats, and parasols. Think again. Today, Mandalay is a noisy, gritty, bustling city – Burma’s second largest – with shopping malls, coffee shops, and motorbikes. Lots and […]