Negombo Where Sri Lanka Begins and Ends

Because that is where the airport is, any travel to Sri Lanka begins and ends in Negombo. And that is such a splendid thing because Negombo is so interesting and welcoming and quintessentially Sri Lankan. It is a timeless fishing town full of tourists who appreciate this exotic land of spices and gems, beer and beaches, coconut and curry. Your world can be completely transformed … Continue reading Negombo Where Sri Lanka Begins and Ends

Circumnavigating Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is sensational – vibrantly green and lush countryside, intriguing villages and cities, endlessly appealing food and fabrics, kind and welcoming people.  I need some Sri Lanka time each year. It’s been a dream since my first trip to Sri Lanka – to circumnavigate the island nation.  Not by boat – that would be someone else’s dream.  I am driving, and my dear friend … Continue reading Circumnavigating Sri Lanka

Chongqing – City of Contrasts

  I expected Chongqing to be pretty dramatic – after all, it is a city where the metro goes right through a building high on a hillside, where buildings like the Hongya Cave complex cascading down the steep incline have lifts that open at ground level floor 1 on one side and ground level floor 17 on the other, where the local super-spicy hot pot … Continue reading Chongqing – City of Contrasts

Doing The Usual and Unusual in Kunming

Planning for Kunming, I made sure to include “the usual” – the things I try to do in every city:  a day trip outside the city to the stone forest, a walking tour of Green Lake and Yuantong Temple inside the city, and a foodie experience.  But in Kunming, there was a BONUS – unusual experiences that were surprising, stunning and shocking – in a good way!  Even more… I found … Continue reading Doing The Usual and Unusual in Kunming

Incredible Edibles in Kunming

When I think of Kunming, the first thing that comes to my mind is the food!  Yes, the fall weather is glorious in Kunming – brilliant blue skies, golden aspen trees, piles of pumpkins, fresh mountain air.  Yes, the people of Kunming are special – more open, calm and welcoming than in many parts of China.  I really enjoyed both the usual and unusual experiences … Continue reading Incredible Edibles in Kunming

10 “Best” Ancient Towns in China 2018

If you’ve read any books by Pearl Buck or Han Suyin – my two favorite authors writing about China – you have imagined what old village life was like in China, but you can also experience it for yourself. Throughout China, I find “ancient villages” or “old river towns” – often preserved or enhanced for tourist and heritage purposes, although people still live in most of … Continue reading 10 “Best” Ancient Towns in China 2018

Hongchun Ancient Village – First and Best

I was dazzled and often speechless.  Working at USTC in 2012, I was included in a bus trip off to see the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hongchun and Xidi against the backdrop of Huangshan – an iconic mountain resort.  I took some of my favorite China photos there. You’ll see why. Life revolved around this placid pond. Down the side streets were shops selling … Continue reading Hongchun Ancient Village – First and Best

Not Enough Days in Dali

D is for Delicious, Delightful Dali – a premier ancient town in Yunnan.  I spent only 3 days in and around Dali – just enough to see the highlights and not enough to dally in Dali.  This is what greeted me after a day of travel by train from Kunming! And it just got better and better. This Chongsheng Temple, with three iconic pagodas, is … Continue reading Not Enough Days in Dali