If you meet the Buddha on the road …?

By |2022-09-07T15:33:33+02:00April 24, 2016|South and South East Asia|

Our trip ploughs through a heap of world religions. On top of the ones we know. Animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism! BEFORE OUR TRIP, I wonder, how will I emerge from this heap? My icy cold relationship with religion. Will it change? I have a head full of questions and a heart full of emotions. And it finds form in this question ... If you meet the Buddha on the road ...? It's a bit of a tease. A riddle. And it pesters [...]

A last few Pics – Laos, Cambodia and Thailand

By |2022-09-07T15:33:49+02:00April 17, 2016|South and South East Asia|

Here we sweep up a higgledy piggledy bunch of photos from Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. A collection of 'the little things' we desperately don't want to forget.   In Laos, Luang Prabang, we see rows of monks carrying bowls to receive offerings of rice and food from the community.   This happens everywhere and every morning at 6. Some families still send their youngest sons to monasteries.   ...   We find Laos and Cambodia seriously [...]

Power Shifts

By |2022-09-07T15:34:06+02:00April 12, 2016|South and South East Asia|

I like to keep a tidy mind. But history is messy! In fact, history records stupefy! And day after day, my mind becomes messier and messier. And kilometre after kilometre I become dumber and dumber! What to do? The trick, I figure out, is too uncover just enough. Pick up the trend. And sweep out the rest. Quickly. Smartly! Dynasty after dynasty drops antiquity after antiquity. We see them in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand. I set to work. Spring clean my mind. Dust, [...]

Walking on Water

By |2022-09-07T15:34:20+02:00April 7, 2016|South and South East Asia|

It’s a miracle! Or two miracles? One on top of the other! The lake, Tonle Sap. And the people that live on the lake. Hang on, it’s only one. Science explains the lake. But it doesn't explain the people on it. They are walking on water … - Tonle Sap - Check out the map. The Mekong River rushes from Tibet, through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, all the way to the sea. When the snow melts and the monsoon rains, the [...]

Strongmen and Henchmen, Aiders and Abetters

By |2022-09-07T15:34:34+02:00April 1, 2016|South and South East Asia|

On the road, we try to ‘observe only’. It’s not easy. But we try hard; to still our minds and hold our tongues. Few opinions and no judgements. Because honestly, what can we conclude? We just pass through! But for Cambodia; we will not hold our tongues. We read like always. We look like always. We listen like always. But what we learn and see and hear appals! Cambodians endure an awful abuse. To stay still sanctions. To SPEAK OUT is the least [...]

The Killing Fields: Mending Lives

By |2022-09-07T15:34:49+02:00March 29, 2016|South and South East Asia|

We are not the first people to tell this story. It does not make for easy reading. But it is a story that needs to be retold as a reminder of the depths that humanity can sink to, then and in today's conflicts. When will we ever learn from the past? Cambodia's Killing Fields After taking power in Cambodia in 1975, in 4 years of power, the Khmer Rouge achieved a record of barbarism rarely equaled in history, being responsible for one of [...]

A Secret War in the World’s most Bombed Country

By |2022-09-07T15:39:02+02:00March 21, 2016|South and South East Asia|

Travelling is a funny thing. No matter where you go, there you are. And being there exposes you to issues. Some good, others disturbing. An issue on this trip has been the many forms of religion, and its heart , FAITH- a belief in an ideology , someone or something. And how they do or do not co-exist. War, as an extension of an ideology supposedly shapes character, consolidates nations and along the way constitutes a principal cornerstone in the progress of civilization. [...]

A Lifeline for Laos

By |2022-09-07T15:39:22+02:00March 8, 2016|South and South East Asia|

The Mekong River. It springs from a plateau in Tibet and gushes through 6 countries. Yes, Tibet, China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. But it streams through Laos more than any other. In Laos, the length of its waterways equals its paved roads! We travel down its length. We leave it here or there to see this or that. But the River always drags us back. We start to crave it … like local Lao! In the north it is high and narrow [...]

Her Life in Laos

By |2022-09-07T15:39:36+02:00March 3, 2016|South and South East Asia|

This lady doesn’t dwell. She doesn’t prick her memory or search her soul. Or tell her story. I hope she forgives me. As I try to re-imagine ‘her Life in Laos’. ‘I’m born in the mid 1940s in French Indochina. My siblings and I, my parents and grandparents, work the fields of our colonial masters. They call us ‘coolies’. But we belong to the Hmong hill tribe, a mountain people. Dreams of ‘liberation’ come in whispers; confusing whispers. Pieces of news stumble and [...]

Myanmar – as Authorised

By |2022-09-07T15:39:51+02:00February 28, 2016|South and South East Asia|

  We need a guide to escort us through Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi’s party wins the elections. But the rules and regulations of the Qwasi-Military Regime are still in place. A government accredited agency will accompany foreigners that travel with their own vehicles. Harry scouts around on the internet long before we leave home. He finds an agency that offers a government compliant service. Our original group, of 5, swells to 13. And the per person ‘guide’ cost comes down nicely. So [...]

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