• Broadening horizons in Bumthang

    Travelers interested in broadening their horizons will find that Bhutan is one of the world’s most exotic destinations.

    Bhutan is about as lofty a land as you can imagine, landlocked in the Himalayas between the Tibetan Plateau and India. It’s a region that has attracted holy men and royalty throughout the centuries. Continue Reading

    April 18, 2013 • Asia • Views: 27051

  • Chinese New Year

    The Chinese New Year is celebrated in China and in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines and Chinatowns everywhere.

    It’s the most important Chinese holiday and also the longest, lasting 15 days. It’s often referred to as the Spring Festival and Lunar New Year, with the next one falling on January 31, 2014. Continue Reading

    February 12, 2013 • Asia • Views: 7211

  • A Journey through Bhutan – Part 3

    Day 5 – 6
    Gangtey to Punakha

    We left this morning with Kinley and Sonam for our 2 ½  hour drive to Punakha. We arrived at lunchtime – just in time for another great meal. Punakha is set around an old farmhouse high on the hills overlooking the Punakha River. We drove to an area and then walked across the suspension bridge, then hopped in a small golf cart- like vehicle for the ride up the hill. Continue Reading

    November 16, 2011 • Asia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 6312

  • A Journey through Bhutan – Part 1

    Day 1

    After spending a restful night at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel in Bangkok (the hotel is right at the airport – perfect for those early morning flights), we flew from Bangkok to Paro on Druk Air. Linda and I both felt the service was great and sparked our understanding of the Bhutanese people and how friendly they are. Also – when you travel to Bhutan, make sure you have an assigned seat on the left side of the airplane heading there, and right side coming home – incredible views of the Himalayas! Of course, booking with SWAIN and Amankora, almost guarantees that! Continue Reading

    November 11, 2011 • Asia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 6785

  • A Journey Through Bhutan – Part 2

    Day 4
    Last night, we walked about 10 minutes from the lodge and settled down to a log fire in the middle of the neighbor’s farm land. We were served a drink of locally brewed rice alcohol and were led into a stone building. The wooden tub had been filled and the back of it was separated with a wooden divider, from which the hot water flowed in. Stones were heated on a fire and placed in the back area. As each stone was added, the water temperature would rise. In the water was a local herb which not only added fragrance, but felt healing and soothing.  The bamboo doors were opened and we had an incredible view of the valley. What an incredible experience but after an hour, we had to get out and head off down the hill to the lodge and a great dinner. Continue Reading

    November 11, 2011 • Asia, Ian Swain Sr • Views: 3171