The more I travel the more I find alone-ness to be dangerously addicting. I submerged in this feeling I have tried explaining before as I took a train across an engineering wonder of the rail world and a boat ride through parts of a famed lake. Two of Myanmar‘s most iconic landmarks would have been ideal at… Read More


Usually ignored by most backpacker itineraries, Hsipaw and it’s ever-growing popularity was a nice little town that many use as a base for jungle treks and village home stays. I checked out the ruins in “Little Bagan,” listened to a tragic love story in the historic Shan Palace, and befriended a couple Oregonian hippies who… Read More


When visiting Myanmar’s largest lake one will find a ring of quiet villages, a floating pagoda, and few foreigners. Working elephants have been traditionally used by the Burmese for logging and some were still around the lake. When I found this out, seeing one quickly became my sole goal for this destination.     Getting There… Read More


Katha was the setting for one of George Orwell’s first novels, Burmese Days. A favorite read for backpackers in Myanmar, I made sure to grab my own copy before I got there. Bhamo was to the west and had a bamboo bridge that got washed away and rebuilt by villagers each year. Both towns don’t… Read More


2,200 Buddhist temples dating back to the 11th century scatter across 26 square miles in a multitude of shapes and sizes. I had a wonderful time at this top tourist destination, and that was saying something considering two setbacks—May was during hot, triple-digit season, and most of the viewpoints were under restoration, severely limiting options… Read More


So began my Burmese Days in this busy, dirty town discovering gems that were both obvious and subtle. While aware that the Schwedagon with its several metric tons of gold and jewels was known for being the most impressive pagoda in Southeast Asia, I was also adjusting to high temperatures and seeking opportunities with the local community.… Read More


Mount Wutai of the northern Shanxi province makes for good trekking in the warm months, but somehow my friends felt the need to go in the middle of winter. For three days we stomped on icy trails in below freezing temperatures and took refuge at night in Buddhist monasteries. The six of us emerged with sore bodies and wind… Read More