Photo of the Week: Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

abu dhabi shiekh zayed grand mosque

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Though a bit lighter on the big-name tourist sites than the neighboring Emirate of Dubai, national capital Abu Dhabi is by far the richest and most politically powerful of the seven Emirates. Though the city center is a bit understated compared to that of Dubai, one of the places [...] Read more »

What It’s Like In: Budapest, Hungary

There is no such thing as “small” in Budapest. Every detail is part of a grander scheme, every building is grandiose, every lane proudly clean, every stone and brick an impeccable piece of ever-evolving neoclassical renovation. There are no nooks or crannies. Its central downtown is made up of row after row of elaborately gothic [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Durbar Square is the architectural highlight of the city of Bhaktaur. Its true wealth, however, lies in the rest of the city. It’s Nepal’s best-preserved medieval city and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What I really like about Bhaktapur is that it’s a living city. The citizens still live and play among [...] Read more »

Photo Essay: Bukhara Uzbekistan

bukhara

Bukhara: Ancient City of the Silk Road For nearly two thousand years, Bukhara’s vibrant civilization and well-established economy kept it as a center of culture and commerce on the fabled Silk Road. Genghis Khan conquered here, British explorers languished and died in its prisons, and even the Soviet Union fought before and eventually conquered Bukhara’s [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Colorful Houses of Girona Spain

Girona Spain colorful building along the River

Catalonia is known for Barcelona, its famous artists, the beautiful Costa Brava, the Pyrenees, and its world-class cuisine. Girona Spain is right in the middle of all this. Girona is located inland from the coast, about an hour north of Barcelona. It’s a small city known for its Jewish quarter, old town, Cathedral, and colorful [...] Read more »

Acoma Pueblo Sky City: Oldest Continuously Inhabited Community in North America

History of the Acoma Pueblo “No note taking.” Our tour guides tells me after I jotted down a couple thoughts as he began explaining the history of the Acoma Pueblo. We are up high on a 367-foot sandstone bluff in a valley studded with sacred, towering monoliths in the desert of western New Mexico. This [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Dali Old Town

Dali is one of those places that I really hoped I wouldn’t dislike. Its description in the guidebooks made it sound so pleasant a town—except for one thing—the growing number Chinese tourists. Well, there were tons of tourists, but Chinese tourists seem to stick together in group tours and don’t drift very far from the [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Chi Lin Nunnery and Nam Lian Garden, Hong Kong

Chi Lin Nunnery is an elegant wooden temple built without nails in the Tang style. Adjacent to the temple is the tranquil Nam Lian Gardens, a reconstruction of a Tang-era garden. Stroll on a curving walkway past pavilions, ponds, hills, and sculpted pines. It is a fine example displaying the rich culture of the classical [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Hong Kong Skyline

One of the iconic images of all of Asia, the Hong Kong skyline is certainly one of the city’s highlights. There are a few ways to go about getting the best view. I’ll give you my top four picks: 4) From the ICC Tower in West Kowloon. This is the tallest building in Hong Kong [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Quebec City

  Quebec City has long been a destination I‘ve wanted to visit. Old Quebec, or Vieux-Québec, has a well-known reputation of rich history being the only city north of Mexico that has retained its fortified city walls. I would further say that along with Guanajuato, Mexico, Quebec City is the most European of cities in [...] Read more »

5 Spectacular Castles to Visit in Ireland

Ireland is a land of castles. While there are some places where you will have to shell out quite some money to be able to stay the night, others open their doors to everyone for a touristic visit. Here is a selection of five castles worth visiting on your next trip to Ireland:  Bunratty Castle [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Vientiane, Laos

When I posted my Vientiane images to my Flickr album, my father commented to me by email that “Vientiane was often in the news in my college days, but there were never pictures.” Well, Dad, here are some pictures. None are spectacular, but my point is to give you some visuals so you have a [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

No visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is complete without visiting the Skybridge of the Petronas Towers. When the towers were completed in 1998, they were the tallest buildings in the world at 451 meters, holding that title until 2004 saw the completion of Taipei 101 reach a height of 509 meters. Malaysia was understandably proud [...] Read more »

The Forgotten Capital of Siberia: Tobolsk

The Mostary of St.John in the outskirts of the Tobolsk, Russia

  Tobolsk is an average Russian town located in the middle of the western Siberian plain. It used to be the capital of the whole of Siberia until the 20th century when the Trans-Siberian railway was built just south of here, when Tolbolsk reverted to being a small provincial town. Nevertheless, Tobolsk remains an historic [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Changdeok Palace, Seoul

injeong-jeon throne hall changdeok palace

This is the throne hall of Changdeok Palace. The immense room, known as Injeong-jeon or Hall of the Benevolent Government, was used for holding formal functions of the state. It stands out among the other elegant architecture of Changdeok Palace. The palace, located in a hilly section north of dowtown Seoul, was a favorite residence of Korean royalty. [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Valencia, Spain Architecture

This futuristic set of buildings is Valencia, Spain’s stunning Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, or City of Arts and Sciences. Designed by local architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the project symbolizes the city government’s vision to establish itself as a principal tourist destination. On the left is the Queen Sofia Palace of the Arts, the [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Porto Old City View

One of my favorite views of probably my favorite city of its size in all of Europe, Porto, Portugal is a city I would visit again and again. Despite the many tourist friendly activities in the city, I somehow avoided most of them and just spent most of my five days wandering through the maze [...] Read more »

Photo of the Week: Mumbai Victoria Terminus

Mumbai Victoria Terminus One of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen, the Mumbai Victoria Terminus train station stands as a glorious testament to 19th century architecture in this city of nearly 14 million people. It has been renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The famous landmark, built in the Gothic style, was designed by Frederick William [...] Read more »