Magnificent Mayan Ruins of Tikal

The Mayan ruins of Tikal are simply magnificent combining both archeological greatness and atmospheric wonder in a wild jungle setting.  The air thick with humidity has a light yet pungent, damp soil and rotting foliage smell, as the sounds of this living organism wind their way up to a cacophony featuring dueling howler monkey clans…

Morning Alms Procession in Luang Prabang

Lovely Luang Prabang

So frequently it happens that visiting a place which you had enjoyed many years before, you are disappointed when returning to find the masses have discovered your once much less trodden haven, sapping its former wonderful atmosphere and cultural authenticity.   Before returning to Luang Prabang recently I feared the worst after having read many comments…

Putuo Zongcheng Temple, China

Chengde, China

Although Chengde was always at the end of a long tour its gorgeous temples and wonderful Imperial Resort were a great reward for making the 3-4 hour journey north from Beijing. Back in the Qing dynasty Chengde was developed as a summer getaway for the emperors, with a key part of the landscape the temples…

Glimpse into Wutaishan

Wonderful Wutaishan, China

With a name that translates to literally mean “five plateau mountain” Wutaishan is one of the 4 sacred Buddhist peaks in China.   Home to more than 50 temples and monasteries, Wutaishan was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. With some of the temples dating back to the Yuan dynasty and a few of…


Hualin Temple, Guangzhou

You don’t often find many “special” temples in the more populated cities of China anymore.   Most are over-touristed and lack any authentic atmosphere.   The Hualin temple in Guangzhou’s old Liwan district definitely managed to impress me.  To be more accurate, the 500 Arhat Hall was the standout for this entire ancient complex. Walking inside the…


Chen Family Ancestral Temple

A Qing dynasty relic of Lingnan culture which seems to have survived the cultural revolution relatively unscathed now houses the Guangdong Museum of Folk Art in a few of its many halls. Elaborately carved Chaozhou styled wooden doors depict classic Chinese scenes while mythological characters feature in the colourful, intricate lime sculptures that grace the…


Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

  The distinctive spiral incense of Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong are an alluring sight for any photographer.   The curves, the repetition and the light tinged with smoke from the constantly burning incense interplay wonderfully at this popular sight in the heart of Hong Kong.    Burning for up to 3-4 weeks at a…


Chan See Shu Yuen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Another very impressive temple in KL is the home of the Chan See Shu Yuen Clan Association. Their fastidiously maintained, traditional temple building has some wonderful, intricate scenes carved high on its outside walls. These friezes are said to depict important events in China’s history as well as legends and well known historical figures. Exuding…


Thean Hou Temple

  Perched high on Robson Hill in the south of KL is Thean Hou Temple.     Dedicated to the Heavenly Mother (Thean Hou, Tian Hou, Tin Hau) was the goddess and protector of the seas.   The temple has an interesting mix of elements that include Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.   Being a popular tourist destination…