Tag Archives: worship

If you want to be a successful traveler, it pays to do your homework. For example, checking the expected temperatures all around a region – not just on the coast – and packing accordingly! This was not the first time I’d been caught out by weather in Asia: last year, my husband and I “forgot” […]

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Oh, Saigon! It was a name familiar to those of us who grew up in the West: first as an exotic part of France’s colonial empire, until – as Saïgon – it achieved a hard-won independence in 1955, and then as a component of the evening news for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War; the city now known as Ho Chi Minh (HCM) has been at a […]

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“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them […]

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Some days feel dark. Very dark. It is a truism that the best way to combat darkness is to shine a lamp or light a candle. Loi Krathong  (ลอยกระทง) is Thailand’s own festival of lights. On the evening of the twelfth full-moon of the traditional Thai lunar calendar, Thais – and lucky visitors – congregate around a body […]

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The best way to immerse yourself in a new culture is to spend time where local people congregate and worship. In the early morning of my first day in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I took a taxi across the busy city centre from my hotel in the east, to the country’s largest monastery, Gandantegchinlen (“the great place of complete joy”) Khiid, west of city […]

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