Chiang Dao Caves in Chiang Dao Thailand

When my bus arrived in the “city center” of Chiang Dao, a small community on the side of Doi Chiang Dao Mountain in a sleepy part of northern Thailand, I thought I had missed my stop. The word tiny is too large for that town. But there was a driver waiting with a songthaew, …

Feeding elephants at an ethical elephant sanctuary

If you are anything like me, when you think about your dream trip to Thailand, you are thinking about splashing in a river while you frolic and bathe a grateful elephant. But please… Don’t. Do That. And please, for the love of all things wild, don’t ride an elephant in Thailand, or anywhere. Note: …

kecak fire dance in bali

The Kecak Fire Dance is a Balinese Hindu ritual that is now more of a performance for tourists than it is a sacred dance performed in temples. For that reason, I was a little hesitant to attend what is now more commonly called the Balinese Monkey Chant. But my tour guide, who became a …

ogoh-ogoh monster in the nyepi day parade in ubud

Every year on the island of Bali in Indonesia, the entire island goes completely dark for 24 hours. No Internet. No TV. No electricity. Nyepi Day is a day for meditation and reflection; a day for the Earth to reset; a day for complete silence. It’s also an incredible time to be in Bali. …

touchdown Jesus on a walking tour of the dark history of new oreleans

If you’re looking for a ghostly guide to the dark history of New Orleans, look no further than this self-guided, big-easy walking tour. But first: Why is the History of New Orleans So Dark? Maybe its the above-ground graves or maybe it’s the colorful history of voodoo and dark magic, slavery and rebellion, fires …

walking tour of hitler's vienna

I hesitated before booking “Hitler’s Vienna: A 2.5-Hour Historical Walking Tour.” The name scared me a little. Would the tour in any way glorify the man? Would I be able to stomach 2.5 hours of learning about Adolf Hitler? In the end, I am glad I booked the tour. In no way did our …