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Holy Men Of Nepal

Holy Men Of Nepal

Fakirs, Sadhus, Yogis and Sunyasins

“And the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts in Kathmandu,” - Rudyard Kipling, 1895

They are known, variously, as sadhus, yogis, fakirs and sunyasins. They are the ascetic – and often eccentric – practitioners of an austere form of Hinduism. Sworn to cast off earthly desires, some choose to live as anchorites in the wilderness. Others, as these pictures make clear, are of a less retiring disposition, especially in the towns and temples of Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley.

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Yao Heavens

Yao Heavens

The Legendary Heritage Of The Yaos

The Yao are one of Southeast Asia’s many upland minority peoples. They live scattered in small communities across the "Golden Triangle" region of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Burma, and extend deep into the southern Chinese provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Jiangxi.

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Sleepy Narathiwat

Sleepy Narathiwat

Land Of Mangoes And Songbirds

“A quiet seaside collection of old wooden houses, lovely and unfrequented beaches, Muslim fishing villages and Chinese shops. This peaceful place marks a fitting and tranquil end to a journey around the south.” - Alistair Shearer, The Lotus Kingdom

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Destination Loei

Destination Loei

Exploring a Pristine Corner of Upper Isaan

Loei Province, located in the far west of upper Isaan or Northeast Thailand, is among the most sparsely populated and remote provinces in the country. Fortunately, it is this very isolation and relative emptiness that make it such an attractive destination for both cultural and natural ecotourism.

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The Padaung Refugees Of Mae Hong Son

The Padaung Refugees Of Mae Hong Son

Strangers in a Land of Mists and Opium

Visitors to Thailand’s remote but picturesque northwestern province of Mae Hong Son have long been able to enjoy such diverse and exciting attractions as elephant riding, white water rafting, jungle trekking, rock climbing and visiting the many hill tribes of the region. Then, some years ago, a new attraction appeared - the so-called "Long-Neck Karen hill tribe", much touted as an attraction by Thai tourist companies and the Mae Hong Son provincial administration.

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Lijiang’s Art And Music Scene

Lijiang’s Art And Music Scene

The Unique Cultural Traditions of the Naxi People

Far up in the northwest corner of China’s Yunnan Province, just off the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, lies the Lijiang Plain. It is home to the Naxi people, one of the best known of Yunnan’s two dozen national minorities, a folk whose art and music are drawing appreciative students and patrons from distant lands. And their attention, in turn, has encouraged the blossoming of a neo-traditional rennaissance in the work of local painters and musicians.

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Buddhist Temples Of Vietnam

Buddhist Temples Of Vietnam

Where Mahayana, Daoist and Confucian Traditions Meet and Mingle

In Vietnam, where Chinese cultural influences are strong, the face of Buddhism is fascinatingly different. In the dragon-ornamented temples of Hue, or behind almost any shop front in Cholon, an ancient Buddhist tradition, the Mahayana, flourishes. The institutions which preserve and pass on this faith are the country’s Chua Viet, or Vietnamese Buddhist temples. Here the Mahayana traditions of Central Asia merge and mingle with Chinese Confucianism, Taoism, and the archaic spirit-worship indigenous to the civilisations of mainland Southeast Asia.

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Discover Thailand’s Hill Tribes

Discover Thailand’s Hill Tribes

Trekking In Northern Thailand

A visit to a hill tribe village is one of the main reasons why people travel to Thailand’s far north. There can be few other places on earth where so many varied, exotic and fascinating cultures coexist side-by-side in apparent harmony. To be sure, similar hill tribe groups live nearby, in neighbouring Burma, South China, and Laos; yet the former remains troubled by ethnic insurgency, its upland areas closed to foreign travellers for decades, whilst facilities for visitors to minority areas of South China are still rudimentary, and in Laos virtually non-existent.

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