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Showing posts with the label womenwhotravel

Travel in the time of Corona, Week 1

What I miss most about this Stay-at-Home order is traveling. I have many travel plans for 2020 which would have commenced in mid January. Those plans are now on hold but I’m not giving up on them. For now I’m digging up old photos relegated to the “dust bin” so I can travel vicariously and relive the good, old “If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium” days. Join me for Week 1.   Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy  Dubrovnik, Croatia  Bato Bolong, Bali, Indonesia Malalison, Antique, Philippines Myeongdong, Seoul, South Korea  No Bucks Cafè (outreach service), Dublin, Ireland Pueblo Blanco, Andalucia, Spain ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

The Aura of Calm

On a recent unexpected layover in Tokyo, we were lucky to find a hotel in Shinagawa with a beautiful strolling garden. I would have missed it had I not caught a glimpse of greenery from the lobby after my morning walk. Since there was not much time before checkout, I skipped to the back door to discover this secret garden in the shadow of towering buildings. I wanted to learn more about Japanese gardens after this trip and found that t here are several elements  defining a Japanese garden.  First of these are the trees and plants which are especially chosen to provide texture. Various types of shrubbery, grasses, moss, conifers and trees are carefully selected depending on the type of garden. There are no shade trees. Subtle use of color is achieved with flowering trees and shrubs like azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas. A stone pagoda lantern completes the picture. Water and carp. The Japanese garden is a refuge of calm especially for city dwellers weary of the daily grind a

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn rises above the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Its spires are symbolic of Mount Meru (center of the world in Buddhist cosmology) and are richly trimmed with ceramic tiles and fragments of Chinese porcelain. The Khmer style central prang or spire  is about 79 meters high (259 ft). There are four smaller towers surrounding the central spire, an architectural feature that pays homage to Mount Neru. Notice the ornamented figures of Chinese soldiers that seem to support the tower. These prangs glitter in the light from the ornamentation that define the temple complex. A gilded door leads to one of the halls in the temple complex. The Niramitr Buddha sits calmly in the ordination hall How to get there: Take the river express ferry to Tha Tien near the Grand Palace and Wat Pho then transfer to a shuttle boat that crosses the river or take one of the more pricey tourist boats that stops at Wat Arun. Entry fee to Wat Arun is 50 ba

Images of Buddha at Wat Pho

There are hundreds of images of the Buddha at Wat Pho. In fact, King Rama III saw to the restoration of Wat Pho for the purpose of showing the images of Buddha in various positions according to Buddhist beliefs. This restoration and expansion of the temple started in 1832 and lasted for 16 years. Images of the seated Buddha, the standing Buddha, the meditating Buddha and the reclining Buddha are found in Wat Pho. Here are some of the images of the standing Buddha.  Buddha Maravichai The Buddha obtained enlightenment after meditating for 49 days under the bodhi tree. He found the answer to the causes of suffering which are greed, selfishness and ignorance. The Noble Eightfold Path preached by Buddha is the way to end suffering. These are: Right  Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. It is written that a mad elephant charged at the Buddha during his enlightened state and was

Orchids are symbols of love and beauty

Phalaenopsis On the way to the floating market in  Damnoen Sadauak, we stopped at the Samut Songkhram Coconut Sugar Farm where these exotic orchids grow in their garden.  According to feng shui practices, orchids are symbols of perfection, happiness, love and beauty. So when someone gives you orchids, you are loved!  Orchids bloom once a year and to see them bloom in your home is quite rewarding.   Cattleya Cattleyas need a lot of light and thrive in dry climates. When growing at home, they should be placed near the window that receives a lot of sunlight. Cattleya Vanda Vandas and dendrobium orchids are among the most widely used orchids for leis. They are so exquisite that wearing one is pretty special. They are not fragrant and I personally can't wear it for too long. ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Two hours south of Bangkok is the bustling floating market of Damnoen Saduak. Visitors can't wait to get on a small boat to shop along a narrow and short stretch of the khlong (canal) where boats jostle for position and vendors display their offerings to eager buyers. The most attractive offerings are the fresh fruit, steaming bowls of soup and local delicacies. I watched from the platform as soup was prepared by a vendor in his paddle boat. His sign reads: boiled rice soup, noodle soup, pasta soup at 30 baht per bowl. It was fascinating to watch the steam rising from the pot as he prepared the soup. It smelled so good and I became hungry watching him cook. This lady is making sticky rice in a rainbow of colors. Mango sticky rice is a dessert staple in Thailand as is the rice black pudding. This boat is laden with bananas, macopa (mountain apple), guava and young coconut trees, among others. Leather goods are a hard sell when customers are busy eating. St

Oahu Aloha Gallery

One of the many things I look forward to when visiting Oahu is indulging in island favorites like saimin (noodles in hot broth topped with vegetables and strips of meat), a bento lunch, and malasadas. I had the opportunity to travel to Honolulu recently with two of my best friends. Amidst sand, sea and chow, we relaxed and fortified our friendship. On our first day in Honolulu we decided get our shopping out of the way so we took the free shuttle to Hilo Hattie. Instead, we each found floral printed dresses, perfect for a night out on Waikiki Beach. Shopping over, we crossed the street for lunch at Sam Choi’s. While the menu had many appetizing dishes listed, I had my heart set on the bento lunch. In the old days when I used to live in Honolulu, bento orders were served in a black lacquer box with compartments for salad, rice, fish or meat entrée and the quintessential Hawaiian sliced meat, Spam. My plate arrived with generous servings of steamed rice, chicken and beef teriyaki, mahi

Beautiful Bali

Batu Bolong As our Combi van coughed its way up to Kintamani on the northern side of the island, the sky suddenly gave way to torrential rain quickly inundating the narrow mountain road.  The Combi sputtered then died.  Our driver started and restarted the engine in vain while our guide tried to reassure us that this rain would be short-lived as they always are in this part of the world.  The heavy downpour was now threatening to carry our van downhill with it.  Speeding vehicles were passing us, splashing muddy water on our van as they sped away.  After what seemed like an eternity, the engine sprang back to life and we slowly edged our way to Penelokan for lunch and front center row view of Gunung Batur (Mt. Batur) volcano and Lake Batur.  We sat impatiently through lunch waiting for the veil of mist that shrouded the volcano to lift.  A faint hint of sunlight and we finally caught a glimpse of Mt. Batur with its perforated peak surrounded by the lush valley floor and lake. All t