Southeast Asia

Dragon and Elephant Statue at Abeyadana Temple in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Apeyadana Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Apeyadana Temple is dedicated to an 11th-century chief queen consort of King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) and maternal grandmother of King Sithu I of Pagan.

Nyaung-U Market, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Mani Sithu Market in Nyaung-U

NYAUNG-U, Myanmar (Burma) – Mani Sithu Market is Nyaung-U’s main market in the middle of town and offers food and daily supplies for sale to the local community.

Silhouette of Thatbyinnyu Temple in Bagan, Myanmar

Thatbyinnyu Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest of Bagan’s temples and occupies a prominent place near Old Bagan and the famous Ananda Temple.

Taungbi Village Pagoda, Old Bagan Myanmar (Burma)

Taungbi Village Pagoda

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – This small but ornate pagoda lies deep in Taungbi Village, just to the northeast of Old Bagan and not far from the much better known Htilominlo Temple.

Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar

Dhammayazika Pagoda

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Its gleaming gold stupa certainly stands out against the surrounding countryside. Completed in 1198, it features an unusual 5-sided design.

Lemyethna Pagoda in the Bagan Archaeological Zone

Lemyethna Pagoda

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Dating back to the early 13th century and featuring impressive frescoes, Lemyethna Pagoda is located in the eastern part of the Bagan Archaeological Zone.

Renovated Stucco at Tayok Pye Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Tayok Pye Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Tayok Pye Temple is in the eastern part of the Bagan Plain of the Bagan Archeological Zone. It’s notable for its ornate stucco decoration and impressive frescoes.

Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung-U, Myanmar, Burma

The Golden Shwezigon Pagoda in Nyaung-U

NYAUNG-U, Myanmar (Burma) – The impressive gold stupa is reputed to encase a bone and tooth of The Buddha. It sits in the heart of Nyaung-U, a vibrant and buzzing town near the Bagan Archeological Zone.

Shwenandaw Golden Palace Monastery in Mandalay Myanmar (Burma)

Shwenandaw Golden Palace Monastery

MANDALAY, Myanmar (Burma) – There’s not quite so much of the gold left that once covered the wood, but its ornately carved teak is arguably even more impressive.

Luang’s Prabang’s That Chomsi

LUANG PRABANG, Laos — That Chomsi is at the top of a hill overlooking the old section of UNESCO World Heritage Site Luang Prabang, offering wonderful views out over the town, nearby wats, Mekong, and the region.

Ananda Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Ananda Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Ananda Temple is one of the most famous, most visited, and most renovated temples in Bagan, and it has been an active place of worship for nearly a millennia.

Buddhist Novice Monks at Sutaungpyei Pagoda, Mandalay Hill, Myanmar (Burma)

On Top of Mandalay Hill, Myanmar

MANDALAY, Myanmar (Burma) – Sitting on top of Mandalay Hill, Sutaungpyei Pagoda features a large patio that offers a wonderful views over Mandalay City and the Ayeyarwaddy.

View from the Terraces of Thisa-wadi Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Thisa-wadi Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Dating to 1334, Thisa-wadi Temple isn’t the grandest of the thousands of temples, stupas, and pagodas in Bagan, but it is one of a handful where it’s possible (and allowed) to climb on the upper terraces for wonderful views out over the plain of Bagan.

Gold Statue of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)

Htilominlo Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) — Htilominlo Temple is a large, two-story, 12th-century temple in the northern part of the Bagan plain best known for its ornate stucco decoration.

Buddha Statue at Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda, Sagaing, Myanmar

Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda

SAGAING, Myanmar (Burma) — It’s one of the oldest–and from all appearances, richest–of the many pagodas in Sagaing. Sitting high on top of Nga-pha Hill, it was built in 1312.

Myinkaba Village Market near Bagan

Myinkaba Village’s Morning Market

MYINKABA VILLAGE, Myanmar (Burma) – Tucked away in a narrow dirt side street of Myinkaba Village is the morning market, a little slice of local life.

Reclining Buddha at Dhammayan Gyi Phaya Temple

Dhammayangyi Temple

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) – Dating back to the 12th century, Dhammayangyi Temple is the largest temple in Bagan. Just mind the bats!

Sunset at U Bein Bridge, Myanmar

Myanmar’s Scenic U Bein Bridge

AMARAPURA, Myanmar (Burma) — U Bein Bridge has become one of Myanmar’s iconic landmarks. Spanning 3/4 of a mile, the foot bridge is reputed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.

Bagan Nyaung Airport

Nyaung-U Airport

NYAUNG-U, Myanmar (Burma) – If you’re flying to Bagan, this is the airport you’ll fly into. As small as it is, it’s the airport that serves as the gateway to the Bagan region.

OoHminThoneSel Pagoda in Sagaing, Myanmar (Burma)

Oo Hmin Thone Sel Pagoda

SAGAING, Myanmar (Burma) – Oo Hmin Thone Sel Pagoda is an explosion of color, with almost 50 statues of the Buddha looking out from a cave-like crescent from a hilltop in Sagaing.

Carving Marble Statues of the Buddha in Mandalay, Myanmar

The Buddha Statue Workshops of Mandalay

MANDALAY, Myanmar (Burma) – Covered from head to toe with thick white dust, crouching low on their launches, the young men and boys use angle grinders to carve statues of the Buddha out of solid blocks of white marble.

Pictorial Guide to Pagan (1963)

Pictorial Guide to Pagan (Bagan)

BAGAN, Myanmar (Burma) — This guide was produced by the Burmese Ministry of Union Culture in 1963 and contains fascinating historical photographs as well as useful, unique information on the pagodas and temples of Bagan.

Jade Emperor Pagoda Ho Chi Minh City Shrine with Incense

Jade Emperor Pagoda

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Nestled in a quiet, hidden little enclave in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, the Jade Emperor Pagoda offers a calming sanctuary from the bustle of the busy streets outside.

Reunification Palace Tank Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Ho Chi Minh City’s Reunification Palace

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — What is now known as Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City served as the home and office of South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu during the Vietnam War.

Vietnam Museum of Revolution Statue and Artillery

Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution

HANOI, Vietnam – Unsurprisingly, Vietnam takes its revolutionary foundations very much to heart. They’re shown off and commemorated in the national Revolution Museum in central Hanoi.

Standing Stones of Hintang near Sam Neua Laos

The Standing Stones of Hintang

SAM NEUA, Laos — While the standing stones of Hintang in northeastern Laos don’t inherently convey the kind of majesty of Stonehenge or Easter Island, their mysteries remain just as deep.

Phonsavan Morning Market Cooked Food

Phonsavan’s Morning Market

PHONSAVAN, Laos — At Phonsavan’s morning market you can sit for a tasty bowl of freshly made steaming pho for breakfast or buy some local fruit. You can find much that looks familiar, and quite a lot that doesn’t.

Ho Chi Minh City Hall in Saigon at Night

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Modeled on the Hotel de Ville in Paris, Ho Chi Minh City Hall is the seat of Saigon’s city government.

Luang Prabang’s Morning Market

LUANG PRABANG, Laos — Southeast Asia’s morning markets are much more interesting than the night markets. Luang Prabang’s morning market is no exception.

Imperial City Hue Vietnam Ngo Mon Gate and Bridge

The Citadel in the Imperial City of Hue

HUE, Vietnam — Inside the Citadel walls was once lavish and opulent, with ornate gardens and intricate pagodas. But the Vietnam War was not kind to the Imperial City. Large parts of it are now nothing more than rubble.

Cho Dong Ba in Hue Vietnam Shallots

Dong Ba Market (Cho Dong Ba)

HUE, Vietnam – Hue’s Dong Ba market (Cho Dong Ba)–like so many of the markets around the world in places people rely on markets for their day-to-day food and merchandise needs–is a bustling, crowded affair with things for sale crammed into every available space.

Luang Prabang Haw Pha Bang Royal Palace Museum Naga

A New Home for Phra Bang

LUANG PRABANG, Laos — From its fearsome gold naga guarding the main stairs, its incredibly lavish gold and red interior, and multi-tiered roof, the Haw Pha Bang at Luang Prabang’s Royal Palace looks ancient. But it’s not.

Vietnam Military History Museum Tank Exhibit

Hanoi’s Vietnam Military History Museum

HANOI, Vietnam – The Vietnam Military History Museum in central Hanoi celebrates the Vietnamese victories of the 20th century, first over the French and then the United States. And, of course, it presents a version sanctioned by the Vietnamese Communist Government.

Quan Thanh Temple Hanoi Elephant Statue

Quan Thanh Temple

HANOI, Vietnam — Quan Thanh Temple in the Ba Dinh district of Hanoi next to the southeastern corner of West Lake is a Taoist temple that dates back to the 11th century.

Photo of Cu Chi Tunnels Tourists in Tunnel Hole

Cu Chi Tunnels

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — I don’t usually have issues with claustrophobia, but this isn’t fun anymore. How people could live down here is beyond me.

Hanoi's Turtle Tower and Island on Hoan Kiem Lake Reflection

Hoan Kiem Lake, Home of Hanoi’s Giant Turtle

HANOI, Vietnam — Hoan Kiem Lake (also known as Sword Lake, Ho Guom, or Lake of the Returned Sword) is at the very heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter and a cultural heart of the city. And it’s rather beautiful.

Hanoi One Pillar Pagoda Branches 327-0535413038

Hanoi’s One Pillar Pagoda

HANOI, Vietnam — Despite it being a replica of what was once a thousand-year-old pagoda, the One Pillar Pagoda is today considered one of Vietnam’s most iconic Buddhist temples.

Wat Si Saket Vientiane Laos 2000 Buddhas 337-0125286641x

Wat Si Saket, Vientiane

VIENTIANE, Laos — Wat Si Saket (or Sisaket Temple), with an impressive collection of 2000 Buddha statues, is reputed to be the oldest Buddhist temple still standing in Vientiane.

Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi Monk Praying

Hanoi’s Oldest Pagoda

HANOI, Vietnam — At 1400 years old, Tran Quoc Pagoda, in a picturesque spot on a small island in Hanoi’s West Lake, is the city’s oldest temple. And while small, it’s quite beautiful.

Photo of Shells on display at War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam’s War Remnants Museum

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — The War Remnants Museum presents an important but one-sided history of the appalling legacy of the decades of war that have ravaged Vietnam.

Photo of Boys on a bike with sunset on the Mekong in Vientiane Laos (Viang Chan)

Vientiane, City on the Mekong

VIENTIANE, Laos — Vientiane’s waterfront seems purpose-built for beautiful sunsets. With a wide promenade and park, it’s well used. And right across the river is Thailand.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Guards at entrance

Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum

HANOI, Vietnam — Even Uncle Ho needs a holiday. Even while he’s away on his annual autumn sojourn in Moscow, his mausoleum in downtown Hanoi still gets the royal treatment.

Photo of West Lake (Ho Tay) Fisherman on Floating Platform

The Lakes of Hanoi

HANOI, Vietnam — Hanoi has many lakes. They provide a respite from the crushing traffic and incessant bustle in other parts of the city.

Hoa Lo Prison Hanoi Hilton Conditions

The Hanoi Hilton

HANOI, Vietnam — This is not a place of sweetness and light. Hoa Lo Prison, better known in the west as “the Hanoi Hilton,” was first a French colonial jail for Vietnamese political prisoners and later used during the Vietnam War for American pilots held as prisoners of war. And it’s a place with an especially grim history.

Vietnam’s Perfume River

HUE, Vietnam — I’m standing right above the middle of the river, 25 feet above the water surface. And I don’t smell a thing. The Perfume River, it turns out, is only fragrant at a specific time of the year, in the autumn, when the flowers in the orchards up river lose their blossoms into the water.

Passenger boats in Nong Khiaw, Laos

The River Outpost of Nong Khiaw

LUANG PRABANG, Laos — Nong Khiaw is a small riverside town in northern Laos on the Nam Ou (River Ou), It’s dramatically framed by steep, rocky karsts and beautiful countryside.