Before leaving Hong Kong, my wife and I wanted to explore a location we had seen on our map. It had been marked with a single Jewish Star printed atop two intersecting roads. We assumed it was a synagogue. Was there a Hong Kong Jewish community? Read more
Outside the gates of Tiger Kingdom, a half hour from Thailand’s second most populous city, Chiang Mai, we watched a woman lay her head against the ribcage of a giant tiger. My wife and I were troubled. Do we enter the cage with the beasts and risk ending our marriage after two and a half weeks? We purchased two tickets. The Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai sign read No Refunds. Read more
I often worry when I drive roads lined with signs advertising monkey shows, reptile shows, snake shows, bungee jumping, ATV riding, and the like. I smell tourist trap. My trepidation elevates when I enter parking lots packed with taxis, buses, and vans dropping off camera-happy tourists. But when I visited Maesa’s Chiang Mai Elephant Camp, forty-five minutes outside of the city, the sight of endless tourists was quickly supplanted by one of the greatest shows on earth. Read more
Recently, I received an email from a friend. He and his wife–two spiritually enlightened New Yorkers, one a Buddhist dancer, the other a music zealot–were walking on a Balinese beach. They were on their honeymoon. Enchanted by the island’s beauty, they had failed to note the tide charts. They had walked around a headland and on their return journey, after watching the sunset, they discovered that the waters had risen. They were trapped. My friends spent the night on the beach, waiting for the tide to recede. In most places, this would seem like a misadventure. But after my travels to the island and recalling the island’s beauty and tranquil vibe, I knew that even in misadventure, they were enjoying the very best of Bali. Read more
After I returned from Vietnam, I stopped by my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Queens, New York, Little Saigon. I was excited to tell the waiter, Alex, about my adventures in Vietnam, but instead, everything went wrong.