A pair of commorants sit tied to a pole in a display of the traditional (but cruel) practice of bird fishing. This man does less fishing than he does posing for pictures. The price: 20 yuan.
One of the many walks through the shade-draped oak canopies in the gardens of Kyoto’s Imperial Palace.
Who is eating who? Larger than a Thanksgiving turkey, Alex dives into a pile of spun sugar, aka cotton candy, aka candy floss.
The high walls surrounding Xi’an.
Small cafes and ‘noodle shops’ dot the busy streets of Kyoto late at night recently during Golden Week in early May.
Nearing the arrival destination of Yangshuo, some 100 kilometers downstream from its much larger neighbor Guilin.
Near the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, gardens, shrines and miles of walking trails meander through century old groves of trees, including this oak.
Riding under a tor and into a shrine near the Imperial Palace, a bicyclist makes his way on a drizzly Kyoto spring day.
Kevin and Alex standing in the Hiroshima Peace Park, just across the river from the A-Bomb Dome.
Japanese graveyard in central Kyoto, Japan.
Alex and I spent the Thanksgiving break exploring Shanghai.
From 1898 until the outbreak of the first World War, Germany controlled much of Qingdao. The Governor’s Mansion, completed around 1907, and built at great expense to the Kaiser back home in Germany is a terrific peak at life during the Imperial German occupation. The 30 room interior resembles a Bavarian hunting castle while the exterior an example of the Art Nouveau, has hosted many dignitaries during the past century. Chairman Mao stayed here with his family in 1957 during the heyday of China’s Cultural Revolution as well as Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh in the 1960’s.
Alex makes a wood block ink print at the airport in Seoul.
Still wet from a morning shower, a live oak tree towers over a Kyoto park.
Temples and outdoor restaurants co-mingle in Yangshuo, just off of West Street.
Like the boar in the leather markets of Florence, this bull in Kyoto gets his share of good luck rubs.
Along one of the covered pedestrian-only streets in Kyoto, the entrance to a Buddhist temple is lit up with paper lanterns.
Passing an inbound train on the outbound overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
The last few minutes of the day’s sun warm up the lighthouse at the end of the jetty near Qingdao’s Olympic Sailing Center on the Yellow Sea.
The south of China stays warm year around and looks, sounds, and feels more like Southeast Asia than mainland China.
Peaking over the hills toward Yamashina in the east, the moon appears yellow as it rises over Kyoto during the Golden Week holiday.
Alex and a group of boys explore the iron-top lookouts on the best preserved battery from the German occupation of Qingdao before and during the Great War.
Draped in new leaves, a giant oak dominates the landscape of a city park in Kyoto, Japan.
A traditional Japanese home is engulfed by Spring flowers and trees in Kyoto. Large or small, homes in Japan make good use of the natural world outside the door.
Xianggang Lu or Hong Kong Road, renamed in 1997 in honor of the British return of Hong Kong to China, lights up every night after sunset in central Qingdao.
A local from Guilin wears his native ethnic costume just before a performance of native music and dance.
Alex flies a kite at Qingdao’s May 4 Square.
Just outside our apartment gate Monday morning looking toward the normally visible Yellow Sea.
The May 4th Memorial for the People’s Revolution that began here.
Streetcars connect central Hiroshima in all directions.
The streets of Yangshuo are narrow with many pedestrian only-which in China only means less cars and scooters to dodge.
“Police Community Relationship is Harmonious”. So says the huge sign on Yangshuo’s West Street, just between Cloud 9 Restaurant and 7th Heaven Cafe above the tattoo shop.
Alex prepares to claim his seat on the Swing Chairs ride.
Getting Zen in Laos.
Gongs, drums, and traditional Chinese-stringed instruments are used in the nightly performances given on the shores of one of Guilin’s many lakes. The performances are only visible on the tourist boats that circle the city’s two rivers and four lakes.
Kevin & Alex on a four hour boat trip down the Li River in southeast China.
The central wat in the Si Saket temple complex in Vientiane, Laos
Alex and dad stand in front of the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.
The Moon and Sun Pagodas at the edge of a lake in the middle of downtown Guilin lites up like Christmas every night for tourists and residents alike.
Collected from the Yellow Sea, trash becomes part of a collection.
“The Wind of May”, weighing in at over 700 tons of steel, looks spectacular lit up at night in Qingdao’s May 4th Square.
The airport in Osaka offers free, amazingly comfortable, loungers to kick back before our flight back to China.
A Buddhist temple sits above the Li River near the main tour boat docks in Yangshuo.
A gaggle of teachers line up for the customary group picture aboard the slow boat down the Li River in southeastern China.
The view looking out the front of a Japan Rail train heading to Nara from Kyoto main station. White-gloved and uniformed engineers keep precise timing to ensure arriving to the next station on the minute it is due.
The Arc de Triumph of Vientiane, but all Laotian in style.
Making Korean arts and crafts.
Just before the Tet holiday, the markets were crammed with everything you can imagine.
A traditional Ming-era house in Guilin is decorated with hanging paper lanterns and drying corn-both practical and decorative.
Alex seems about to be trapped by a giant thimble. One of the largest bells in Kyoto dwarfs him as he plots how to make it ring.
Osaka looking east with the Sin-Osaka train station and Japan’s bullet trains to Tokyo cutting through the center of the scene.
Alex signs a petition asking the nations of the world to outlaw the creation and use of all nuclear weapons.
The constant search for wi-fi when traveling ranks up there with water and oxygen in the list of must-haves when globetrotting. Luckily, most airports in Asia provide all of the above for free.
Many modern skyscrapers in China feature nightly LED lighting shows lasting until late in the evening.
Pissing away cash is easy when you get to shoot stuff.
One phenomena of traveling in Asia is the number of people who either take your picture-often quite obviously, and those who ask to be with you in a picture. Alex, in particular has posed for dozens of photos in the past year and most often in airports.
When the 2008 Summer Olympics came to China, all the sailing events were held in Qingdao in and around what is now known as Marina City.
The same audience that watched Alex jump on bungee cords followed us over to the climbing wall and watched him go for Bunny Pillow gold minutes later. They did not follow us afterwords, however, into the House of Mirrors.
A wooden stairway winds its way up a hill in Guilin.
The May 4 Square was named to commemorate the patriotic student movement that began there in 1919 in reaction to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in Paris. The treaty ending the first World War turned the German ‘Colony’ of Qingdao over to the control of Japan instead of China, triggering student protests and the birth of modern China.
In the high rocky hills overlooking are reminders of the early 20th century German occupation of Qingdao. Dozens of abandoned bunkers are scattered on top of the Fu Shan Mountains.
Beach #1 in Qingdao is described as ‘cleanish’ and features pontoon and jetski rentals, food options, and great views of the Yellow Sea and the sea islands off China.
Narrow alleys in Yangshuo invite the backpackers and seasoned tourists to explore a more authentic China than some of the larger tourist centers like Beijing and Shanghai.
Unlike much of China, the southern portion of China has a wide range of diversity of people. In Guilin, local shows feature the variety of dance, music and customs of this part of China.
With nods to earlier Asian architecture that included wats and stupas, modern Qingdao buildings often feature unique rooftop ornamentation.
Qingdao teacher, Chris Cronin is less than enthusiastic to the suggestion that he try a glass of the local spirit: Snake wine.
Like many large Chinese cities, Qingdao has a huge TV tower and observatory on a hill overlooking the city and the Yellow Sea.
In Shanghai a man with a whip makes a small monkey do tricks for pedestrians and then demands tips.
The sublime Swinging Chairs at Zhongshang Park, Qingdao, China.
Looking east toward the rising sun over the Laoshan Mountains, the building that houses the Qingdao Amerasia International School catches the early light.
The Protestant Church in Qingdao with its stone and copper spire and clock face is over a century old and still has Sunday services, provided you have a foreign passport.
Dusk and cooler temperatures bring out droves of tourists and local alike to dine outside, shop, and soak up the mountain-river town atmosphere.
Our first school trip took us to Xi’an and the famous terra cotta warriors.
A traditional drum tower looms over a city park in Guilin. The towers served as a way to both tell time and to warn citizens of invading armies or natural disaster.
Keeping busy at the airport in Laos.
Meandering paths, stone lantern, water basin, Koi pond, and manicured plants make the perfect zen garden in Kyoto.
Colorful Buddha heads form a pyramid above the door of this West Street shop in Yangshuo.
Kevin stands in front a large bell in the Hiroshima Peace Park.
Kevin at the Peace Park in Hiroshima near the Atom Bomb Dome building.