8/14/2010 | India , Ladakh

Stakna to Matho

By the 14th of August the tourists in Leh had thinned out dramatically with most taking flights out town.  The roads to Manali and Srinagar were still closed but the roads to some nearby villages especially to the south had opened and bus services had begun again.  Having been stuck in Leh since […]

8/12/2010 | India , Ladakh

Spituk: The New Rimpoche


The day of the flash flood in Leh was supposed to be a day of celebration, it was the day that a young lama the 20th Bakula Rimpoche, Thupstan Ngwang Norbu  would be brought from his birth place in the Nubra Valley to his monastery at Spituk (near Leh) for the first […]

4/12/2010 to 7/20/2010 | Nepal

Kathmandu and the Buddha’s Birthday


When Sarah left I moved out of Thamel (the tourist ghetto of Kathmandu) to visit my friend Kili in the “suburbs” of Kathmandu.  Kili had a bad accident shortly after I had left Nepal last fall, leaving him paralyzed from the waste down.  It was hard to see this man who had […]

3/26/2010 to 3/28/2010 | Bihar , India

Back to Bodhgaya


I smiled politely on the outside but I cringed beneath the facade of my face as a couple of my fellow train compartment companions struggled to close the heavy brass bracelet I had just been given around my wrist.  Sarah looked on with amusement from the bench opposite me.  The 3 fellows […]

2/18/2010 to 2/19/2010 | India , Karnataka

Tibet in Exile II: Bylakuppe


I somewhat reluctantly accompanied Sunny to the other major Tibetan exile settlement in Karnataka, Bylakuppe, near Mysore.  When we were able to secure overnight train seats that made it more palatable to me at least compared with taking the state run bus overnight.  We met up with Sunny’s classmate from Taiwan John […]

9/5/2010 to 9/6/2010 | Himachal Pradesh , India

Dhankar Gompa


Leaving Mud and the Pin Valley behind I stopped for a day at Dhankar a beautifully set high above the Spiti Vally with a old Gompa perched on a rocky crag above the city.

7/24/2009 to 7/25/2009 | India , Ladakh

Korzok Festival


We had arrived in Korzok for the annual monastic festival held at the local gompa. Another Tibeatan monastic festival with the requisite Cham dances, trumpets and drums. While the Cham masks were not as spectacular as others I’d seen, the main interest for me were the locals who flocked to Korzok from […]

7/2/2009 to 7/3/2009 | India , Ladakh

Hemis Festival 2009


The next morning we gave our legs a break and took a bus from Shang Sumdo to Hemis.  The monastic festival of Hemis is the largest and most well known of the many monastic festivals that take place throughout Ladakh and Zanskar.  Its fame, proximity to Leh, and timing (falling during Ladakh’s […]

4/15/2009 to 4/23/2009 | Arunachal Pradesh , India



Tawang is the most visited region of the little visited state of Arunachal Pradesh. A state which is seldom visited not because it lacks attractions, but more for the bureaucratic hurtles involved in visiting the state. A very sensitive area for the Indians, ever since the Chinese routed them in the war […]

1/14/2009 to 1/17/2009 | Bangladesh

Paharpur to Dinajpur


From Rajshahi I continued north stopping at Bogra as a base for visiting the remains of the 8th century monastery Somapuri Vihara at Paharpur.  Once one of the largest monastery complexes of its time it has now been reduced to a collection of brick foundations, although quite a bit of masonry work […]

7/11/2008, 7/14/2008, 7/31/2008 - | India , Ladakh

Around Leh

Monk creating sand mandala, Spituk Monastery.


In between treks and lazy days in Leh, I made a few day trips to some of the monasteries near Leh.  Spituk monastery is the closest major monastery to Leh and was mainly interesting for the sand mandala that was being created by the monks at the time I visited, an undertaking […]

7/12/2008-7/13/2008 | India , Ladakh

Hemis Festival

Monk watching Cham dance, Hemis Festival.


Shortly after I arrived in Ladakh, the festival at the Monastery of Hemis was scheduled to take place.  Probably among the most touristy of the monastic Cham dance (traditional Tibetan masked dances) festivals in Ladakh, due to its proximity to Leh and the fact that it takes place in the summer during […]

9/9/2007 to 9/10/2007 | Tibet

Pictures from Ganden and Samye Monasteries

Ganden Monastery.


Eager to begin the trek and not knowing how long the first day would take us we left Ganden with out really exploring the monastery.  However, it was one of the only major monasteries in the area that I did not visit on my first trip and having seen the amazing setting […]

8/18/2007 to 8/20/2007 | China , Gansu

Xiahe: Monks, Pilgrims, Plays, and Basketball, oh my!

Monk watching the performance during the festival at Labrang monastery, Xiahe.


The city of Xiahe, in China’s Gansu province, is home to the massive Tibetan monastery of Labrang.  I had timed my arrival to coincide with a festival on the 20th of August.  There were a lot of pilgrims performing the kora, circumambulation, around the monastery.  The monastery was one of the most […]