• Pura Penataran Pande Peliatan

    One of the fascinating things about Bali is that there are, literally, temples everywhere. Because of this, Bali is known as “the Island of a Thousand Puras”. Any street you turn down will have a temple of some sort, whether it be a grand edifice or a ‘small’ local establishment. I hesitate to call them small, though, because even the small ones are of a decent size. On our first day in Bali, we got to see one of the smaller temples and were just fascinated by the layout and design. We had been on our way to Gunung Kawi and saw this neat temple shortly after leaving our hotel. We…

  • Thailand’s Grand Palace

    The Grand Palace of Bangkok is one of Thailand’s crowning jewels. It was the home of the country’s rulers from 1782 until 1925. Once a fully functioning city within a city, the Grand Palace now used for various government offices, royal ceremonies, state functions and, of course, a tourist attraction. Construction on the Grand Palace began in 1782 and continued off and on until the late 1800s. The original Grand Palace was hastily thrown together after General Chao Phraya Chakri staged a coup and took over the government from the previous king, King Taksin. King Taksin had resided in Thonburi, which is about 2.5 miles from the Grand Palace. When Rama I took over,…

  • Tháp Rùa: The Legend of Turtle Tower

    In Hanoi, Vietnam, there is a lake in the center of town that maintains special significance to the Vietnamese people. In the middle of that lake is a tiny island that holds a tower which commemorates the important victory achieved by a Vietnamese legend. Turtle Tower, known to the Vietnamese people at Thap Ruá, was built in 1886 on the same site where a Ta Vong Temple had been built during the 17th or 18th century. Somewhere between the Restored Le Dynasty and the Nguyen Dynasty that temple disappeared. The tower that stands there now was erected on the same site to commemorate a warrior and the impact he had on Vietnam. According to legend, a warrior named…

  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

    Cambodia is a beautiful country full of history and culture. Unfortunately, they are also a country that has suffered immense hardship and atrocity. When we went to Cambodia, we made sure to visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in order to pay our respects to the people who suffered and honor the memories of those who died. HISTORY OF THE CAMBODIA and THE RISE OF THE KHMER ROUGE Cambodia was strong under Khmer rule during the 9th-13th centuries, but began a gradual decline between the 13th and 15th centuries. Over the next several hundred years, Cambodia had a merry-go-round of rulers until one of the worst rulers came to power…