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Princeville

Like the other major islands in the Hawaiian chain, the North Shore of Kauai is the windward side of the island, meaning that during most of year it’s comparatively rainy and receives large, strong waves. That’s great for tropical vegetation and expert surfers, which are both in abundance. But if you’re someone looking for a relaxing beach vacation, it’s not […]

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Vashon Island

You know the vibe at your local farmer’s market; the feeling of authenticity and positivity, the focus on enjoying things that can be found nearby you, and the spirit of participating in your community? If you could take that vibe and extend it to an entire 12-mile by 3-mile island, Vashon would be the outcome. Sitting smack in the middle […]

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Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)

Taktsang Goemba - "Tiger's Nest"

On our last full day in Bhutan we visited the country’s most-touristed location, the one that the few guidebooks actually published about Bhutan agree is a “must see”: Taktsang Goemba. It’s a monastery perched dramatically on a cliff in the Himalayas, on the site of where Guru Rinpoche (the guy who brought Buddhism to the Himalayas), meditated for 3 years, 3 months, 3 […]

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The Himalayas

Okay, so the title of this post may be a bit misleading. The Himalaya range is 1500 miles long and spans 5 countries; I’ve only visited a small part of it in Western and Central Bhutan. Even then the high, snow-capped peaks were usually obscured by clouds… from the ground, at least. But my trip also included a short but […]

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Bumthang

After a few days of driving through Bhutan, we settled for a while in the Bumthang district (usually called Bumthang Valley) and it’s main town, Jakar. The town itself is small and dusty with a bit of a Wild West feel, except with Buddhist monks instead of cowboys. It’s not uncivilized, but it’s rustic. From what we could tell, there […]

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Punakha & Trongsa

After great experiences in Thimphu and hiking to Tango Goemba, it was time to leave Bhutan’s capital region behind and head cross-country. The majority of Bhutan’s population is spread throughout the mountains in small towns and villages. As interesting and worthwhile as Thimphu is, a more representative view of Bhutan requires going elsewhere. Doing so isn’t as simple as it […]

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Tango Goemba

Although the details are still a bit murky to me, holy people (monks, nuns) in Bhutanese Buddhism are organized into a hierarchy – just like in a lot of other religions. The highest ranking monk holds the title of Je Khenpo, which is the spiritual leader of Bhutan and the second most influential person in the country (after the King). […]

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