punakha. i gave him a dollar. he couldn't stop smiling.
punakha. one of my favorite photos from bhutan.
women winnowing rice. while they do this, they whistle in order to call the good spirits, which float through the wind and bless the rice.
more children near the fertility temple. while i was taking photos, the kid in the hoodie ran around behind me and stole a highlighter out of my backpack. it was hilarious.
chimi lhakhang, dedicated to the divine madman
prayer flags outside of chimi lhakhang
near chimi lhakhang, the fertility temple
i gave this adorable kid a highlighter. major excitement.
kids near the fertility temple, chimi lhakhang
kids in punakha
home in punakha
punakha. she was working the fields.
field worker in punakha
kids in punakha
punakha, bhutan. i want to live here. there's something impossibly magical about this spot on earth.
local artwork for sale
this stray had a terrible leg injury. i gave him some food.
wangchuk, the driver, adding kindling to a roadside firepit.
roadside fare. the white material hanging is cheese. rock hard cheese. i didn't try it, but i was told it takes all afternoon to consume a piece.
dzong entrance. there's a check and balance system. for each political position, there's a religious figure who checks the political decisions.
traditional bhutanese home entrance
living quarters at monastery
strays outside of a monastery
national animal. the takin.
stunning tapestry. took over one year to make. if i'd had $2,000 to spare, i would have purchased it.
weaving is a back-breaking process. i don't know how they sit there all day.
the bhutanese weave the most gorgeous tapestries.
residence building. a celebration is held upon completion of each new building.
drivers keeping warm while guides and tourists hike. the authorities told them they had to put out the fire.
royal dedication. i watched the ceremony from high on a hill.
buddha dordenma under construction. overlooks thimphu, the capital. it will house over one hundred thousand smaller buddha statues. at 169 feet, it will be one of the biggest buddhas in the world. it's made of bronze and brought over from china.
prayer wheels near the temple. women sit there all day and pray.
bhutanese temple. at any given time, at least twenty locals were outside worshipping.
temple near paro. this man -- listening to his radio as he walked -- likely circled the temple all day.
stray puppies. there is a serious dog problem in bhutan. the country is overrun with strays. they're buddhist, so they don't believe in euthanization. i cried more than once.
tashi's home. eight families live in this beautiful building. so comfortable and inviting.
my incredible guide, tashi, and his lovely wife and children. they invited me over for tea and home-brewed arra (rice wine).
bhutanese fortress outside of paro
bhutanese prayer wheel. note the traditional attire of the man. men wear a robe called a 'go.' women wear a 'kira.;
traditional bhutanese architecture. note the fertility artwork.
in-flight magazine on way to bhutan. 'tashi delek' essentially means 'good luck.' only one airline, druk air, services bhutan.
koh samui. north shore water buffalo.
cafe waiter on the north shore
this is the pose he assumed each time i took his photo.
game of cards on a hot thai afternoon
thai drug. i'm not sure what this is. betel, maybe? i watched him paint something onto a leaf, roll it and smoke it. his mouth was tinted red (a sign of betel).
in lieu of napkins, they use tissues.
any massage lover would love thailand.
north shore. bophut.
odd bathroom sign. is she holding an oozie?
north shore of koh samui. preparing to fish.
they actually liked having their photo taken.
north shore of koh samui. i don't know why they have caged birds.
shoes and socks drying
my room on the north shore. the red fabric was folded into a different pattern each day.
north shore of koh samui. this dog and i fell in love.
look closely. there's a tiny dog on the bike. (i saw many dogs riding this way.)
north shore. this reminded me of the opening credits of big lebowski.
koh samui north shore. stray dogs were here.
another sweet mutt in bophut
this little girl was actually happy. this is just the way she "smiled." i bought a four-dollar dress from her mother.
i'm not sure why, but tissue boxes such as this one were filled with toilet paper rather than tissues.
bophut. north shore. i watched the rough waters carry this sandbag out to sea.
coffee shop in fisherman's village
a typical motorbike holds at least three people. how cute are these kids?
fisherman's village. how gorgeous is this building? reminds me of malibu.
fisherman's village. first time i've seen a plant wear socks.
these italian men were hilarious. they loved having their picture taken. fisherman's village has a mediterranean feel . . . one of the island's main french outposts.
fisherman's village - bophut - north shore of koh samui. this massive dog owns the street.
bookstore in fisherman's village. one of my favorite photos.
washing machines are rare on koh samui. i washed everything by hand.
a 'fish spa' - garra rufa nibble dead skin off feet. despite health risks, there are about 4,000 of these spas operating in thailand. i'm a germaphobe. i stayed far away.
dog and cat in thai boutique
west coast of koh samui. took this photo for leslie. don't know why he insists we include windchimes in every story. sheesh. how very purple.
dragonfruit. inside, it's white with tiny black seeds. not too sweet. delicious.
north shore market
north shore market. i bought bananas.
north shore market
south shore. longboat fishing. view from my hotel.
while on the south shore, dinner was caught less than a day before it was served. amazing.
a fancy glass of pineapple juice!
south shore of koh samui. i did not manipulate this photo in any way. the evening was impossibly gorgeous.
interesting bug on my hotel window
dogs are allowed everywhere in thailand. even in restaurants.
spring rolls. amazing.
rain moving in. it rained about 75% of the days i was in thailand.
driver with hotel owner. two of the nicest men i know.
my new friend, chai
my driver while on the south coast of koh samui
the boat crew's beverages. looks like a thai beer ad.
longboat crew sleeping. (there are two members in this photo.)
best meal of the entire trip
boat captain fixing fish lunch
lunch on south shore, koh samui
they toss each catch on the boat floor. watching a fish die is not fun.
longboat captain with his first catch
longboat captain fishing
fishing on south coast - no rods - just a hook with squid and tiny weight. amazing.
our bait: squid
koh samui - my longboat captain
koh samui longboat
rain approaching - south shore of koh samui - after our longboat tour
longboats on south shore of koh samui
flower arrangement made for me by hotel staff. i was the only guest for over a week. this was at my dinner table one night.
stray dogs playing near hin ta
unnamed rocks near hin ta and hin yai
hin yai - grandmother rock. located near grandfather rock.
hin ta - grandfather rock - legend holds that the ship of two elderly lovers crashed here - their bodies formed the rocks.
thai chickens. they get along well with the dogs.
koh samui south shore
koh samui ganesh
another view of chinese buddha - fat and happy
chinese buddha - koh samui
sweet thai stray
monk offering me fish food. feeding the fish brings good luck.
koh samui longboat
view from big buddha
statues at big buddha - northern koh samui
i love, love, love bangkok fashion.
babies up front are very common.
thailand mutt. so sweet.
mummified monk. note the sunglasses.
mummified monk - koh samui
snail on my hotel window during koh samui rain
driving along south shore of koh samui
koh samui coconuts
massage parlor. incredible. an hour for sixteen dollars.
bar in lamai. so many bars . . . all located next to massage parlors.
topiaries. only . . . what are they? that 'rabbit' has three ears.
more motorbikes. way too much fun to drive . . .
food for sale at loi krathong
winning lantern - she said it took her one entire day to construct it. impressive.
winner of 'best lantern'
loi krathong - november
more food at loi krathong. eggs?
loi krathong fare. squid? didn't taste it.
lanterns for loi krathong
festive dresses in honor of loi krathong
lanterns floating at loi krathong. stunning sight.
loi krathong with a new friend (only photo of me in thailand)
loi krathong - koh samui
loi krathong festival - koh samui - november
lantern floated during loi krathong - the full moon festival
all the locals ride motorbikes. i finally broke down and gave one a try. my crash was minor.