Travel Guide









Travel Stories

An ancient town in Laos grapples with modernity

By Seth Mydans, IHT, April 13, 2008

LUANG PRABANG, Laos -- As the sky grows light along the Mekong River here, it is no longer the quiet footfalls of Buddhist monks that herald the day but the jostling and chattering of hundreds of tourists who have come to watch them on their morning rounds.

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Holy sanctuaries in Wutaishan

by ZIYING, The Star, April 9, 2008

Reputedly the home of the Boddhisattava of Wisdom, Wutaishan is one of the holiest Buddhist sanctuaries in China

Wutai Shan, China -- AFTER just a few days in Shanxi, it soon becomes obvious that Buddhism plays an inordinately important role in the province’s history. The trend no doubt began with the invasion of the staunchly Buddhist Tobas who created the Yungang Grottoes and established the short-lived Northern Wei dynasty 1,600 years ago.

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Visiting the birthplace of Japanese Buddhism

By Kate Graham, The Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2008

Guests can stay overnight at one of the temples and participate in the monks' routines

Mt. Koya, Japan -- I was struck by a surprising thought as I slid open the paper screen doors: Monks make wonderful gardeners. Below me was a beautifully crafted oasis, nicely pruned pines and maples swaying gently in the summer breeze. I listened to the soothing sound of trickling water as I sipped bitter green tea. It was serene, peaceful, perfect.

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Land of lotus eaters

by SUDHA MAHALINGAM, The Hindu, March 23, 2008

Luang Prabang is just the ticket if you are seeking something out of the ordinary

Luang Prabang, Laos -- It’s the magical twilight hour before sunrise. The sides of the street are lined with bamboo mats on which the devout and the curious huddle expectantly. Their gaze is fixed on the horizon, but they are not waiting for the sun to emerge.

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Yeongsanjeon of Geojo Hermitage, Sacred Prayer Site

By Jang Eun-hwa, The Korea Times, March 14, 2008

Seoul, South Korea -- With cleanly shaven heads, an unsophisticated appearance, funny expression and short stature, they do not seem very attractive to earthly modern man's eyes.

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Yungang’s treasure

by ZIYING, The Star, March 12, 2008

Shanxi’s Yungang grottoes are renowned for some of the finest Buddhist carvings in China

Shanxi, China -- WHENEVER China’s coal-rich Shanxi province is in the news, it is usually for the wrong reasons. Grim images of the darkened skies and soot-covered streets of Linfen, a coal-mining centre in the southern part of the province, have been featured repeatedly in various international media.

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Leshan: Exploring Sichuan's Buddhist heritage

China View, March 11, 2008

BEIJING, China -- Listed as a World Heritage site in 1996, Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei in Southwest China's Sichuan Province draw tourists and Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world.

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The Buddha trail

by MAYA NARASIMHAN, The Hindu, March 2, 2008

In Bihar one can still hear legends from the past alternate with the realities of the present.

Bihar, India -- This time our travel plans centred around Patna, for the usual reason; there was “somebody” there who would extend a congenial hospitality to us, a bungalow, cook and a car thrown in.

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Mount Koya, Japan: Red carpet treatment

by Julie Eagleton, The Telegraph (UK), Feb 22, 2008

High on Mount Koya Julie Eagleton is nourished by the graceful rituals – and deliciously delicate food – of the monks of the Daishi religion.

Mount Koya, Japan -- My first prayer session took place on a Sunday morning. The temple was gently lit by flickering candles and as my eyes became accustomed to the dim light I saw an abundance of black and gold boxes, along with offerings of pink perfectly rounded grapefruit, flowers and red candles arranged on a shimmering altar.

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Pilgrimage to a Buddhist past

by LEKHA J. SHANKAR, The Bangkok Post, Feb 21, 2008

The state of Orissa is home to some of the most stunning sacred architecture in all of India

Orissa, India -- Orissa, a state in northeastern India, is an exotic and exciting secret that's only now being unveiled - thanks to the phenomenal range of Buddhist artefacts that have recently been unearthed there.

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Ajanta Caves: Marvel of Buddhist religious art

India Post, Feb 17, 2008

Jalgaon city, India -- Ajanta Caves, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, holds masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, considered the finest examples of architecture.

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Jaw dropping Ajanta Caves

by Harsha, Backpack Blogs, February 12, 2008

Pune, India -- Imagine a cluster of caves in a horseshoe-shaped gorge with a small river flowing through it. Add to that a jaw-dropping 7-stepped waterfall through which the river enters the gorge.

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Burma Lures Tourists with Reopening of Ancient Palace

by Jenny Williams, Ethical Traveller, Feb 2, 2008

Bagan, Burma -- In an attempt to entice tourists to the military-ruled country, Burma's Ministry of Culture has reopened the Thiri Zeya Bumi Bagan Golden Palace. The palace—whose reconstruction began several years ago—is one of the most impressive remnants of the ancient city of Bagan, which flourished as a Buddhist center from the 11th to the 13th centuries. The site spreads across 80 kilometers and encompasses over 2,000 ruins.

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Sri Lanka's Golden triangle

by DR. SANJIVA WIJESINHA, The Hindu, Jan 20, 2008

The north-central plains of Sri Lanka, called the nation’s Cultural Triangle, is home to many UNESCO world heritage sites

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- In Sri Lanka’s sparsely populated north-central plains - aptly termed the nation’s Cultural Triangle — a remarkable cluster of UNESCO World Heritage sites offers a glimpse of life a thousand years ago in one of the world’ ;s first great Buddhist kingdoms.

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The Dambulla Rock Temple of Sri Lanka

Lanka Mission, December 31, 2007

Dambulla, Sri Lanka -- Dating back to the 1st Century BC, The Dambulla Rock Temple is the most impressive cave temple in Sri Lanka. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. In 1938 the architecture was embellished with arched colonnades and gabled entrances.

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Jahangira: The forgotten temple

by Bhante S. Dhammika, The Buddhist Temple, Dec 11, 2007

Jahangira, Bihar (India) -- Venerable Piyapala, Viraj and I left Bodh  Gaya at  three in the morning and spent the next  ten hours bumping over the pot-holed back roads of Bihar to get there.

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Mystics and wild orchids

by Tashi Tobgyal. Financial Express, December 9, 2007

Darjeeling, Sikkim (India) -- The monsoon had outlasted its term this year. Travelling in the hilly Darjeeling terrain was disorienting. Hill stations aren’t always beautiful, I thought. Especially when they are soaked with the monsoon, with the strong smell of fungus. Otherwise Darjeeling is surely a sight to behold. But the thin road meandering upwards into the never-ending fog seemed rather boring.

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Mysterious Arunachal Pradesh

By GRAHAM SIMMONS, The Star, Dec 1, 2007

Discover the hidden wonders of this remote north-eastern Indian state

Arunachal Pradesh, India -- Visiting an unspoiled place has its risks. To be the first spoiler could be just a little too much for the conscience to handle. So, the visitor has to keep a low profile, attempting the impossible task of noticing without being noticed.

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Railway brings tourist hordes to Tibet

By ANITA CHANG Associated Press, Nov 26, 2007

LHASA, China -- Three crimson-robed monks chant quietly as they file through the ancient palace, pausing every now and then to pray in the candlelit rooms filled with Buddhist statues and religious murals.

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Gyeongju, Korea's ancient face

by ZHANG QUANYI, UPI Asia, Nov 27, 2007

SEOUL, South Korea -- Anyone who has visited South Korea will have been impressed by its integration of modernity and tradition. If Seoul is a symbol of modern Korea, Geyongju represents ancient Korea and mainstream traditional culture.

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Treasure in the cavern

By SYLVIA LOOI, Photos by LEW YONG KAN, The Star, November 18, 2007

Ipoh, Perak (Malaysia) -- The cave temples of Ipoh, Perak, are also centres of Chinese culture and heritage and hold many artistic attractions.

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Leh in repose

by Mukesh Khosla, The Hindu Business Line, Nov 16, 2007

Discover the many faces of the Buddha at several well-preserved monasteries in this stark mountainous region.

Leh, Ladakh (India) -- As the plane descends three sights emerge simultaneously - a scattered township, the gurgling Indus river and snow-capped peaks. Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is now on the tourist map and a flight to this rooftop of the world takes less than an hour from Delhi.

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Serenity on the mountain

by Michelle Magnan, Calgary Herald, Sept 14, 2007

On one of Japan's holiest mountains you can meditate with monks and find solitude far from the buzz of the cities

Koyasan, Japan -- As the train left Osaka and headed toward the lush hills south of the Japanese city, I felt very far from home. The small train stopped every once in a while, letting people off on diminutive, deserted platforms. When it eventually slowed and pulled into the last stop, I was one of three people to switch to an even smaller train. Winding its way up the mountain, it finally dropped us at a cable car station.

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China's mystery mountain

Rednet.cn, Sept 11, 2007

Sichuan, China -- Nianbaoyuze, when translated from the Tibetan language, means the grand mountain of boulder. Located on the border of Qinghai and Sichuan provinces, it is composed of about 3,600 mountains and 360 lakes about 4,000 meters above sea level.

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Pilgrimage to Lhasa

by John Flinn, San Francisco Chronicle, September 2, 2007

Amid a modern Chinese city, ancient Tibetan traditions persist

Lhasa, Tibet
-- Probing fingers brushed my hip as I plunged into the crowd of Tibetan pilgrims shuffling around and around the Jokhang Temple.

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Watican city

by D.B.N Murthy, The Hindu Business Line, Aug 17, 2007

A mix of French impressions and Buddhist ideologies, Luang Prabang promises a rejuvenating getaway.

Luang Prabang, Laos -- No visit to Laos (its official name is Lao People’s Democratic Republic) can be complete without a visit to Luang Prabang, which was the capital of Laos for many years till the Pathet Lao dismantled the monarchy and shifted the capital to Vientiane. It is a sleepy little town near the confluence of rivers Mekong and Nam Kham.

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Kingdom in the clouds

by Susan Gough, Toronto Star, Aug 15, 2007

PARO, BHUTAN -- The tiny landlocked kingdom of Bhutan has managed a spectacular promotional feat. First, the Fourth King announced he measures his country's progress in terms of Gross National Happiness. Then he essentially limited the number of visitors by charging a minimum of $200 a day for accommodation, food, driver and guide.

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Journey to the Roof of the World

by Jakhan Nguyen, Brentwood Press, Aug 10, 2007

Lhasa, Tibet (China) -- Three hundred miles of off-road four-wheeling. Past mud-brick dwellings and golden temples. Through scorching sands and freezing snow. From bottomless gorges to soaring mountains. My family and I have traveled every year since I was born, often to what many hold to be the literal “Ends of the Earth.” But the journey to Everest was completely unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.

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Tales from a Himalayan hill station

by Stephen McClarence, The Times, August 11, 2007

Kalimpong, West Bengal (India) -- High on a hotel terrace in Darjeeling, an alarming noise pierced the Himalayan mists. One moment it sounded like a braying donkey, the next like a crow being strangled. Was it an animal? A bird? “No, no, sir,” said the hotel receptionist. “It is Doctor Sprigg of Kalimpong, tuning up his bagpipes.”

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Spiritual homage to Yen Tu Mountain

VietNamNet Bridge, Aug 6, 2007

Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam -- Yen  Tu Mountain, Quang Ninh province is one of Vietnam’s ancient Buddhist centre. It is the home of the Truc Lam Zen Sect, dating back some 700 years ago.

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A slice of eternity

The Hindu, July 29, 2007

Kandy, rich in tradition and history, is an ideal destination for the cultural tourist.

Kandy, Sri Lanka -- It is a three-hour drive from the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo to the World Heritage City of Kandy. The journey through the Colombo-Kandy road flanked by verdant green, zipping past Maruti 800s, Altos, Lanka Ashok Leyland and Tata buses, it almost f eels like a drive through Kerala. It is the ample presence of foreign cars — the Toyota Hi Ace and Lite Ace vans — that makes it different.

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A pilgrimage to the sacred land of Buddha

VNS, July 15, 2007

Scenic Truc Lam Tay Thien Zen Monastery is breathing new life into Viet Nam’s cradle of Buddhism. Trung Hieu has the story.

Vinh Phuc, Vietnam -- It was a hot afternoon at the end of June. Heat that brings sweat to your forehead at the very thought of going outside, especially when outside means streams of motorbikes and people jostling each other as they are about their daily business.

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Historic Gyeongju

By Brenda Koller, The Korea Times, July 13, 2007

Gyeongju, South Korea -- A visit to Korea would simply not be complete without a visit to Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) for over 900 years and one of the world’s 10 most historic sites.

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Walking with the Buddha

by D.K. BHASKAR, The Hindu, July 8, 2007

If you are looking for inner peace and spirituality, Lantau Island is the place to go to.

Hong Kong, China -- After nearly 10 days in Hong Kong, a British colonial land of yesteryears, I still felt I was missing something. I had crisscrossed between Kowloon and Hong Kong islands several times, exploring some of their star attractions, photographing the exube rance of the islanders and of course the ultramodern skylines.

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Buddhist pilgrimage in Vietnam

Vietnam's longest festival starts in February, lasting right through the spring

Hanoi, Vietnam -- The Perfume Pagoda festival is an annual pilgrimage that takes place in the mountainous Perfume Pagoda region south of Hanoi.

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Sri Lanka: Lessons from heart of Buddhism

By Iris Moon, Korea Herald correspondent, April 21, 2005

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- For many people, this teardrop-shaped tropical island at the southeastern edge of India did not come up in conversations until the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami. It left at least 30,000 dead and more than 1 million homeless in Sri Lanka, which suffered the second highest toll among countries hit by the disaster.

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Enlightened reality in Gaden

by Jamie Khoo, The Star, November 11, 2006

Gaden, Tibet (China) -- One of Tibet’s most prominent monasteries, Gaden, was completely destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution but has since re-established itself in India. JAMIE KHOO visits the new site.

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The road to enlightenment

by VASANA CHINVARAKORN, Bangkok Post, May 31, 2007

Singing prayers and songs, a bunch of feisty travellers lend a festive flair to Bodhgaya and other Buddhist holy sites during a pilgrimage to India and Nepal

Bodhgaya, India
-- It's not everyday that you get to sing the Thai national anthem and other songs at the top of your pitch in India, Bodhgaya to be precise, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. With a senior monk leading the chorus, our group of 60 or so Thais joined in, straining our lungs in a show of nationalistic zeal that - had the Enlightened One been hearing - would have certainly left him amused.

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Frescoes of Dunhuang

by Ziying, The Star, May 30, 2007

It is said that if the Buddhist murals at Dunhuang’s Mogao Grottoes were joined together, they would stretch for 30km.

Dunhuang, China
-- I LOOKED out the window of the train to see the pale glow of the sun rising in an insipid grey sky. We had boarded the train at a station an hour’s drive from Turpan the night before and had been travelling for nine and a half hours.

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Bihar, the heart of spiritual India

by Antje Schmid, DPA, May 23, 2007

BODHGAYA, INDIA -- IN HARDLY any other place in India do economic poverty and spiritual wealth go hand in hand than in the north-eastern state of Bihar. Bihar is one of the poorest areas in the country as evidenced by its dilapidated system of roads.

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Ruins of Gaochang

by Ziying, The Star, May 16, 2007

People of different faiths lived side by side in Gaochang until the city was destroyed 700 years ago.

Yining, Xinjiang (China)
-- LESS than an hour east of Turpan, the ruins of the ancient city of Gaochang can be reached by a highway that runs along the base of the Huoyanshan (Flaming Mountain), a barren, loaf-shaped range 100km long. Under the searing summer sun the red sandstone mountain looks as if it is on fire, hence its name. 

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Buddhist trail by rail

By S.B. TOH, The Star, May 5, 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- The Mahaparnirvana Special Train is a newly launched rail tour that traces the life of the Buddha from cradle to grave in what is today northern India and Nepal. The Buddhist destinations in the package aren’t new; the rail component is.

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In the Buddha’s footsteps

By S.B. TOH, The Star, May 5, 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- The life of the Buddha is one of the most inspiring stories ever told. The Buddhist circuit of northern India and Nepal allows pilgrims and tourists alike to “walk with the Buddha”.

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A haven of peace amidst the clouds

By K.W. MAK, Photos by UU BAN LEONG, The Star, April 25, 2007

Genting Hinglands, Pahang (Malaysia) -- FROM humble beginnings where earth was dug up with bare hands, the Chin Swee Temple stands tall today with intricate carvings decorating its walls and statues of the various Buddhist deities.

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Elvis in the land of monks

by Anirban Roy, Hindustan Times, April 20, 2007

Lhasa, Tibet (China) -- It’s been 48 long years since the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has been in exile in India. But they say that his heart is yearning to see Lhasa — the 1,300-year-old holy city. Lhasa has traditionally been the seat of Tibetan Buddhism and is regarded as the holiest centre in politically distressed Tibet.

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Kathmandu's Slice of Tibet

by Rama Sapkota, OhMyNews, April 3, 2007

Kathmandu, Nepal -- Boudha near Kathmandu is famously known as Little Tibet. It is one of the top tourist spots in the world, located around five kilometers northeast of Nepal's capital city on the old road from Tibet.

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Wat Chetawan: Something heavenly

by ASHREENA PILLAI, New Straits Times, March 29, 2007

ASHREENA PILLAI pays a visit to one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Malaysia,  situated in Petaling Jaya.

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
-- My visit to the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya was an unforgettable experience indeed.

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Blessed tour

By MAJORIE CHIEW, The Star, March 27, 2007

A Buddhist group on a pilgrimage to Sri Lanka continues its journey.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
-- To a group of devotees on a recent eight-day pilgrimage to Sri Lanka, the trip was no ordinary sightseeing tour of beautiful temples and ancient cities. We learnt about the country’s historical background and the places related to the Lord Buddha.

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China's Putuoshan island offers serenity and a rich Buddhist heritage

EarthTimes.org, Mar 27, 2007

Putuoshan, China -- With its mountain scenery and seascapes the island of Putuoshan is like something straight from the pages of a book on Chinese myths and legends, as this scene illustrates. Perched on a headland is a pagoda, its burnished roof glowing in the sun. The hills are clad in rich green forests and waves of chocolate brown water pound the rocky coastline.

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The Tiger Temple

Travel Blackboard, March 19, 2007

Bangkok, Thailand -- The Tiger Temple or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua is famed for its practice of conservation and the Buddhist culture of peace. Getting its name from the many tame Indochinese Tigers that freely roam the ground, the Tiger Temple is a popular attraction for many travellers to the country.

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Buddhist sights and celebrations in Sri Lanka

Travel Bite, Mar 6, 2007

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- May sees some of the biggest Buddhist celebrations in the world on Vesak Day, which marks the beginning of the Buddhist calendar.

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Grand Gangaramaya

By KEE HUA CHEE, The Star, February 10, 2007

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Colombo’s biggest Buddhist temple, Gangaramaya, is a major tourist attraction due to its stunning interiors and history. One of its main draws is a relic bone said to belong to the Buddha.

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Walk towards enlightenment

By KEE HUA CHEE, The Star, January 20, 2007

Hong Kong is synonymous with shameless materialism. Yet, less than an hour away, on Lantau Island, is simplicity and calm.

Hong Kong, China
-- BUILT atop the highest terrain on Lantau Island, the Giant Buddha is only 13 years old but already it’s a place of pilgrimage. Legends surround the world’s tallest seated outdoor bronze Buddha.

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Spiritual Tourism

The Buddhist Channel, Dec 22, 2006

New York, USA -- Spiritual tourism is now one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry worldwide, reports Perry Garfinkel, author of "Buddha or Bust" (Harmony Books), in a New York Times article he wrote that will appear Dec. 24.

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Thailand's Temple tales

by YVONNE BOHWONGPRASERT, Bangkok Post, Dec 7, 2006

Samut Songkhram is a short distance from Bangkok and its place in Thai history, temples and riverine ambience never fails to enchant visiting tourists

Samut Songkhram, Thailand -- Apart from the fertile soil, fresh seafood and numerous canals, the tiny coastal province of Samut Songkhram oozes with culture and history that are reflected through its numerous temples around which revolve around the lives of local people.

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Escaping to Bhutan

STORY AND PHOTOS BY USNISA SUKHSVASTI, Bankok Post, Dec 6, 2006

This beautiful land of mountains and temples has forsaken tourist dollars to keep its identity and environment

Timphu, Bhutan
-- Promoting travel to Bhutan is a contradiction of sorts. Bhutan should be kept a secret from the invasion of tourism that has proved to be both a boon and a bane for most of the world's top travel destinations. Even outer space has fallen victim to commercial tourism, and discerning travellers are demanding more.

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Finding Shangri-La? Try Tawang

by Deborshi Chaki, CNN-IBN, December 4, 2006

Tawang, India -- Tawang, a quaint town tucked in the Himalayas at over 10,000 feet, may not be your regular hill station. But what sets the town apart is its isolation from the mundane and the famous Tawang monastery.

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India's Little Tibet: Ladakh - A mystic land of adventure

By Siddhartha Kumar, Monster and Critics, Nov 14, 2006

Leh, Ladakh (India) -- After an almost reckless ride negotiating treacherous Himalayan roads amid snowfall to the world's highest motorable pass at Khardungla, the drive down to the gong-bells, butter-lamps and the chanting of Buddhist lamas at the serene Spituk monastery can truly alter the state of mind.

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Tibetan holy site sends the spirit soaring

Phayul (Source: usatoday.com), November 9, 2006

Lhasa, Tibet -- One is a palace whose godking has fled. The other a temple — dark, smoky and sticky underfoot. Each visible from the roof of the other, and both located on the very roof of the world, together they form a dramatic double act of spiritual power, architectural splendor and faith enduring against all odds.

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The mountain "where Buddha laid his foot on"

By Sudath Gunasekara (S.L.A.S), Asian Tribune, Oct 21, 2006

The wonder that is Lakegala from where Ravana ruled Lanka and Lord Buddha preached Lankavatara Sutra and laid his Foot Print

Lakegala, Sri Lanka
-- Wrapped in mystery and legend, on the northern end of this village, rising above the surroundings like a colossal giant is the world famous Lakegala, the highest bare rock outcrop in the world. "The Resplendent Rock", "The Rock of Lanka’ or "The Target Rock", Lanka Pabbata, Lankagiri, Laggala, Samudramalaya or Samudragiri are the different names given to it as it was differently called by different people at different times in different contexts.

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Take the cable car path to enlightenment

by Belinda Jackson, Sydney Morning Herald, Oct 15, 2006

Hong Kong, China -- THERE are certain things you don't want to hear when you're suspended 50 metres above a mountain ridge. "I heard the opening of the cable car was delayed, for some reason," is one of them. Especially when uttered by a dour Englishman wearing shorts, tan socks and sandals.

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Great Buddha at Todaiji temple

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct 12, 2006

Tokyo, Japan -- During the reign of Emperor Shomu, the country suffered epidemics and major conflicts. Hoping to relieve the anxiety of the people and bring peace, Emperor Shomu built the Great Buddha at Todaiji temple.

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India's Buddhist heritage draws seekers

By NIRMALA GEORGE, Associated Press, October 2, 2006

BODH GAYA, India -- The road to Bodh Gaya, one of Buddhism's holiest sites, had been long and strenuous.

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On the road to Shangri-La

By Justin Vallejo, The Sunday Telegraph, Sept 16, 2006

Yunnan Province, China -- I STOOD upon a mountainside: a sacred waterfall rages down from high above while an impassable glacier blocks the way ahead. I had travelled across most of south-west China to find a hidden valley trail that led me over halfway up the 6740m giant called Kawakarpo.

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Thubron in China

The Sunday Times, September 10, 2006

In Colin Thubron's new travel epic, Shadow of the Silk Road, he finds a monastic refuge from the brutal weather
 
London, UK
-- My bus winds up into the land of carved dust. The hills circle and uncoil around us, then level out into a high valley where a tributary of the Yellow River has smoothed its bed to a broken pavement. Out of the scattered villages the bus fills up with Muslim Hui, their women wimpled in black or dark-green lace; and soon the towns are thronged with their high white caps, as if thousands of chefs were inexplicably wheeling bicycles and handcarts through the streets.

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Buddha's Heritage of Peace and Light

Story and Photos by Manpreet Singh, The Seoul Times, Aug 8, 2006

Chandigarh, India -- The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India, where the Buddha found enlightenment after years of wandering in search of truth, was formally dedicated as the Unesco's World Heritage site, in February, 2004.

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Mystical Mt Emei

BY CHRISTINA KOH, The Star, July 29, 2006

Mt. Emei, China -- Four in the morning seemed like an unholy hour to get up for a mountain, but Mt Emei in China’s Sichuan province, is well-worth the trouble. The whole idea was to catch the sunrise, and this entailed a two-hour bus trip from the hotel to the cable-car station, where we would ride all the way up to the Golden Summit of Mt Emei.

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Korean temple bell tolls for meditation

by Barbara Bunce Desmeules, CanWest News Service, July 11, 2006

'Templestay' program popular with people who want to delve into Buddhism

Daejeon, South Korea
-- It was a cold December afternoon on the roof of the administration building of the Jagwang-Sa temple compound in Daejeon, South Korea. The monk stood to one side, meditating, with his arms tucked in his robe. It was time to beat the Beomjong temple bell. In Korean Buddhism, the ceremony rids a person of earthly desires and helps prepare for meditation.

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Cable car ride to Vietnam’s largest reclining Buddha

by Binh Nguyen, Saigon Times, June 14, 2006

Saigon, Vietnam -- Tourists and pilgrims from near and far are traveling to Ta Cu (or Takou) Mountain in Binh Thuan Province this summer to explore the picturesque scenery of the mountain’s rainforest and visit the largest statue of a reclining Buddha in Vietnam.

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Riding through the ruins

By Anu Nathan, The Star, May 20, 2006

All the troubles of Sri Lanka disappear the moment you step into Polonnaruwa. Despite being smaller than its more illustrious counterpart Anuradhapura, the ruins here are better preserved and exude peace, writes ANU NATHAN.

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A glance of 9 mysterious and fascinating lakes in Tibet

People's Daily, March 29, 2006

Lhasa, Tibet (China) -- Namtso means the lake of heaven in Tibetan language. Located between Dangxiong county and Bange county 240 kilometers north of capital Lhasa, Lake Namtso has a length of 70km and a width of 30 km, and covers an area of 1,940 square kilometers. It is the largest salty lake in Tibet and the second of this kind in China.

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Attractive tourist sites in Nam Dinh, Vietnam

nhandan.com.vn, March 27, 2006

Nam Dinh, Vietnam -- Nam Dinh is situated in the north of Vietnam and south of the Red River delta, about 80 km from Hanoi. It is known for interesting tourist sites namely Thinh Long Beach, Co Le Pagoda, Pho Minh Pagoda and others.

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Zhoushan: Buddha & Beach

CRIENGLISH.com, March 9, 2006

Zhoushan, China -- The Zhoushan Archipelago, in the East China Sea, is China's largest group of islands. It is composed of over 1,300 islands, which are well known as both a tourist attraction and a center of Buddhist culture.

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Penang's Burmese Buddhist temple still charm visitors two centuries on

By ONG YEE TING, The Star, March 7, 2006

Penang, Malaysia -- TRANQUIL is an apt word to describe the historical Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple in Burma Lane, Penang. Although, there are many visitors daily, both foreign and local, the place is quiet and serene.

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Penang's Reclining Buddha

The Star, March 7, 2006

Penang, Malaysia -- MEASURING 33m (99ft), from toe to the tip of headgear, the largest reclining Buddha statue in Malaysia at Wat Chaiya Mangalaram (Reclining Buddha Temple) is one of Penang's famous tourist attractions.

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Heart and Seoul: Step into life of Buddhist monk during temple stay

by Yvette Cardozo and Bill Hirsch, Boston Herald, March 5, 2006

GYONGJU, South Korea -- 4 a.m. The sound starts slowly, faintly. It is a deep, melodic clack, almost too soft to hear. It gets louder, faster. Our eyes open and we fumble for flashlights in the dark.

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Mekong meditations

by ROB CORBIDGE, The Scotsman, Feb 25, 2006

Mekong Basin, Laos -- BRITISH converts to Buddhism have always irked me. Their belief seemed so nebulous as to be virtually no belief at all - a cop-out against any faith with strict rules and eternal damnation for those who don't accept its truth. At their best, western converts to Buddhism seem to want the kind of paganism that promotes an appreciation of the balance of nature and the need to be nice to people - with the faint smell of incense making the matter more attractive than the whiff of woad accompanying ancient British elemental faiths.

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Mount Wutai reports record tourism

Xinhuanet, Feb 25, 2006

TAIYUAN, China -- China's most famous Buddhist mountain, Mount Wutai, registered a record high of 1.24 billion yuan (155 million U.S. dollars) in tourist revenue last year.

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One fine day in Ayuthaya

by B V Prakash, Deccan Herald, Feb 5, 2006

B V Prakash visits Ayuthaya and Bangpa-In, Thailand, where Buddhist temples create a serene atmosphere for a weary tourist.

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A Diverse Spiritual Journey Through India Dharamsala

by Cassie Childers, Photographs Cassie Childers and Pim Kemasingki, Chiangmai News, Jan 31, 2006

Dharmsala, India -- Each year throngs of travellers roam the world in search of answers to the most sacred of questions?questions like, "How can I find happiness?" and "Why are we here?" Spiritual seekers check out of their normal routines for a while, sometimes for years, in order to investigate life  many mysteries, and with any luck, to attain some level of spiritual enlightenment along the way.

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The Eyes of Buddha

by Bishnu K.C., OhmyNews International, Jan 19, 2006

One of the largest stupas in South Asia, Baudhanath is the pride of Nepal
 
Kathmandu, Nepal
-- From the ancient age to the 21st century, Nepalese have been following three styles of architecture: the Pagoda, Shikhara and Stupa.

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Mount Wutai seeks world heritage listing

Xinhua News Agency, Dec 30, 2005

Shanxi Province, China -- China's most famous Buddhist mountain will file documents for UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage in February next year, according to local officials here.

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Taxila, Pakistan and me

By Dr. Mohamed Elmasry, Arab2000.net, Dec 21, 2005

Taxila, Pakistan -- Today, it's a tiny city 35 km from Islamabad, and home to its own university of Engineering and Technology with some 5,000 students. But Taxila is also one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world -- both an important historical centre of Buddhism, and a once major centre of learning where philosophy, arts, religion and culture were taught.

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Miracle of faith

by Yvonne Bohwongprasert, Bangkok Post, Dec 20, 2005

Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda defies nature and laws of gravity. Pilgrims there know why

Yangon, Burma -- Burma is a melting pot of cultural diversity and mysticism that binds its people together through their strong faith in Buddhism. The nation's well preserved pagodas are a popular meeting place for locals looking for spiritual uplifting and an outlet from the pressures of making ends meet.

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In footsteps of Enlightened One in Vizag

by V. Guhan, Deccan Herald, Dec 11, 2005

The existence of centuries-old Buddhist sites in Vizag is bound to interest both tourists and historians, writes V Guhan.

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Wheel of time set to roll at Amaravati

by Terry Kennedy, Deccan Herald, Nov 20, 2005

Amaravati is gearing up for the Kalachakra ceremony that will be held in next January. Terry Kennedy details the preperations being made.

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Tu Van Pagoda: A world of corals and shells

by Khue Viet Truong, Saigon Times, Nov 17, 2005

Saigon, Vietnam -- A magnificent, mysterious realm of dry corals and shells distinguishes Tu Van Pagoda on the central coast from Vietnam’s many other pagodas.  With its distinct origins, the pagoda, located in Cam Ranh Municipality of Khanh Hoa Province, has become a popular stopover on many tours from HCMC to Nha Trang, the capital of Khanh Hoa.

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Haein-sa Temple-Stay Offers Insight, Tradition

By Sarah Ferguson, The Korea Times, Nov 3, 2005

HAPCHON, South Kyongsang Province (South Korea) -- People drew together for a closer look as a monk stepped forward and began to beat a large cow-hide drum. Our group of friends stood slightly removed from the front of the gathering. In the background, there was a panorama that would take your breath away.

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Temple Stay Awakens Newcomers to Buddhism

by John Christopher, OhMyNews International, Oct 27, 2005

Introduction to meditation is brief, but lasting

Seoul, South Korea -- Waking up at 3:40 a.m. to the sound of a mallet tapping a wooden block almost the size of a volleyball may not be your idea of a good time, but given that the tapper was a Buddhist monk standing beside a hillside temple in Korea under a shining three-quarter moon and a sky full of brilliant stars made it a bit easier.

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Korean Buddhism Values Education

By Kathryn Brimacombe, The Seoul Times, Oct 19, 2005

Seoul, South Korea -- Yellow leaves swirl around me in the crisp autumn air, falling gently like soft snowflakes as the sound of chanting draws me past windows displaying golden Buddhas in the heart of Jongno, Seoul. I follow the rich voice as the sound grows louder and, turning up a small incline, enter the courtyard of Jogyesa Temple, the seat of the Jogye Order of Buddhism in South Korea.

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The Mystery of Korea Found in Temple Stays

By Edel Codd, The Seoul Times, Oct 19, 2005

"Fortune comes from simple life,
Virtue comes from humility,
Wisdom comes from serenity,
Affliction comes from greed,
Misfortune comes from carelessness,
Evil comes from impatience."
-  Magok-sa Temple

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Day trip to Bangkok's Buddhist wonderland

by Lee Yong-sung, The Korea Herald, Oct 15, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Bangkok, just like any other metropolis, is full of diversity, but the Thai capital takes it to the extremes. Some will remember a city filled with beautiful temples and shrines. Others though remember it as a city with a lucrative sex industry, best represented by the red-light district of Phatpong.

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Yongju, Where the Essence of Buddhism, Confucianism Blend

By Yoon Ja-young, The Korea Times, Oct 7, 2005

YONGJU, North Kyongsang Province (South Korea) -- My cousin Lee Nae-yun and I wanted to make a special memory before she went to Chicago for graduate school this fall. While I indecisively surfed the Web looking for exciting places to go, Nae-yun suggested on more than two occasions that we go to Pusoksa Temple in Yongju.

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The path to enlightenment

by John Flinn, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2, 2005

The sacred meets the scared in Japan's Kii Mountains

Dorogawa, Japan -- My guide, Mr. Samio Ohnishi, is screaming at me in Japanese. "Are you," he demands to know (as it's translated for me), "a loving and faithful husband?"

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Captivated by beauty of temple

The Star, September 25, 2005

Ipoh, Perak (Malaysia) -- Cave temples have always held a certain fascination for many; its natural stalactite and stalagmite formations are a spectacular work of art that never ceases to amaze.

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Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka

Story and photos by PEERAWAT JARIYASOMBAT, Bangkok Post, Sept 29, 2005

Buddhists pack temples on full moon of the eighth lunar month

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- It was a hot day. I saw a bunch of flowers tied to the front bumper of a passing open-top van packed with people of all ages, who despite the simmering heat seemed to be enjoying the ride.

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Impressive figures in Laos' capital

By Huang Haimin and Bui Minhlong, Xinhuanet, Sept 17, 2005

Vientiane, Laos -- Plethora of man-powered wooden carriers and three-wheel motorized vehicles named tuk tuk, heavily loaded with fresh fruits or processed foodstuffs, were moving one after another in or out of the Morning Market in Vientiane, Laos' capital, while many local women in long dress were selling lotuses,daisies and roses around the market under sunlight.

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Gongga Shan - The mountain worth a lifetime of prayer

by Michael Woodhead, China Daily, Sept 16, 2005

Chengdu, China -- It was in May 1929 that the famous Austrian-American explorer Joseph Rock became the first westerner to get a clear view of the mighty 7,556-metre Gongga Shan in Sichuan Province. Climbing a ridge near the present day town of Kangding, he caught his first, stunning glimpse from above the Yulongsi valley.

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Temple-visiting in Thailand

Story and pictures by PAMELA PHANG KOOI YOONG, The Star, Originally published Sept 3, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- The pig stared at me. I had no mercy; I shot it anyway. Let me assure you I have not turned into a hunter. The said pig was already dead, its head decapitated and boiled whole. It lay on its final bed – an enamel tray before the Phra Buddha Chinnaraj. It was too good an opportunity to let this Kodak moment pass. 

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Wander where the wise ones wink

By SUMIKO ENBUTSU, The Japan Times, Sept 2, 2005

Tokyo, Japan -- Buddhist statues we usually see at temples and museums represent enlightened beings that have transcended their worldly existence and entered the Buddhist pantheon. They stand or are seated on pedestals of lotus flowers symbolic of the Buddhist paradise, and are depicted in poses particular to their ranks and characters, such as Nyorai or Bosatsu (bodhisattva).

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Dharamsala! Dharamsala!

By Thubten Samphel, TibetNet, August 07, 2005

Dharamsala, India -- Great places inspire great books. So it is with Dharamsala. There are many books on the exile capital of the Tibetan world, and they are growing. So, let's start with the place, the whole place. Not as it is now, nor as it was, but as it is reflected in literature.

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Cashing in on Bodhidharma's legacy

Deccan Herald, Aug 1, 2005

The Shaolin temple in China is surrounded by umpteen interesting legends. N N Sachitanand visits the temple where Shaolin Kung Fu saw its origin.
 
Henan Province, China
-- Having been an avid watcher of Kung Fu films ever since ?Enter the Dragon? made its spectacular debut in cinemas all over the world, I made it a point to include a visit to the Shaolin temple in the itinerary of our recent China tour. It is an eight-hour train journey from Beijing to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province located in central China.

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Take a tranquil path to wisdom

Hong Kong's Information Services Department, Aug 1, 2005

Hong Kong, China -- When life gets too hectic you need to escape city life for a day and relax in a natural environment where you can enjoy tranquillity and refresh your spirit through meditation.

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Monastic attraction

by YEANG SOO CHING, The New Straits Times, July 24, 2005

Hundreds of thousands of people visit Jenjarom every year, writes YEANG SOO CHING, to tour the picturesque Dong Zeng Buddhist Monastery and Institute.

Jenjarom, Selangor (Malaysia)
-- Any Jenjarom resident will tell you the main attraction of the town is the Dong Zen Buddhist Monastery and Institute in Sungai Jarom.

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Andhra Pradesh: On Buddhist trails

by YVONNE BOHWONGPRASERT, Bangkok Post, July 14, 2005

Andhra Pradesh, India -- A bastion of Buddhism, Andhra Pradesh, known as the "Rice Granary of India'', offers a plethora of magnificent ancient remains of viharan and stupas that should encourage Thais to make a pilgrimage there.

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Discovering Datong

by Ted Utoft, China Daily, June 24, 2005

Datong, China -- At first glance, the Datong of today seems like any medium-sized Chinese city. One might even pass through without ever knowing the treasures the city is in fact home to. When stepping off the train the usual onslaught of taxis, buses and neon signs greet you in the coal-mining city, but lying just outside the city limits are some of China's most interesting and unusual sites.

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Life Goes Higher On Roof Of The World

By Sunil KC, The Rising Nepal, June 20, 2005

Lhasa, Tibet (China) -- For outsiders, the very name Tibet evokes an impression of a rustic place at a remote corner of the world beyond the great Himalayas and other lofty mountains, high plateau above the tree line with almost barren landscape, harsh climate with thin air and one has to take a deep breath to have a lungful of oxygen. Tibet remained an enigma for long. This mysticism was added by its long isolation and its famed spiritualism. Therefore, a visit to this mythical land is eagerly waited by anyone who has some interest in its history, geography, culture and tradition.

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Bumthang: Balcony of the Himalayas

by Partha S. Banerjee, The Tribune of India, June 19, 2005

Partha S. Banerjee travels to the steeped-in-culture Bumthang valley of Bhutan

Bumthang, Bhutan
-- IT'S a fabled valley deep inside Bhutan with the prettiest women anywhere. Or so, at least, goes one story about the origin of Bumthang's name. For, bum in the local language means girl.

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Bulguksa: Largest Buddhist Vihar in Korea

By Arun Ranjit, The Rising Nepal, June 19, 2005

Kathmandu, Nepal -- Nepal and Korea, both situated in Asia, are homes to a diversity of cultures where they live and mingle in harmony. The exchange of cultural activities between Nepal and Korea has been materializing due to the promotional efforts being put up by both the sides.

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Going to the Temple in Search of Self

by Jeong-Gook Yoon, The Korea Herald, June 18, 2005

Seoul, South Korea -- A "temple stay" is about finding the "real self" through Zen meditation or by walking along a forest path to communicate with nature and heal a mind that has been stressed from daily life.

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Travels with the Buddha

by Michael Gebicki, The Sun-Herald, June 15, 2005

This ancient Asian religion leads to many amazing locations, writes Michael Gebicki.

Sydney, Australia -- Peace-loving and calming, mellow and trendy, Buddhism has taken firm root in the West, especially among the glitterati. Richard Gere is the most prominent of the star Buddhists. But so are Uma Thurman and Jewish-born rapper Adam Yauch, frontman for the Beastie Boys, while Travellers & Magicians, the latest film from Bhutanese lama-auteur, Khyentse Norbu will probably do for the Land of the Thunder Dragon Bhutan what Lord Of The Rings did for New Zealand. It's also a creed full of subtlety and charm.

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Korean pilgrimage

Story and photos by JARUNEE TAEMSAMRAN, Bangkok Post, June 9, 2005

Temples across South Korea are welcoming tourists to come and spend a night there

Seoul, South Korea
-- Dressed in loose grey robes like those worn by monks in South Korea, we clearly looked out of sorts. Feeling funny, we giggled unabashed and then decided to pose for a group photo that we thought would keep alive our memories of this temple tour in the years to come.

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Caves of divinity

by SHONA ADHIKARI, TIMES NEWS NETWORK, JUNE 02, 2005

Aurangabad, India -- If you thought fashion was only for clothes, think again. The magnificent Ajanta and Ellora Caves located a short distance from the city of Aurangabad, were among the most favoured tourist spots, around the time of India?s independence.

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Land of Buddha

TIMES NEWS NETWORK, JUNE 02, 2005

Gaya, India -- Transformed into the Buddha "The Enlightened One" the prince-turned monk proceeded to Sarnath to deliver his first discourse, spelling out the noble truths, blazing a trail in the annals of abstract religion.

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The Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit

By Jeffrey Miller, The Korea Times Feature Writer, June 2, 2005

BANGKOK, Thailand -- There are many magnificent Buddhist temples awaiting travelers in Bangkok, but of all of the Buddhist images, none are perhaps more impressive than that of the Golden Buddha.

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World's largest Buddhist temple

by Dianne M. Villafuerte, Philippine Daily Inquirer News Service, May 20, 2005

Jogjakarta, Java (Indonesia) -- RUMORS reached the British lieutenant governor of Java about an ancient temple buried deep within the center of the island. Intrigued, he ordered a team of explorers to investigate. Weeks later, a magnificent, not to mention mysterious, historical shrine was unveiled.

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A Tooth For Kandy

A2mediagroup.com, May 18, 2005

Kandy, Sri Lanka -- Every year since 300 AD, first in the ancient capital Anuradhapura and more recently in Kandy, the streets have erupted in celebration of Esala Perahera, a 10-day pageant of decorated elephants, fire-juggling acrobats, traditional dancers, torchbearers and thousands of barefoot pilgrims and swordsmen.

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Pongun-sa Temple: Seoul's Best Kept Secret

By Jeffrey Miller, The Korea Times Feature Writer, May 13, 2005

Seoul, South Korea -- Hemmed in by Seoul's urban encroachment and towering concrete and steel buildings, one of the city's best kept secrets just might be Pongun-sa Temple. Located at the base of Mt. Sudo, directly across the street from the mammoth COEX (Convention Exhibition Center) complex in southern Seoul, Pongun-sa Temple is one of only a few traditional Buddhist temples found in the city. Next to Seoul's beautiful and impressive palaces, you are not going to find anything this magnificent within the city's urban sprawl.

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Solemn and vibrant

Story and photographs by GOMASE THEENANON, Bangkok Post, May 6, 2005

Ethnic Shans lend flavour to tourism with their colourful ordination rites

Chiang Mai, Thailand
-- It was a quiet summer day that I travelled to Wat Pa Pao temple, the hub of the Shan community on Maneeopparat Road outside the city moat. I was thoroughly enjoying myself taking pictures of the temple when I noticed a local artist writing a signboard in Burmese language.

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Confluence of CULTURES

Story and photos by YVONNE BOHWONGPRASERT, Bangkok Post, April 22, 2005

Gandhara and Buddhism share common heritage

Gandhara, Pakistan
-- One doesn't have to be a follower of Lord Buddha to marvel at the cultural heritage, ancient ruins and trails of Gandhara. Like many other Thais, I was totally ignorant of this part of Pakistan and its history until I travelled there recently and discovered its strong links with Buddhism and why the people there, even though they are Muslim, guard this national treasure with such passion.

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Mount Jiuhua: "Land of Buddhas and Incense"

Xinhuanet, April 13, 2005

BEIJING, China -- Rising in Qingyang County of Anhui Province, Mount Jiuhua consists of ninety-nine peaks, among the most magnificent being Heavenly Terrace (Tiantai), Lotus Flower (Lianhua), Sky Pillar (Tianzhu), and Ten Kings (Shiwang).

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Thailand's 'First Temple'

By Jeffrey Miller, Korea Times Feature Writer, April 14, 2005

NAKHON PATHOM, Thailand -- Of the approximately 27,000 Buddhist Temples in Thailand, perhaps none are more visibly impressive than that of Wat Phra Pathom Chedi. Towering 383 feet (120 meters) over the small provincial town of Nakhon Pathom, the ``chedi (pagoda),'' with its highly glazed orange tiles gleaming like a golden sphere in the sky and visible for miles, is the world's tallest Buddhist monument.

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Holiday destination: Afghanistan's Bamiyan

By Angie Ramos, reuters, April 13, 2005

Shahr-i-Gholghola, Afghanistan -- It is eerily quiet in the ruined hilltop fort as two Afghan soldiers, guarding against artefact thieves, look out on the valley and the towering cliff niches where colossal stone Buddhas once stood.

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Hitting the Pilgrim Trail; More Japanese are making the temple 'circuits' by foot

By Hideko Takayama, Newsweek International, 4 April 2005

Tokyo, Japan -- Wearing a short white robe and conical hat and carrying a wooden staff, Namiko Yada, 49, strides along a mountain path beside the rapids in Chichibu, 80 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. She is among a group of 93 pilgrims headed for Hoshoji, a 770-year-old Buddhist temple on the hill.

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Cradle of civilisation

Story and photos by THANIN WEERADET, Bangkok Post, April 1, 2005

Henan, China  -- Henan province is the cradle of ancient Chinese civilisation and home to three former capitals - Anyang, Luoyang and Kaifeng. Located in China's central region, its current capital is Zhengzhou, and that is where this journey into history began.

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Taktshang: a Buddhist legend

By Kinley Dorji, Kuensel Online, March 30, 2005

Timphu, Bhutan -- The legend of Taktshang (tiger's lair) evolves from tantric mythology when, in 747 AD, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) chose a cave on this sheer rock face to meditate and, assuming his wrathful form, Guru Dorji Droloe, astride a tigress, subdued the evil spirits that were haunting the region. Taktshang thus became one of the most important monuments to the establishment of Buddhism in Bhutan and one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the Buddhist world.

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Buddhist temple a tranquil retreat

Shanghai Daily news, March 21, 2005

Shanghai, China -- Tucked down a long alley in Zhujing Town, Jinshan District, Donglin Temple is a wonderful place to recharge your spiritual batteries.

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Himalayan region scales a challenge

By Fionnuala McHugh International Herald Tribune, March 17, 2005

Change comes to Ladakh's tourism
 
LEH, Ladakh (India)
-- In late December an excitable Web site called UFO Roundup reported that a large base staffed by extraterrestrials was hidden underground in the Himalayas, specifically in Ladakh, the spectacular region of Jammu and Kashmir, India's only Muslim state.

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Monk talk

by JARUNEE TAEMSAMRAN, Bangkok Post, March 3, 2005

A visit to Chiang Mai can be an education and an adventure

Chiang Mai, Thailand
-- Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai is one of the many places of interest for tourists visiting the area. Dating back to the 14th century, the monastery has abundant historical significance and admirable architecture.

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Seeing the light, in more ways than one

By CHIN MUI YOON, The Star, February 23, 2005

Jenjarum, Selangor (Malaysia) -- THE quiet of Jenjarom has been ?disturbed?? in recent days by busloads of visitors who come to the Dong Zen Fo Guang Shan Temple during the Chinese New Year season. 

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Finding inner peace

by THANIN WEERADET, Bangkok Post, Feb 17, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- Practising Vipassana is becoming more popular among professionals eager to improve both their business and personal lives.

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A day in the life of a Tibetan Monk

By Tenzin Pema, The Times of Tibet, Feb 7, 2005

Bylakuppe, India -- The tranquility of any monastery, mingled with the comforting sight of friendly faces around you is, almost always, enough to make one forget the problems and the hatred of the world outside. All my life I have been to innumerous number of monasteries on various occasions. And, each time I have always felt at peace with myself- the kind of feeling that no other place has managed to replace.

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Terrain and teachings draw seekers to India

by Elizabeth Dalziel, Associated Press, February 6, 2005

Leh, Ladakh (India) -- They are trekkers and seekers, backpackers and Buddhist followers, and they come here for both spiritual sustenance and for rugged hikes amid ancient monasteries and snowcapped mountains.

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Ladakh - the land of Vajrayana Buddhism

by Rohan L. Jayetilleke, Lanka Daily News, Feb 2, 2005

Leh, Ladakh (India) -- With the holding of the Second Buddhist Council by Monks of Vaisali, known as Vajjaputtakas, the Maha Sangha came to be divided into twelve sects. Vajrayana and Mahayana were two of such sects. In Ladakh, Vajrayana persisted even after the Buddhist missions of Emperor Asoka.

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Tamralipta, for tourists

The Telegraph (India), Jan 29, 2005

Midnapore, India -- Tamluk, or Tamralipta of ancient India, will be developed as a Buddhist tourism destination to attract the thousands of devout from several countries who pass through Bengal to the circuit in Bihar.

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Kyoto, Zen and the Missing Bicycle

by Jeff Eagar, Ohmy News International, Jan 18, 2005

Time flies like and arrow, so do not waste energy on trivial matters. Be attentive. Be attentive! -- Zen Master Daito, 1337

Kyoto, Japan --
I am from Canada but I now live in Tokyo, Japan. In a megalopolis of such gargantuan proportions, time, like Master Daito said, really does fly by without recognition. Monday morning, a crammed subway on my way to work, then somehow it's Friday night and I am in an izakaya (Japanese pub), drinking sake trying to recall where the week went. This is why when I read Zen Master Daito's pertinent words I was inspired to make a move.

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Tracing the trail of the teachers

STORY & PictureS BY FOONG THIM LENG, The Star (Malaysia), December 25, 2004

Isan, Thailand -- THE north-eastern region of Thailand isn?t a favoured holiday destination as it does not have the regular attractions like beach resorts, exotic hill tribes and grand ancient ruins. 

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Passing Through BodhGaya

by Shana Maria Verghis, The Pioneer (India), Dec 20, 2004

Gaya, India -- A look of disgust passes over Nahalika Tilakaratna's face as she settles into a lunch of rice and mixed vegetables. We are spending the night at a Sri Lankan monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Holiest of Buddhist religious sites. The chief abbot is our host. We are getting along fine, him and I.

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Getting in Touch With Your Inner Self

By Park Chung-a, The Korea Times, Dec 16, 2004

Seoul, South Korea -- Life is certainly not easy for many of us. Having to make our way through packed streets in polluted air, doing repetitive work in an endlessly competitive environment can easily make us lose our temper and feel overwhelmed. If this sounds like your life, why not take a little break from your routine and experience the life of a monk in the nearest temple, refreshing both body and soul?

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Shanggantang where time lingers on

By Tang Hongyi, China Daily. Dec 14, 2004

Shanggantang, Hunan (China) -- A 1,200-year-old village lies complete in the mountains of Central China. Shanggantang Village, 25 kilometres south of Jiangyong Town, Hunan Province, is home to 433 households, 1,865 people, almost all of whom belong to one ancestral family.

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Inside the Kumbum monastery

BY MICHAEL A. LEV, Chicago Tribune, December 9, 2004

HUANGZHONG, China -- A monk is talking on his cell phone. A monk is driving his car. A monk is playing violent video games at an Internet cafe. A monk is discussing Chinese politics, describing the heartache of living under communist domination.

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The Potala Palace -- a treasure house in Lhasa

China View, Dec 6, 2004

Lhasa, Tibet (China) -- Little remains of the original Potala Palace of the seventh century, built as a place for meditation by King Songtsen Gampo on the occasion of his marriage to Princess Wencheng of the Tang Court. Standing atop the Red Hill in Lhasa, the current structure dates from the 17th century; it was rebuilt by the 5th Dalai Lama and became the Winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas from that time. The 13-story building of 1,000 rooms can be seen from many miles away.

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Laid back in surprising Laos

By William Foreman, IOL, December 5, 2004

Vientiane, Laos -- A slow, thumping drum beat summoned about 15 Buddhist monks wrapped in orange robes as the sun began to rise, and they gathered at a massive gold stupa called Pha That Luang - the most important national symbol in Laos.

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Impressions of Tibetan life in U-Tsang

China Tibet Information Center, Dec 3, 2004

Beijing, China -- TIBETAN-INHABITED areas in China are divided into the U-Tsang, Amdo and Kamba regions. U-Tsang refers to the Tibet Autonomous Region itself, Amdo to the southern Gansu and Qinghai provinces and Kamba to more remote areas such as Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

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Temple brillance

China Daily, Dec 3, 2004

Beijing, China -- The mountains in west suburban Beijing usually lure many visitors thanks to their cooling resorts in summer and golden scenery in autumn. But they are not the favourite in winter except those who like a quite surrounding in a Buddhist temple, Buddhist architecture, culture and the special winter scenery hidden within mountains saturated in pine trees.

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Finding Buddhist serenity in Bangkok's markets

By Karen Emmons International Herald Tribune, December 27, 2004

BANGKOK, Thailand -- At every turn in this ancient citadel of Buddhist culture, a visitor is struck by the contrast of non-material ascetism and material delight. This is especially the case when White Christmas arrives through the airwaves of tropical Bangkok's department stores in November and images of frosty snowmen and Santas appear in the humid shadows of the city's Buddhist temples.

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Temple stay at traditional Buddhist sites

The Korea Herald, Nov 30, 2004

Seoul, South Korea -- Does life leave you feeling rushed and stressed' Gangwon-do invites you to an incredible place that will take your breath away, a place that boasts a stunning landscape filled with greenery and natural life. Amid the relaxing scenery, take part in a "temple stay" and seize the opportunity to learn and experience Korean traditional culture by observing the daily life of a monk.

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A day in Vientiane is full of temples, colonial architecture and surprises?

The China Post (AP), Nov 26, 2004

VIENTIANE, Laos -- A slow, thumping drum beat summoned about 15 Buddhist monks wrapped in orange robes as the sun began to rise, and they gathered at a massive gold stupa called Pha That Luang - the most important national symbol in Laos.

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The myriad sights of Songshan

by Celeste Fong, The Star, Nov 19, 2004

One of the cradles of human civilisation, the Songshan mountainous region boasts breathtaking scenery, philosophy, faith and Shaolin wushu martial artists, writes CELESTE FONG.

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Silluk-sa: Korea's Only Riverside Temple

By Jeffrey Miller, The Korea Times Feature Writer, Nov 17, 2004

YEOJU, Kyonggi Province (South Korea) -- At almost any Buddhist temple in Korea, you'll have to do some climbing. That's because most of Korea's more famous temples are located in the mountains or at the foothills. While these temples are great for some healthy exploration of the body and soul, there's at least one famous in temple in Korea that doesn't require a healthy set of lungs and strong legs to reach.

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Namco Lake: Gate to the Heavenly waters

China Tibet Information Center, Published on the Buddhist Channel, Nov 17, 2004

Dangxiong County, China -- Namco Lake is 4718 metres above the sea level,70 kilometres in lenghth,30 kilometres in wideth and 1940 square kilometers in size. It is located 60 kilometres northwest of Dangxiong County, lying at the foot of Nyainqentanglha Mountain. It is both the highest and biggest salt water lake in the world. In the eyes of the Tibetans, Nam Co is the partner of Nyaintanglha, and the Guardian of the Bon religion.

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Autumn Intended to Leave but Stayed at the Mountain Temple

by Seung-Ha Cho, Digital Chosun, NOVEMBER 11, 2004

Seoul, South Korea -- Mountain Baekam (741m) showed its white tip among the reddish autumn foliage. The beautiful features of the mountain are accentuated with the backdrop of the high blue autumn sky. This mountain doesn't bow. Its defiant energy seems to shout a command to the earth and the sky with its unbent neck. For an earthy element, it must be sad not to be born as a mountain on the earth, Just like a constellation element, it's shameful not to become a sun.

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Living like a monk

by John Scott Marchant, The Korea Herald, Nov 10, 2004

Buddhist temple stay programs help foreigners experience Korea

Seoul, South Korea -- Gong! Gong! Gong! Gong! The world is filled with the divine voice of Buddha as the deep resonating tones of the Jagwang Temple bell ring out 28 times across the darkened Yuseong countryside near Daejeon. Ready or not, it's 5 a.m. and time for the morning ceremony; it's time to start living like a monk.

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Leshan giant Buddha

Xinhuanet, Nov 8, 2004

BEIJING, China -- Leshan Giant Buddha is one of the most magnificent tourist attractions in Sichuan Province. It's located on the West side of Xiluan Peak (Phoenix Perched Peak) of Mount Lingyun, just east of Leshan City. Overlooking the confluence of the Minjiang, Qingyi and Dadu rivers, the Buddha is carved into the cliffs of Mt. Lingyun. A local saying describes the Buddha like this: "The mountain unveils a Buddha, while the Buddha fades into the mountain."

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Serendipity

Story and photos by THANIN WEERADET, The bangkok Post, Nov 10, 2004

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- "Hello. Where are you from. Are you Buddhist", began the conversation as we strolled the streets of Sri Lanka. It was the standard greeting that I would be hearing again and again on this trip to Sri Lanka.

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In and around Lumbini

Story by NISSARA HORAYANGURA, Bangkok Post, Nov 9, 2004

Lumbini, Nepal -- Architect Kenzo Tange's master plan for Lumbini's development is large in scope - it covers an area of 2.56 square kilometres - yet minimalist in terms of aesthetics. It avoids the erection of monumental structures and is instead heavy on symbolism.

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Little Tibet, big impact

By ELIZABETH DALZIEL, The Advertiser, Oct 23, 2004

Leh, Ladakh (India) -- THEY are trekkers and seekers, backpackers and Buddhist followers, and they come to Ladakh for both spiritual sustenance and for rugged hikes amid ancient monasteries and snow-capped mountains.

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Paekyang-sa: The Temple Named After a Sheep

By Jeffrey Miller, The Korea Times Feature Writer, Oct 27, 2004

PAEKYANG-SA - Visit almost any Buddhist temple in Korea and there is likely to be some legend or myth associated with its name or how it was founded.

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Experience Buddhist monk life through templestay

By John Scott Marchant, The Korea Herald, Oct 22, 2004

Seoul, South Korea  -- It's 5 a.m. and the world is filled with the divine voice of Buddha as the deep resonating tones of the Jagwang Temple bell rings out 28 times across the darkened Yuseong countryside. Ready or not, it's time for the morning ceremony; it's time to start living like a monk.

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Artisans chisel wisdom out of Buddhist tower

by Cu Mai Cong, Vietnam News Service, Oct 18, 2004

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -- After more than two years of painstaking work, a group of young workers finally gave a sigh of relief when they finished engraving the seven-storey tower within the Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, the largest Buddhist centre in HCM City late last year.

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