I visited the Tamgaly-Tas petroglyph site on the banks of the Ili River at the beginning of a two-day trip to the Altyn-Emel National Park. Here follows a quote from an article entitled Kazakhstan: The Petroglyph Site of Tamgaly-Tas, in the book Heritage at Risk: “The stones of Tamgaly-Tas were engraved by the Oirat-Djungar (or Kalmyk) people who were Western Mongol tribes converted to Tibetan Lamaist Tantric Buddhism in the 16th century…. Read More

I’m off to Central Asia next week and decided that my usual necklace is too valuable for adventure travel. Thus I created a new one specifically for this trip. One of my goals is to buy more ancient beads and I need examples to show the merchants. This necklace has a Bronze Age pendant–thogchag; from the Gobi Desert, approximately 500BC; a 2,500 BC ceramic bead from Balkh; Tibetan coral; Tibetan turquoise; Afghan… Read More

Matsuyama (松山市) is the largest city on the Japanese island of Shikoku. It has a population of 516,459. The city’s name means “pine mountain”. Matsuyama was founded on December 15, 1889. The city is known for the Dogo Onsen [hot spring], which is among the oldest in Japan, The current Onsen building is a Meiji Period wooden public bathhouse dating from 1894.  Matsuyama castle is on top of a scenic hill in a centrally located park. Eight of… Read More

After a pleasant week in Pokhara I returned to the big city. Soon after I got back to the Potala Guest House I was walking over to a friend’s gem and jewelry shop when I encountered a parade of school children. They were all wearing their traditional clothing so I had to stop and take some photos. READ MORE…

I took the Greenline Bus to Pokhara and was there for Holi, which was a bit more laid back than Kathmandu would have been. I like using the Greenline Bus Company for several reasons. First, it leaves an hour later than the cheaper Tourist buses, and second, it includes a buffet lunch in the ticket price. Lunch is always served at a very nice riverside hotel about half-way between Kathmandu and Pokhara…. Read More