THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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Itoigawa City– Niigata Prefecture – Japan Golden Week; May 3rd-7th gave me five days to go south and hunt for Japanese jadeite. Part 1 of these notes covered my trip to the Oyashirazu Pier, the Jade Museum there and my interaction with the local jade hunters. In Part 2 I shall relate my adventures in the Kotakigawa Gorge and exploring the ancient Jomon village of Chojagahara. In about 2,500 BCE the Jomon… Read More

Zamskhang Palace Ruins Tegar, Nubra Valley Ladakh, India Nubra Valley, also called the Valley of Flowers, is situated in the northeast corner of Ladakh, near the Tibetan border. At one time it was located on the southern Silk Road trade route between Yarkhand, in Xinjiang, and Leh, the capital of Ladakh. This obscure corner of the Himalayas is reached from the capital by traversing the Khardung La, at 5,602 meters it is… Read More

September 2015 It was a long day of driving through the flat, gravely landscape, but it was worth it when we finally rolled up to the fabled ruins of Ongiin Khiid in the late afternoon. This complex is actually two monasteries across the river from each other. The one we explored was called Bari Lam Khiid  and dates from 1810. READ MORE…

I first read about Kuelap several years ago in a Lonely Planet article about places to visit before they are overrun. This seems to be quite true. When I was there I talked to a local tour guide and he said that there were 12,000 visitors the year before, of which 4,000 were foreigners…if you divide that number by 365 days, that gives you a figure of nearly 11 visitors per day,… Read More