THE ARDENT ENTHUSIAST

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The day after I visited the Russian Market I decided that I wanted to check out the Night Market as a comparison. I remembered it as being quite colorful when I’d visited it several years before. But now it wasn’t much more than a tourist trap. Luckily I wandered through a very picturesque street market just a little to the south of it. READ MORE…

In April 2018 I traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to get a 60-day Thai visa, the first step towards getting a Retirement Visa to live permanently in Thailand. I chose a mid-range guest house near the Mekong River, arrived on a Thai Airlines flight in the mid-afternoon, then started looking for a travel agent to help me obtain the needed visa. READ MORE…

After Tamgaly Tas we drove 260 km north of Almaty to the Altyn Emel National Park. We planned to stay at a local homestay for the night and take two days exploring it. First stop was the visitor’s center to get tickets. Nice faux snow leopard outside. READ MORE…

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 visited Kazakhstan during the summer of 2017, basing myself in the old captital of Almaty. I stayed in a dorm at the Almaty Backpacker’s Hostel, and it was about a twenty minute walk to the center of town. One of my first trips was to the Central Museum to see their collection of Scythian gold. Almaty is the cultural center of the country and it looks like a modern overlay on… Read More