The Jokhang Monastery (ཇོ་ཁང་) is the most holy of Tibetan Buddhism’s holy places. Unassuming from the outside, one needs to connect with the enthusiasm of the throngs of pilgrims walking around it to feel its allure. As it probably will be for you, visiting the Jokhang is a once in a lifetime experience for many of the pilgrims. Unlike you, many of these pilgrims walked to be there… and some of them even walked in a special way to show their devotion: They take three steps, say a prayer, and lie face-down on the ground. Then they stand up, take three more steps and repeat the process. The act of taking a prostrating pilgrimage can take the devotee years to reach the Jokhang from their home towns. But many do it, as a sign of devotion and a way to help improve their karma in this life and the next.
The Formosa Adventurers got a write-up in today’s China Times! We haven’t been able to find an online version, but if you can read Chinese, pick one up and check out page A10! Woo Hoo!
Also, if you want to follow the Formosa Adventurers on Twitter, click the link below:
UK and USA United Forces
Taiwan’s tourism bureau believe so far that the team with the most special qualities and a lot of interest online is the Formosa Adventurers. Comprising of four guys from the UK and the USA, the Formosa Adventurers have had a lot of people watch their introductory video. They are planning a adventure sports and aboriginal culture-themed trip including river tracing and white-water rafting in Hualian, paragliding and visiting an aboriginal tribe in Taidong as well as experience Zhiben and Jinlun’s hot springs.
A combination of Taiwanese adventure and aboriginal culture that is very authentic Taiwanese. The team also write about Taiwan’s natural beauty and their own interesting travel experiences in their blogs which are written in English and Chinese.
The way the contest works is that everyone who wants to give it a try uploads a travel plan, video and group introduction to the website. From there, the contest organizers select 50 groups to complete their plans. They give them 28,000 NTD (about $800USD) to do it. After you finished with the 4 days, you upload a video and blog showing what you did. Then, one group wins the grand prize of 1 million NTD (about $30,000USD) and gets to travel in Taiwan for a month, blogging on their experiences.
Not a bad deal. And since this is what we do all the time anyway, it sounded perfect for us.
Our itinerary is (approximately) as follows:
(I’ll update this later, I don’t actually have the real one sitting in front of me now):
Train from Taipei to Hualien. River tracing through one of the beautiful canyons down there. Then that night, a visit to the night market.
White water rafting in The Rift Valley. Followed by a train ride to Taidong and a visit to the night market and a few other sites in the city.
Paragliding just north of Taidong. Then a visit to an aboriginal village for a cultural show and some Taiwanese Aboriginal Food.
Hiking through an ancient forest to a wild hot spring. Then, the train ride back to Taipei.
So please watch the video below and go vote for us at Taiwan’s “Best Trip in the World” contest.
Sometimes it’s strange being an American expat. I certainly think that I look at the world and America’s place in it much differently than most Americans… but then again, I think I always did. Anti-Americanism is rampant in the world. Whether it’s coming from Westerners, Easterners, or Middle Easterners, it’s everywhere.
Well, I can’t help but be very proud of my country as these two days pass. For those who don’t know, today, January 19th, is Martin Luther King Day in America. He is without doubt one of the finest Americans that ever lived and someone the whole world should celebrate. And tomorrow, Tuesday January 20th, is the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama II… America’s first African-American president.
In the dark days that the world is facing right now, with the economic crisis, the Gaza Strip, and so many other problems… I’m happy to see a ray of light. That ray of light is the knowledge that America, and therefore the rest of the world, can evolve into something better.
I just got a new Nikon D700 and have started testing it. Like I said in an earlier post: I’m not a reviewer, but I’m very happy with my initial test shots and thought I’d share them with you.
Ok, Ok… The truth is, I just so happen to teach English to a bunch of the cutest kids in the world and I wanted to show them off. Almost all of the following pictures are shot with the D700 and a Nikon 50mm f1.4 set at 1.4. Needless to say, I’m happy with the camera so far.
For more pictures of cute kids, go to my Flickr photostream.
More cute kids after the jump…
I re-tuned my website with some fancy flash galleries, some new pics and the other stuff I listed below.
I added some fancy new flash galleries and cleaned everything up a
bit. There are new pictures in many of the galleries, but you’ll have
to sift though to find them, sorry.
It’s nothing fancy, but I self published a book with pictures from my
travels. It’s a little self-serving (complete with pictures of me in
the back), but it’s pretty cool.
I’ve been a member of this photographers’ thingy for a while and just
realized that you can order prints from it. If you ever wanted one of
my photos, here’s you chance.
I was in the USA a few weeks ago, and I wanted to say “Thanks again” to
everyone that I saw and “sorry” to everyone that I missed. I had a
great time and I wish I had more time to hang out than I did. Now some
of you need to come here and visit!
If you have any problems with the website or anything, let me know!
Also, if any of you have any links you’d like to share, Email me! My
“Friends” section is looking a little bare!
Cheers, and Thanks for all the support over the years!
I found this video on another blog…um, sorry, forget which one!
It’s well worth the wait (if it takes a long time to download).
It’s inspiring, to say the least.
I did a bit of research and came up with this info on the dancing guy:
And some more videos on youtube.