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  • By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ eastward to the sea, There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me; For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say: “Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”

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  • Just above beautiful Lanikai Beach, beautiful coastal vistas.

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  • Pungtang Dechen Photrang Dzong at Punakha, the administrative and religious center of the district, is the winter home of Bhutan’s Dratshang Lhentshog (Central Monk Body). Since the 1680s the dzong has also been the site of a continuous vigil over the earthly body of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of the country, which lies in a special chamber in the dzong. Punakha dzong was the capital of Bhutan during the time of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Punakha Dzong is one of the most historic dzongs in the whole country. Built by Shabdrung Ngwang Namgyal in the 17th century, it is located between the confluence of two rivers: Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female).

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  • I woke early at 5:30 am for the nearly 4 hour drive to Haa. This is a region of Bhutan that is much less populated and the mountain wilderness is unforgiving. Haa is very pristine and a beautiful valley in western Bhutan. The river Haa Chhu is rather fast alpine river in altitude of approximately 2.700 meters. Due to this altitude it’s better fishing this time of year in the second half of April and in May or in September, otherwise it can be unpleasantly cold. My fishing buddy Jamyang hadn’t fished this stretch of the Haa Chhu river in a year or so he was excited to scout the area again. Fishing in Bhutan is restricted to certain rivers and some places like the entire Punakha and Wangdue districts, and Chamkhar chhu river in Bumthang are off-limits for fishing. Fishing remains underdeveloped since fishing for sport is unethical according to Buddhist traditions and its simply not an activity that most practicing Bhuddists take part. Catch & release fishing with barbless hooks are the preferred methods, no live bait is permitted since using live bait like a worm causes suffering on not only 1 sentient being but 2. according to […]

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  • “Throughout the centuries, the Bhutanese have treasured their natural environment and have looked upon it as the source of all life. This traditional reverence for nature has delivered us into the twentieth century with our environment still richly intact. We wish to continue living in harmony with nature and to pass on this rich heritage to our future generations.” – His Majesty the King Jigme Singye Wangchuck

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  • In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you – Buddha

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  • Bhutan is no ordinary place. It is the last great Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments.

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  • The trail to the summit of Lē‘ahi was built in 1908 as part of O‘ahu’s coastal defense system. The 0.8 mile hike from trailhead to the summit is steep and strenuous, gaining 560 feet as it ascends from the crater floor.

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  • Kaneohe Bay Sandbar in northeast Oahu is a unique natural sand formation located at the center of a reef protected bay. Depending on the tide, the sand ridges can be completely exposed or shallowly covered with water. This sandbar and its surrounding coral reefs are perfect for snorkeling, beach volleyball, having a tasty lunch and enjoying views of the majestic Koolau Mountains and nearby islets.

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  • The Makapu‘u Point trail, within Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, offers outstanding views of O‘ahu’s southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater. From the trail’s destination at Makapu‘u Head, one is rewarded with magnificent views of the windward coast and offshore islets, as well as the historic red-roofed Makapu‘u Lighthouse built in 1909, which makes a stunning picture against the deep blue sea below (the lighthouse itself is off-limits). On a clear day, you may even see Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. The offshore islets are wildlife sanctuaries for Hawaiian seabirds, such as the ‘iwa, frigate bird, and tropicbird. This trail is an excellent place to view migrating humpback whales in season (November – May). Binoculars are suggested for viewing the whales and seabirds. An interpretive sign and viewing scope along the trail help you view and identify the whales seen from this location. This portion of the island tends to be hot and dry and the vegetation includes low-growing kiawe and panini (cactus). The trail is exposed and is usually sunny and hot. It can be very windy at the summit. A hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water are recommended. Give yourself about 2 hours to enjoy this hike and it’s […]

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  • Everest Base Camp is either of two base camps on opposite sides of Mount Everest (It could also be any Everest base camp on given route, but this is less common since the two main routes became standardized) South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) (28°0′26″N 86°51′34″E), and North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 metres (16,900 ft).

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  • Kahoʻolawe (/kəˌhoʊ.əˈlɑːwi/; Hawaiian: [kəˈhoʔoˈlɐve]) is the smallest of the eight main volcanic islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago. Kahoʻolawe is located about seven miles (11 km) southwest of Maui and also southeast of Lanai, and it is 11 mi (18 km) long by 6.0 mi (9.7 km) wide, with a total land area of 44.97 sq mi (116.47 km2).[2] The highest point on Kahoʻolawe is the crater of Lua Makika at the summit of Puʻu Moaulanui, which is about 1,477 feet (450 m) above sea level.[3] Kahoʻolawe is relatively dry (average annual rainfall is less than 65 cm or 26 in)[4] because the island’s low elevation fails to generate much orographic precipitation from the northeastern trade winds, and Kahoʻolave is located in the rain shadow of eastern Maui’s 10,023-foot-high (3,055 m) volcano, Haleakalā. More than one quarter of Kahoʻolawe has been eroded down to saprolitic hardpan soil. Kahoʻolawe has always been sparsely populated, due to its lack of fresh water.[5] During World War II, Kahoʻolawe was used as a training ground and bombing range by the Armed Forces of the United States. After decades of protests, the U.S. Navy ended live-fire training exercises on Kahoʻolawe in 1990, and the whole island was transferred to the jurisdiction of the state of Hawaii in 1994. […]

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  • Every year between July – October humpback whales migrate to the beautiful islands of Tonga.

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The secret to living long and well is: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure
                                                                                                                                      – Tibetan proverb

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Who is Michael ?

I'm an adventurous explorer with a passion for discovering the world around us. I've been fortunate to have had opportunities to travel and support both local and global initiatives since 1989 when I first traveled abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer. This portal details some of my most recent travels, hikes, and expeditions to some of the more than 60 countries I have traveled.