Asia

Survival Tastes Like A Bowl of White Rice
by Kelli Mutchler

One spoon slid furtively into the bowl of rice. Its plastic handle poked over the rim like the tail of a gecko… Read more >>

The Mission

The Mission
by Helen Moat

“This is something you have to see,” John, our guide, told us on the way back to Chiang Mai from Lampang… Read more >>


Vegetarian in Vietnam

Vegetarian in Vietnam
by Bonnie Betts

I awoke with a start, feeling disoriented as the sounds of honks and beeps from cars and motorbikes disturbed my deep sleep… Read more >>

The Holy Mountain

The Holy Mountain
by Helen Moat

The mountain rises out of the rainforest an emerald pyramid. Its sheer vertical flanks stretch upward, on and on until they puncture the sky high above… Read more >>


Naked

Naked
by Sarah Katin

“It’s not that I don’t like being naked,” I had explained. “And I’m a big fan of bathing. Personal hygiene is one of my all-time favorite hygienes… Read more >>

My Plans Have Changed Drastically

My Plans Have Changed Drastically
by Tamara Koedoot

Dear Peter, Don’t worry but my plans have changed drastically. Those were the beginning words of an email I sent to my boyfriend… Read more >>


Anup’s World

Anup’s World: The Haunting Truth of a Twelve-Year-Old Boy
by Elizabeth Jaeger

I followed twelve-year-old Anup through the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, into a tangle of broken down, dilapidated apartment building… Read more >>

Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice – Alms in Luang Prabang, Laos
by Clare Gleeson

“There’s no way I’m getting up at 5:00 a.m., monks or no monks. I’m on holiday.” My husband, Martin, shook his head emphatically… Read more >>


Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows
by Alice Clark

Though I stood in the heart of the northernmost snow leopard habitat range, I had little chance of encountering one… Read more >>

Big City Culture

Big City Culture – Korean Style
by Melissa Valks

I was traveling in Asia and temporarily living in South Korea. While I was thrilled to be living out my Asian dream… Read more >>


Fuji in a Trash Bag

Fuji in a Trash Bag
by Sarah Katin

“Pack warm clothes it’s going to be cold. I checked the weather reports. It’s supposed to rain,” Jen warns me… Read more >>

Half-Baked Decisions

Half-Baked Decisions
by Sarah Katin

I awoke to the friendly chirping of my roommate, the gecko clinging to the flimsy wall of my palm-frond hut, and tossed on a bikini… Read more >>


Reborn in Rain

Reborn in Rain
by Helen Hagy

The monk and I sat facing each other, crossed-legged and mouths agape… Read more >>

Running on the Roof of the World

Running on the Roof of the World
by Becky Green Aaronson

I don’t know whether it’s the altitude or the view, but the adrenaline surging through me tells me this is one run I will never forget… Read more >>


Taking Shots in China

Taking Shots in China
by Bonnie G

As I looked down at the shot of what could best be described as slightly diluted lighter fluid, I wondered how I could possibly refrain from having to consume more alcohol… Read more >>

My-Only-Prayer

My Only Prayer
by Shara Johnson

(Spiritual Category Winner in the 2013 WanderWomen Write Travel Writing Contest)

It was chilly but pleasant enough as my husband and I sat on the rooftop drinking local beer and Tibetan tea — a tall glass filled with leaves, sticks and berries, and things that looked like rocks… Read more >>


Sunset in Dali

Expect the Unexpected
by Andrea Blinkhorn

The bus rocked and swayed as we made our way through the rural Chinese countryside. Some passengers had managed to fall asleep, effectively ignoring our precarious position on the road… Read more >>

Dakshinkali-Shrine

Bloodletting at Dakshinkali
by Candice Wynne

It wasn’t the sight of blood that bothered me as much as the thought of hearing the animals scream. That was the first horrific image that sped through my mind… Read more >>


Spirit of Meditation

Meditating on the Terrifying
by Lauren Salisbury

The opportunity to visit a Buddhist temple in Japan was something I had wanted for a long time. So I gladly joined other English teachers and the friendly monk… Read more >>

Pink Tickets

Ticket to Nowhere
by Judith Campbell

I contemplated the four tickets fanned out on the counter — brown, yellow, pink, green. The idea of a sail round the harbor was to escape… Read more >>


 Korean Street Food Stall

The Art of a Foodgasm
by Sarah Katin

We race through the throngs of Saturday afternoon shoppers to the thumping rhythm of K-pop and buzz of electric neon. This is no easy feat as there are a million people packed on this narrow side street… Read more >>

 Musangsa

Of Bowing and Batons
by Lucy Corne

I wake at 3 a.m. and hurriedly get dressed in thick grey robes, complete with trousers that would make MC Hammer jealous. It’s still dark outside and I’m grateful for the thermal underwear… Read more >>


 Jungle Trek

Leeches and M&Ms
by Bonnie Etherington

Tripping and sliding through the West Papuan jungle for five hours was not my idea of a good time. No matter how hard I tried to think of it as an idyllic adventure with me on some brave quest… Read more >>

Bowing in Temple

Wrapped Up in Bows
by Anonymous

I don’t think about religion very much. Despite my Catholic upbringing, I have a hard time seeing it as real… Read more >>


Moss

Waiting for Moss
by Lauren Salisbury

I’d spent a packed weekend with other teachers playing volleyball, eating a gluttonous steak dinner and squealing out multiple hours of karaoke… Read more >>

Kimchi

In Praise of Pickled Cabbage
by Lucy Corne

To Koreans it is more than just cuisine. It is a source of national pride, an identifying symbol, an all-healing health food and a vital accompaniment to any meal… Read more >>


Fresh Fish

Fish Tale
by Bonnie Etherington

(Food & Drink Category Winner in the 2012 WanderWomen Write Travel Writing Contest)

A boy leans in a doorway. He is shirtless and methodically lights and throws small homemade fireworks down the alley as we walk past. They bounce off the too-close walls and harmlessly smoke and fizzle in puddles of water and waste… Read more >>

Motorcycle Couple

The Love Person
by Madeline Felix

(Passion Category Winner in the 2012 WanderWomen Write Travel Writing Contest)

MRS. THU, the dean of the college English department where I was teaching on a year-long fellowship in Vietnam, told me that living alone in her country would be good for me because I would learn to cook, clean and take care of myself… Read more >>


Tea Buns

Kaili Crack Buns
by Beth Green

In this land of rice and noodles, sometimes I crave a sandwich. At birthdays, a big, chocolaty homemade cake. On weekday mornings, a quick slice of toast. For a snack, a bagel or muffin.

Alas, in China, woks and steamers take the place of the West’s ubiquitous kitchen oven… Read more >>

Heart-shaped Calla lily

Love in Yellow and White
by Judith Wall

(Off the Beaten Path Category Winner in the 2011 WanderWomen Write Travel Writing Contest)

“I want to go home,” my daughter whispers, and for a moment I fight the dizzying urge to shout STOP NOW TURN THIS CAR AROUND AND TAKE US BACK QUICKLY TO SOMEPLACE SAFE. … Read more >>


Christ the Redeemer

Recognizing Grace
by Madeline Felix

(Spiritual Category Winner in the 2011 WanderWomen Write Travel Writing Contest)

It was a blip on the map. A small dot between the larger stars indicating the capitol city of Hanoi and the port city of Hai Phong. A bit more research had told me that it was located… Read more >>

Shaoxing Hua Diao Wine

Hair of the Dog/Bile of the Snake
by Judith Ritter

(Food & Drink Category Winner in the 2011 WanderWomen Write Travel Writing Contest)

We’d been to Hong Kong enough times to know that the denizens of the City of Life as they like to call it, are adventurous… Read more >>


Seoul bars

A Place Less Foreign
by Alli Ockinga

The late December air scratches my lungs like sandpaper as I emerge from Bupyeong Station. I expel clouds of breath that stand out white against the blackened sky and look enough like the real thing that I half expect snowfall. I handle a small parcel in my purse, a gift… Read more >>

Golden Buddha

Caught in the moment at a Taiwanese monastery
by Amber Parcher

The wind chimes were calling. Dozens of them, swirling in the soft April sun like butterflies dancing around a flower, waiting to be noticed. Read more >>


Himalayas

Lost in the Himalayas: Breaking the Enclosure of Fear
by Alanna Gazelle Tyler

Darkness surrounded me high in the Nepalese Himalayas as I slid down the obscured path made slippery with freshly fallen leaves. Read more >>

Burma Train Window

Riding the Rails with Mother Theresa
by Laurie Weed

“Madame, Ordinary Class is very full, you see,” the ticket seller waggled his head in a discouraging manner. He was the last of several head-wagglers to try and herd me into First Class, where foreigners in Myanmar officially belong. Read more >>


lanterns Korean Grave Etiquette
by Melissa Valks

I had been travelling in Asia and living temporarily in Seoul, South Korea as an English as a Second Language teacher. I had been instructing a high school class for quite a few months when Seung Soo, one of my favourite students, invited me to join his family to visit his grandparents’ grave. Read more >>

korean nunsSaved in Suwon
by Michelle Shusterman

I’m almost asleep – a real accomplishment, what with the tube jabbed through my rib cage and piercing my right lung – when I hear them push my door open. Read more >>


unya sendhi facesIbu Tina
by Wendy Bone

(Grand Prize winner in the 2010 WanderWomen Write travel writing contest)

I want to look away in horror but cannot. My eyes are transfixed on the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen, and I struggle to contain my emotion. Ibu Tina has opened her shirt to expose the cancer on her right breast. Read more >>

smiling monkFlunking Buddhism
by Eve M. Tai

(Spiritual Category winner in the 2010 WanderWomen Write travel writing contest)

I knew as soon as I arrived here that I couldn’t stay. The central room of my Tibetan guide’s home – where I am lodging for three days – is dark as tar. The smoke billowing from the hearth fire weakens the single lightbulb’s glow. I can just make out an ash-covered kitten huddled next to the coals. A red turban, presumably attached to a body, bobs above the fire. Read more >>


elephantElephant Driving 101
by Kate Crawford

(Off the Beaten Path Category winner in the 2010 WanderWomen Write travel writing contest)

Is that my elephant? I ask as the first mammoth mammal lumbers into camp. That’s Lawan, John replies, watching her undulating gait. She’s our youngest, the village flirt. She can be a bit naughty. She’s known to indulge in little diva tantrums if another elephant gets more camera time. Read more >>

YurtCircling the Mongolian Steppe
by Caitlin Dwyer

Everything in Mongolia is named after Genghis Khan.
Dark, spacious, and noisy, Grand Khaan Irish Pub reeked with the smell of sizzling fat. A veil of cigarette smoke shrouded the dark upholstery. Waitresses buzzed everywhere, smiles pulled taut across their cheekbones…..Read more >>


cherry blossomPeach Cigarettes in Tokyo
by Kirsty Logan

The first time I ever smoked a peach cigarette, I was wearing a dinosaur suit and sitting on my friend’s balcony in a Tokyo suburb. My friend had a dinosaur suit because he’d gone to a fancy dress party the week before, and I was wearing it because I was cold and it was made of fleece…..Read more >>

Filipino manThe Wake
by Jessica Bryan

I have been in the Philippines for only a few days, when early one evening we set out for a distant barrio to attend the wake of someone who has died….Read more >>


Thailand beachTsunami
by Kira Coonley

Leaving a trail of footprints in the sand, soon to be washed away by the ebb and flow of the tide, I walked barefoot along the water’s edge to a thinly thatched bamboo bungalow that would be what I called home for the next month; or so I thought…Read more >>

flowerExperience Indonesia By Soul Not Just Sight
by Diane Winston

I’m a politician. My friend, Tanya, is an artist. I’m left-brained. She’s right-brained. I’m not sure I know what that means, but she does and it seems relevant to my story. What I do know is that we share a love for Indonesia and recently traveled together to experience the beauty and the bounty of Bali. Read more >>


woman in conical hatComing Home to Can Tho
by Christine Rochelle

I begin every English class with a dramatic account of my most recent travels for my Vietnamese University students. They always hang on every word of my stories, from unwelcome critters found in guesthouses to terrifying ferry rides and breathtaking pagodas….Read more >>

monkeyNot Just Yet
by Ashley Cultra

The morning begins with the revile of roosters. Their throaty exhortations seem to command that I open my eyes and roll out of bed, literally, for our mattresses are threadbare quilts on rough, bamboo planks…..Read more >>


black gibbonLooking for Black Gibbons
by Elizabeth Enslin

I try to curb my hope for seeing the endangered black gibbons of Bokeo Forest Reserve. But I do expect to eye a few birds or a snake. For an hour and a half, I duck strangler vines, bend bamboo, and sidestep fig roots… Read more >>

conical hatTravel Somewhere
by Teresa Coates

It must be just about lunchtime; the cicadas are screaming again. Little time-keepers, they are. Every spring, they crawl from the ground, rising from the silence of winter, to signal the change of the season here in northern Vietnam. Read more >>


tokyoMojitos in Tokyo
by Karen Regn

My skirt is too short.
At least that’s what my salsa teacher tells me on the way to the club as we walk through the streets of Roppongi, the racy bar and nightclub district of Tokyo. Read more >>

cambodian girlKrang Yaw
by Lola Akinmade

A sharp right hand turn off the paved main road, and we find ourselves trudging through muddy, unpaved back roads dozens of miles towards Krang Yaw, Cambodia. Bustling city activity and buildings are quickly replaced with seas of lush green rice fields. Read more >>


james bond islandJames Bond Island
by Justine Hanson

“If Eden had an ocean, it would look like this.” The Lonely Planet description of Phang-Nga Bay seduced me on the spot. I was on the Andaman coast of Thailand, trying to find my solo traveler groove. It was the beginning of high season and I was caught off balance by the hordes of backpackers and package tourists. Read more >>

fetishTrafficking Innocence
by Lola Akinmade

I choked on my chicken curry when Boupha told me she was 12. She looked six. Unlike Western countries where average twelve year olds may look sixteen, the reverse was the norm in Cambodia. Read more >>


tibetan womanTibetan Truths
by Stephanie Elizondo Griest

The weather-beaten woman took a contemplative step, raised her arms high above her head, clasped her hands together, and swept them forward like a diver entering the sea. The full expanse of her small frame embraced the dusty pavement, from her head and shoulders to her toes. Read more >>

guards in chinaConfrontation at Xegar Checkpoint
by Meg Peterson

“Nimende huzhao!” demanded the Chinese guard at Xegar Checkpoint, a small army outpost. It was the last one before leaving Tibet. He peered menacingly at the driver of our weather-beaten minibus. “He wants your passports,” translated Lapa, our Tibetan guide. Mentally, we jumped to attention and, with misgivings, handed over the documents. Read more >>


leafBehind the Scene in Bali
by Leslie Nevison

Some ironies are sweeter than others: When the pemangku blows into my face—a transfer of his protection and a long, slow, steady release of air as though he is deflating—his breath must carry the cold virus to which I succumb by the end of the week. Read more >>

buddhaMeditating in Southern Thailand
by Leslie Nevison

Every night the elderly security guard sweeps carefully and at length around my Singapore apartment building, curiously absorbed in a humble task that no one requires of him. I think of this man now as I brush leaves from the path leading to the women’s dormitory. Read more >>


japanese clothAll Bound Up
by Eva Sandoval

It’s another summer in Japan. The weatherman says temperatures are in the 30s, which, to the Fahrenheit-friendly Americans, will translate as “dripping, miserable puddle of your former self.” Time for the free plastic fans in the subway station instead of tissues, cold drinks in the vending machines, and loads of colorful festivals. Read more >>

Chinese GardenLingering Garden
by Carol White

Suzhou, China is known throughout the world for their exquisite private gardens and one of the most famous is the Liuyaun or Lingering Garden. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and China’s fourth most famous garden, the Lingering Garden was first built during the Ming Dynasty around 1593 AD. Read more >>


noodles10 Things You Ought to Try in Kuching, Sarawak
by Krista Good

From tasting local noodles, to visiting national parks and the Sarawak Cultural Village. Read more >>

Vietnam TrafficBeep Beep! in Vietnam
by Simone Samuels

Beep-Beep Beep-Beep! I let off these four short bursts of the horn as I approach the blind corner of the narrow Hanoian alley I must drive down as I exit my house. It is Tuesday morning and I am about to head down to “Saigon”.? Read more…


motobikesThe Ride Home from Phan Thiet
by Tara Russell

Watch out for the motor scooters. Everyone uses their horns. A herd of brown cows slowly crosses the road followed by three small women swatting them from behind. A mother and child bicycle home from work and school. A barefoot toddler walks alone from shop to shop along the street. Read more…

woman in sapaAmong the Hmong in Sa Pa, Vietnam
by Jules Atkins

We were in Sa Pa, the tourist Mecca of northern Vietnam, known for its colorful markets, and equally colorful indigenous people – the Black, White and Flower Hmong. Read more…

 
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