• Vietnam

    Reisefieber in Zeiten von Corona

    Flugbegleiterin im Reinraumanzug.

    Hotelpagen desinfizieren großflächig alle Koffer, Empfangsdamen weichen Zimmerschlüssel in Chlorlauge ein und Flugpersonal bedient nur noch im Reinraumanzug: Reisefieber erhält in Zeiten von Corona eine ganz neue Bedeutung. Bericht von einem Ausflug nach Vietnam. In letzter Minute.

  • Bali

    Bitte keine Hunde, Hähne, Tempel oder Bauarbeiten

    Furchterregende Mopeds

    Der Urlauber an sich träumt ja gerne von der unberührten Idylle - bevorzugt auf einem entlegenen Berg oder einer entfernten tropischen Insel. Friedvoll, malerisch, unverfälscht. Gerne darf es auch "authentisch" sein, doch wie viel von dieser letzten Zutat mit der häufig ebenfalls gewünschten Entspannung harmoniert, ist zumindest beim Verweilen in der Stadt eine ganz andere Frage. Heute ein Spaziergang mit den Ohren in Ubud auf Bali.

  • Laos,  Human Encounters

    Jeep Adventure with Coffee and Bombs

    When I started to write down this story I wasn’t quite sure, what exactly it was going to be about. I just knew it wanted to be told. Would it be: Lao country-boy from war-ridden village turns into successful coffee baron and tour guide? Unsuspecting German tourists coming cheek by jowl with Southern Lao countryside – dust, coffee, bombs and all! Or: How the CIA transformed into a powerful paramilitary force through its “Secret War” in Laos. And, as often happens, the story somehow shaped itself. Into a tale about one man who has been setting off fervently to not only build his own future, but to take…

  • Thailand,  Laos

    Making the Meaning of Life Concrete

    I have to steal this headline. It is just too good. “Making the Meaning of Life Concrete”. Credit goes to critical journalist and historian Roger Warner, who reported in 1990 about the Laotian artist and mystic Boun Leua Sourirat. Leua as he appears to be called dedicated his life to create larger than life sculptures illustrating his spiritual insights by using concrete! As a young man he supposedly stepped into a hole while walking alone through the woods and ended up in a cave where he met the hermit Keoku. He stayed with the eremite for several years, and in the course developed his very own mysticism which…

  • Thailand,  Kambodscha

    Angkor is everywhere

    The evening sun is bathing the ancient ruins in a captivating gold-orange light. I wander through the chambers of one of the many 12th century Khmer temples in Thailand and admire quietly the excellent state of the original stone carvings on lintels and pediments. It’s serene. It’s me and maybe two dozen other visitors – local tourists geared up in their best outfits on a selfie spree. They do in fact add to the beauty of the scene. “Khon diao?” I get asked over and over again by the Thai families and groups of friends. “Only one person?” Inconceivable that one would travel by themselves! “Mai sanuk!” “No…

  • Bali

    Leaving the Womb of Mama Bali

    Velvet night. The monsoon rain has stopped for a moment. His eyes are wide and shining, much like those of a Legong dancer. His smile is warm and animated. It warms my heart. Nyoman, the motorbike guy, is one of those humans who make life in Ubud so very easy. “You call again, when you come back, yeah?” he confirms our connection before he takes off with my Scoopy. I enjoy the simplicity and flow in all our interactions. And this particular Balinese flavour of caring warmth. I feel it again at 4:45 in the morning of that same night when I hobble past the house of my…

  • Vietnam,  Human Encounters

    Captain of Lan Ha Bay

    This is captain Te. Captain Te lives on a junk in Lan Ha and Halong bay, Vietnam. 20 years now that he is steering ships with tourists through the calm waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. His family lives somewhere on the mainland near Haiphong. Usually he gets one day off per month to visit them and send some money. One day per month. The remainder of the time he is literally laid back on his bridge with the inevitable thermos of extra strong Vietnamese green tea and a good measure of soap operas and movies running on his smartphone while he is navigating the ship with his…

  • Vietnam,  Human Encounters

    Northern Vietnamese Romance

    On our hike today we ended up being the guests of an older couple of the ethnic Thai in the hilly region of Mai Chau, Vietnam. They had moved out of their house in the village to leave it to their son and his family. It would be bad luck for the house if someone died in there, the lively 64-year old man explained to us while he was moving around in his humble hut in the remote forest like a teen. Next he pulled out his flute enchanting us with some simple song, saying that for full moon he would enjoy playing for his wife in front…

  • Vietnam

    Rainy Mountain Market

    Markets are much more than the exchange of groceries in the hilly regions of Northern Vietnam. For most people living in the mountains it’s one of the few chances to chat, to socialise, to find the potential one, to buy a goat or a buffalo and to get a new haircut…