The Mountain People of Nepal: Culture in the Annapurna Circuit (Annapurna, Nepal)

Day 16 Muktinath to Kagbeni 016

Being completely absorbed in a majestic, large-scale natural environments for days on end can render man-made divides as petty in the grader picture. One gets this sense from travelling through the Annapurna region of the Nepalese Himalayas. The inspiring landscape of the Himalayas is well-documented, but what requires closer investigation is the diversity and multi-culturalism present among the towns scattered through the mountains and along the rivers. Continue reading

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Spirituality in Siberia: Shamanism on Lake Baikal (Olkhon, Russia)

“For Buryats Lake Baikal is a sacred and holy place. Historically, Baikal has given people food, fish, water, and there are many legends about Baikal,” says Masha Bambuyeva, a Buryat native of the north Baikal town of Severobaikalsk in Siberia, Russia.

Marc Olkhon (32)

While travelling in Siberia and reporting on the area surrounding the world’s deepest, oldest, and most voluminous fresh water lake in the world, I have heard as many tales of Baikal myths as I have witnessed breathtaking landscapes.

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Hunt for the Elusive Whale Shark (Ko Lanta, Thailand)

Divers travel to Thailand for some of the best diving in the world on both coasts of the country. The Andaman Sea has one of the most coveted reefs with a world top 5 in Hin Daeng and Hin Muang off of Ko Lanta. The most beginner friendly diving in the world is in the Gulf of Thailand where the island of Ko Tao certifies more divers than anywhere else.  Diving wise, what both sides have in common despite different ecosystems, is the opportunity to swim with the elusive, friendly, and very curious giant, the Whale Shark.


whale shark length

There aren’t any reefs that guarantee a Whale Shark sighting, and there are some dive masters that I met in Ko Tao, that despite diving every day, have yet to spot one. That said there is always excitement that grows on the diving boats that this dive might be the lucky one. In that case, abandon the dive game plan, and just hang around the Whale Shark being sure to give it space, especially around its tail.

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