So, back around 221 BC there was this emperor named Shih Huang Ti who said, “We’re going to build a really great wall.”
But monkeys are untouchable in this Hindu temple perched on a cliff above the Indian Ocean. Every night, in a performance of the Kecak, or Monkey Dance, the monkey-like Varana helps a prince fight off an evil king while 100 men chatter like macaques.
Well, really not a fantasy but Shilin, the Stone Forest in Yunnan Province, China, looks as if it were created by some god or space alien who turned the opposition to stone. Quite the opposite if you believe a local legend.
Anthony Bourdain took a boat ride up the Skrang River on the island of Borneo for his TV show “Parts Unknown” recently. It looked quite different than the steamy place I visited in back in 1986. Here is a video I shot when things were more jungly and wild.
Temples of Bagan – Photo (c) Russell Johnson
I read George Orwell’s “Burmese Days “while traveling through Burma aka Myanmar on a filming assignment in the 1990s The country looked then as if it hadn’t changed much since Orwell’s 1930s. Burma was oppressed, frozen in time, isolated from the rest of the world. That has gradually changed, largely due to social media, militant monks and the presence of Aung San Suu Kyi the country’s face of freedom.
Today, after a free election, the jackboots of the ruling generals (depicted on their currency as men with small heads and large hats) may have finally been lifted.