Pettah Market, Sri Lanka

The Pettah Market is an open market in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Most of the businesses in Pettah are dominated by Muslim traders who specialize in gold and jewelry shops.  With a lust for adventure, myself and 2 friends spent the morning perusing the streets, ingesting massive quantities of Sri Lankan street food, sweating and snapping photos. It’s not always easy to fully immerse yourself in a another culture, especially when your are traveling in groups.  I discovered the Pettah Market to be an authentic taste of Sri Lankan culture. The streets were bustling but no one was too busy to chat, pose for photos or simply smile.  Sometimes, as a tourist, that is all I need to feel welcomed.

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Yellowstone National Park

Arguably, Yellowstone National Park is the most inspired national park the US has to offer.  I spent a magnificent 2 days cruising through the prismatic pools of boiling water and minerals, dodging geysers and chasing after 2 little boys with a 4 pound camera strapped to my back.  As a photographer, these are the moments I live for.  Having a collection of work that shows my subjects interacting with nature is priceless. I am certain that this family will reflect back on these memories for years to come.  It truly is the essence of ‘documenting life.’

The Korean Strait

Busan, the 2nd largest city in South Korea is located along the southern tip of the peninsula and a major port city with ferries crossing the Korean Strait between South Korea and Japan on a daily basis. The city offer spectacular panoramic views of the ocean and is a major tourist attraction in Korea. A tour during the early morning hours will provide you with opportunities to witness the local fishing industry selling fresh seafood at rock bottom prices.  It really should not be missed!

Jinju Lantern Festival

Korea is rife with festivals. Rarely does a weekend pass without some sort of community gathering celebrating the brutal history of Korea or the Korean resolve to conquer oppression.  And yet, no festival holds fonder memories for me then the Jinju Lantern Festival.  The tradition of floating lanterns on Namgang River in Jinju City dates back to the Japanese invasion of Korea. The lanterns were used a tool for communicating with Korean soldiers outside the walls of the Jinju Palace.  Since that time, the festivals has grown into virtual explosion of light and beauty.  It’s an extraordinary experience that must be seen to fully appreciate.

Old Quarters Hoi An, Vietnam

In the early 1600s, large numbers of Japanese settled in Hoi-an.  At that time the city was underdeveloped, but the Japanese envisioned transforming the town into a trading center. The Japanese constructed streets, pagodas, and other infrastructure, along with housing for the merchants.

The bridge pictured above is one of a handful of architectural treasures still in existence from that era. The bridge doubles as a temple, with shrines to several deities located inside.

Sapa Tourism

Every morning Hmong women gather outside the hotel waiting to guide tourists on a trek through the muddy hills of Sapa, Vietnam.  After a 3-4 hour hike, it is expected that tourist will purchase trinkets from the women to compensate them for their time.  Often small children will tag along to inspire generosity.  It’s quite effective!