Photos and Blog by Shannon Turkewitz

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Thai Tiaras

Thai Tiaras

The graceful movements of Thai dancers entertain the Siamese royal court and night-market tourists. A fabulous addition to the elegance and precision of the performers are specialized costumes. Depending on the dance, performers might wear six-inch-long brass nails or specialized decorative headdresses.


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Center of the Universe

Center of the Universe

Like a mountain that holds up the sky, the handle of an umbrella supports its dome, or so goes the mythology of the Buddhist umbrella. This golden parasol from Chiang Mai’s Wat Doi Suthep is a symbol for the exalted person whom it would protect from the heat of suffering and desire.


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Flower Power

Sweet Georgia

In 1916 an avant-garde photographer from New York fell in love with a schoolteacher in the Texas panhandle. The passion of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe is a modern American romance. Intense and complicated, their union produced beautiful and unforgettable art, his black and white photography and her images of flowers.


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The Smart Way to Travel

Harbour Ferries

In Hong Kong, ferries glide back and forth on Victoria Harbour. Well-known as one of the world’s financial centers, this city of seven million is also one of the most densely populated — and apparently most intelligent — on earth. Studies routinely rank Hong Kong as the city with the highest IQ scores.


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Summer Nuns

Summer Nuns

These novice nuns in Burma are on their way to a morning bath. Many Burmese families send their daughters for a religious education in the warm summer months. The “Thilashins” live together in compounds near wats. Numbers of resident nuns can double in summertime.


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One with Nature

One with Nature

Founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was once the thriving cosmopolitan capital of Siam (Thailand). The reign of Ayutthaya ended in 1767 when Burmese troops sacked the city and carried away its treasures. The remains of temples, palaces and statues artfully permeate the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site located about an hour outside of Bangkok. In the severe flooding of 2011, this particular statue in the base of a tree was underwater for weeks.


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Twilight in Kowloon

Twilight in Kowloon

Nathan Road on the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong is a major shopping thoroughfare. At twilight, there is a rush to work, home from work, or out to meet friends. Fewer tourists visit this area than neighboring Hong Kong Island. The picture was taken from the second floor of a double-decker bus whose route terminates at the Star Ferry pier on Victoria Harbor.