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Incredible Low-Tech Laotian Merry-Go-Round Theme Parks 

Incredible Low-Tech Laotian Merry-Go-Round

When I was living in Kathmadu 20 years ago (yow!) this summer, I found this awesomely makeshift ferris wheel in a nearby theme park.  A teenager would stand in the middle, and walk from one bar to the next, giving passengers a slow, staggered ride. Much more recently in southern Laos, down on the island Don Khon, I stumbled across a close cousin: the makeshift merry-go-round or carousel.  I think there was a generator giving it a little power, but the operator had to push it around for it to keep…

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Celebrating Easter in China… Holy Curiosities 

Celebrating Easter in China…

When you’re in a country that doesn’t officially celebrate Easter, like China, sometimes you get nervous.  Will the Easter Bunny get his visa yanked at the last-minute?  Are you sure those chocolate eggs are melamine-free?   Is the holiday even legal here? Well, we had those same concerns too, but finally decided China’s gonna love Easter! Good FridayFirst, start your Easter right, with a large order of “Holy Fries” for Good Friday.  Weren’t chips Jesus’ favorite snack?  Even if they weren’t, they’ll go great with your Friday fish.

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Kiev: The Weirdest Ukranian Opera Restaurant in Beijing Extraordinary Eats 

Kiev: The Weirdest Ukranian Opera Restaurant in Beijing

Missing those classic Yevhen Hrebinka hits?  Desperate for a Chicken Kiev and a bottle of Stoli?  But sick of those stern Soviet babushkas slapping down watery bowls of borscht? I hear you, brother. The closest I’d gotten to good Ukranian in Asia was in a subterranean Beijing nightclub. The bouncer outside was a scowling mohawked dwarf in a tuxedo. Inside, there were more hookers than customers.  Sounds good so far, I know, but onstage the aerobics left little to my appetite. So instead, we decided to try Kiev Restaurant. And…

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The Illegal Mae Sot-Burma Border Crossing Other Obscura 

The Illegal Mae Sot-Burma Border Crossing

I put this up on YouTube a little while back, but it’s definitely worth putting up here: the illegal border crossing at Mae Sot. I shot this from the Thai side of the Thai-Burmese border. To get from Mae Sot to Myawaddy, you cross a bridge, pay a toll, and have your passport confiscated for a few hours. (If you’re me, that is.) Or, if you’re Burmese, you could pay a fellow with a fat innertube a few pennies, and be waded across under the bridge. Literally, in the shadow…

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The Story of (These Creepily Awesome) Big Head Buddhas, with video Historical Wonders Holy Curiosities 

The Story of (These Creepily Awesome) Big Head Buddhas, with video

Michelle’s spent a slew of Chinese New Years here in Beijing, but she’s never seen these before — 大头娃娃 (Dàtóu wáwá or Dai Tao Fut) — incredible paper mache masks that we found in the back of a junk store, in Bangkok’s Chinatown.  In English, they’re called Big Headed Buddhas, and for just a few dollars each, how could we resist picking them up!?!

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The Romance Park of the Heart – an abandoned Beijing theme park Modern Ruins Theme Parks 

The Romance Park of the Heart – an abandoned Beijing theme park

Beijing’s filled with hidden secrets. Behind all those highrise tower blocks and overpasses, there is awesomeness to be found. And so it was that we heard rumors of a decrepit half-built theme park, somewhere way out west. The rumors came from a Chinese film student, who’d heard them from a friend, who’d heard them from another friend. No-one knew where on a map they were. “Just go to the Yuquanlu subway stop,” said Bing, “and walk south. That’s where it is! Ask a passerby.” We did just that. And two…

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