What began as a practical scarecrow creation for the family plot has transformed into a whimsical display of memories in the remote village of Nagoro, Japan. When someone passes on or moves away, Ayano Tsukimi, an elderly crafts hobbyist, makes life-sized scarecrows to remember their presence. These ubiquitous cotton-stuffed dolls are ten times more than the human residents in the village and have become a major attraction for visitors from around the globe.
Nestled deep in the hidden valleys of Yunnan, China, east of the Himalayas and abutting the blue waters of Lugu Lake, sits a community of inhabitants known as the Mosuo people. And like most members of this community, they collectively share several similarities—traits, ideals, morals, beliefs. What sets this group apart from the rest of their mainland counterparts is their surprisingly modern approach to Chinese tradition. In this mysterious and unspoiled region, known as the “Kingdom of Women,” men take a backseat.
In the remote Mountain Province of Sagada, Philippines, the natives practice a burial ritual that draws curious visitors and photographers from countries all over the world. For over 2,000 years, the Sagada people have laid their deceased residents to rest in coffins that dangle from the side of Sagada’s steep Echo Valley cliffs as well as inside its many caves.
The heart of Thailand beats thunderously for its elephants, at least that is what history and folklore have demonstrated. The relationship between the Thai people and these gentle giants features heavily throughout much of Asian iconography. But there’s more.
Nestled in the crystal waters of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Baa Atoll, the Vakkaru Maldives resort takes luxury to the next level. No stranger to accolades, the resort has won numerous awards for its ambiance and service as a destination wedding venue and honeymooners’ paradise.
On the eastern coast of China, a once-bustling fishing village blends seamlessly into the hillside, reclaimed by the ivy and moss of the lush, green landscape. The village, located on Shengshan Island, is part of the Shengsi Islands, a smattering of over 400 islands just south of the mouth of the Yangtze River.
Some people dream of tropical climates and hot, sandy beaches when they plan a vacation – the hotter, the better. For those who prefer a cooler destination, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Heilongjiang Province, China may be just the place.
For thousands of years, Yuncheng Salt Lake has served as an important source of salt for residents all over China. Located in the Shanxi Province in Northern China, the lake, nicknamed “China’s Dead Sea,” has been the focus of numerous wars, territorial disputes, and religious traditions for over 4,000 years. Ancient people even worshipped “salt gods” in nearby temples to pay homage to the lake.
Nestled just outside of the city of Da Nang, Vietnam’s Golden Bridge may be the world’s most unique footbridge. It connects the nearby cable car station to the beautiful gardens of the Bà Nà Hills Resort. Set against a backdrop of lush, fantastical scenery, the bridge rises from the ground, supported by two giant hands.
The forests of the Jigokudani valley in Japan are surrounded by imposing cliffs and fountains of steaming hot water. It’s a breathtaking contrast to see the steam of the springs against the starkness of the snowy landscape. Locals refer to Jigokudani as “Hell Valley,” both for its appearance of “smoke” and its harsh climate.