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Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures

December 1, 2015 – 2:31 am

In Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon, long-time journalist and life coach Wanda Hennig invites the reader to accompany her as she shares her journey from a life where she was constantly ambushed and repressed by personal demons to a rich and robust pleasure-filled life-affirming place.

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Thailand travel 32: Duck curry at Kopitiam by Wilai in Phuket Town

September 28, 2016 – 5:23 am

I believe home is where the heart is, and we carry our hearts with us, like our breath, so anywhere and everywhere is home. And being “at home” on the move has a sense of adventure while “home” in the conventional sense comes with duties and suchlike.

Thailand travel 31: Dinner with top Chef Tammasak Chootong (Noi) at Suay

September 28, 2016 – 3:05 am
Chef Tammasak Chootong at Suay

The strips of texture, it turns out, that I thought might be strips of mushroom, is young bamboo, grated. There are mushrooms. There is onion, red chili and spring onion, a mix of intense and subtle flavors. The rice noodle roll is somehow sensual in texture; the fish plump and decadently fatty and warm. Perhaps another nine on the mouth orgasm scale.

Thailand travel 30: Magical mystery Phuket Town outdoor market lunch

September 26, 2016 – 9:35 am
Old Town Phuket outdoor market scene.

Old Phuket Town is cool to roam and the outdoor market is is a great lunchtime spot. I relish my final days of “freedom,” which is what traveling typically feels like. Not like I am not free at home. But traveling, I am free from most commitments, I guess. And there is freedom of seeing so much and doing so much when it doesn’t feel like doing but like “being” in a novel place.

Thailand travel 29: Island hopping on Rose and Thong Krut Sunday lunch

September 24, 2016 – 9:45 am
Beach Restaurant Thong Krut crispy calamari.

The next morning, Sunday, we drive right down the island to the family-run Beach Restaurant at Thong Krut fishing village on Koh Samui. It’s a fave or Richard and Barb. And it’s fabulous.

Thailand travel 28: From Bangrak Market to Fisherman’s Village on foot

September 24, 2016 – 7:47 am
Not brave enough to try a cricket.

At the Bangrak fish, meat and veggie market, fishermen are pulling in on the beach and unloading their catch straight into the market. It’s busy, busy. Locals shopping on Friday arvy for the weekend. A TV crew in action at one of the stands. The vendors an eclectic bunch, ever ready to engage in hand-gestures and attempts to explain.

Thailand travel 27: Wat Plai Laem, Mr Pong and the Big Buddha

September 10, 2016 – 5:44 am

My outsize shibori scarf is the most useful item in my luggage. You can use it to cover your shoulders at the Big Buddha temple in Koh Samui, sit on it on grubby bus seats, keep the sun off your arms and shoulders with it, don it in the evening to add a touch of elegance, dry yourself with it, wipe your hands on it when you’ve eaten, use to to keep you warm when the breeze comes up of an evening and lots more.

Thailand travel 26: Jungle Club, Secret Garden and Koh Samui friends

September 6, 2016 – 6:15 am
View from the Big Buddha platform Koh Samui.

“You’re living a fantasy movie-set lifestyle,” I comment. My mind travels to where they could be living. In a village in England. OK. English villages can be charming. But this is exotic and there’s no fog and we’re outdoors and the beer is cold. Tables in the sand. Fire artists on the beach. Warm ocean for paddling. A Tiger beer and sixties music in the background.

Laos 25: Cheers to Luang Prabang, 3 Nagas and Mango Garden

August 30, 2016 – 5:12 am
Or Lam bamboo in Luang Prabang.

It says “traditional Lao stew” on the Mango Garden restaurant menu. They do themselves an injustice saying on the menu that the dish has sweet basil, coriander, spring onion, chili, young eggplant — and I choose the beef for the meat option — period. It is, in fact, a pretty good version of the Lao specialty, Or Lam, which the manager admits to when I ask her and point out the wood ear mushrooms, the twist of lemongrass and the yard-long beans.

Laos travel 24: Laung Prabang alms parade and morning market

August 29, 2016 – 8:29 am

The morning market opens at 6am, just after Sai Bat. To quote from the official Luang Prabang website: Lao cuisine draws almost exclusively on fresh foods. Few homes traditionally have refrigerators and modern supermarkets are rare. So at this market, you’ll find every possible type of food regionally available, including an amazing mushroom selection. Everything fresh is seasonal.

Laos 23: Massage and monk chat

August 27, 2016 – 10:54 am
Luang Prabang monks.

When I see a young monk sitting at a little table inside a temple ground reading, I smile and he smiles and says Hello across the short distance and the wall. And tells me he is practicing his English and invites me to come and check the book he’s taken from the library. His English is good and his name is Bakh and he says he became a monk to get an education and he is turning 19 the next day. He is from a Mekong village where they had no high school.

Laos 22: What’s cooking at the Luang Prabang night market

August 18, 2016 – 7:03 am

The Luang Prabang night handicraft market is good for browsing and bargaining. The Luang Prabang night food market is good for indulging what with all the barbecued meats and fish and sausage and a pigs heads and all manner of meaty bits and bites cooked over fire on grills.