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Asia

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Scratching the Surface of Yangon

The city. Always my least favourite leg of the trip. Everything about it defies my idea of “getting away” because I live in a city. But of course, foreign cities are always different. Let us reminisce here a bit… Remember our lovely accommodation at Ngapali beach? Well we decided…

Bumming on Ngapali Beach

The road from Bagan to Napali was rough. And foreign. The last time I’ve felt like such a vulnerable outsider on a holiday was in Liverpool, when we were lost (and looking very lost), and a group of skinheads made eye contact with us and began approaching. To…

Open Water Diving at Tioman

Taking up scuba diving has been drifting in and out the back of my head for a couple of years, and thanks to a chance encounter with a fellow writer Samantha, who’s also an avid diver, plans got a little more solid. Over the media tasting at District 10, she filled…

Mount Popa and more of Bagan

With three full days to spend in Bagan, we needed a day trip out of the area to break up the monotony of temple hopping. So we booked a driver and a guide with the hotel that we were staying at to take us to Mount Popa, for…

Enchanting Bagan

We got unloaded onto Bagan at an ungodly time of 4am, right smack into a desperate swarm of taxi drivers. Sleepy eyed and freezing (yes we were once again under-dressed for the early morning 15°C chill), we found our groggy way through the throng of aggressive touts to collect our…

Into Inle Lake

When the morning alarm went off, I crept out of bed and slipped out to our small balcony, hoping to see a sunrise that was as magnificent as the sunset the night before. The sun was no where in sight, and the sky was just a mass of…

An Introduction to Myanmar

Going without a plan wasn’t part of the plan. For months we egged each other on to do more research, only to be set back by the lack of — and outdated — information available online, especially for the bus schedules. Even the official flight schedules were hard…

At Home in Ta Phin

Good morning again, Sapa! After getting terrorised by bugs the previous night, I woke up in a very blissful holiday mood, and was gloating over the fact that we still had 2 full days amongst these beautiful mountains. The day before, we zipped past massive trucks and lumbering…

Biking around Sapa

It’s about 6am and we’ve arrived in Lao Cai! It’s the transit town where tourists hop off the train and into a bus heading towards Sapa. The overnight train that took us from Hanoi city centre to Lao Cai was excellent. A return ticket was USD58, and we…

Hello Ha Long Bay

The trouble with the internet is, I knew exactly how Ha Long Bay would look like. I was already mesmerised by all the images I saw of it on the web, and have been yearning to go — although it was really Top Gear’s Vietnam motorbike special that…

Deciphering Hanoi

There’s something you should come to accept as a tourist before you venture out of the airport in Hanoi: you’re going to get ripped off and there’s nothing you can do about it. All the street hawkers will engage in a short discussion amongst themselves before charging you…

A Furry Saturday

Once in a while I lend my help to the people behind Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary (NANAS), especially when they hold tours at their lovely compound in Johor, Malaysia. It’s a sprawling plot of land that serves as the animals’ (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, and…

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