Browsing Tag

Connection

jam hostel
Spain Travel Insights

Barcelona and the hostel family

A group of young dark-haired men sat on the steps of the Plaça del Sol, strumming guitars and tapping the ground with their feet. Around them, a crowd gathered to clap to the Spanish beat and sing along to…

corn in Sapa
Asia Vietnam

Sapa: Hiking with the Hmong

Tung had buck teeth and a smile that played about her eyes. She wore huge hoop earrings and indigo embroidered clothes that marked her out as a member of one of Vietnam’s highland minority groups, the Black Hmong. It’s hard to…

Classical_Thai_Massage
Asia Thailand

Chiang Mai: My massage by a Thai ex-convict

They were labourer’s hands; calloused skin and sausage fingers. Kneading my back, they were ruthless. They probed upon a weak spot, my body would tense, and these fingers, sensing friction, would begin to pound. They worked quickly, cruelly, stampeding…

phong nha khe bang
Travel Insights Vietnam

Phong Nha Khe Bang & the art of trusting

Karst hills rose spectacularly around us as our boat put-putted upriver. We passed grazing buffalo, playful, naked children, a church spire shrouded by dense foliage, and boxy pastel houses lining the river. Several tourist boats raced by, their hulls…

monks on u bein bridge
Asia Myanmar

U Bein Bridge: Bridge to another world

“Shhh! Stop talking! Sunset. Bridge. Look!” Our boat rower punctuated his demands like a Lieutenant-General. We straightened to attention at his rebuke and brought our camera viewfinders to our eyes, fingers ready on the shutter button. It was indeed…

captain on dotthawady river
Asia Myanmar

Hsipaw: Discovering the real Myanmar

He was dressed in impeccably pleated suit pants and wore creased but polished black shoes. His face was as worn as his shoes, lines branching off at the corners of his eyes. His ears stuck out behind pokey greying…

Asia Myanmar

A DIY hike in Kalaw

Kalaw is a small hilly town only a few hours’ (awesome!) drive from Nyaungshwe near Inle Lake. The town is centred around a market of rusty tin sheds and the glittering gold and silver stupa of Aung Chan Tha Zedi. Whilst…

Asia Myanmar

Doing it local: Inle Lake to Kalaw

Sometimes when you travel a country, you can feel like you’re being led on a sanitised tourist trail removed from local experiences. Not so in Myanmar. When my sister and I decided to travel from Nyaungshwe on the edge…

Asia Myanmar

Traditional Myanmar puppet show

The ceiling lights didn’t dim, they were swiftly extinguished, so that only the velvet curtained stage before us was illuminated. The crowd – all seven of us – were hushed as a tape deck clicked on. A crackling, poncy…

Asia Myanmar

Kindness in Yangon

Yangon conjures visions of Myanmar’s golden past, a country rich with intellectual life and bustling with visitors from near and far. I’ve been told Yangon used to be a major airport hub between the East and West during the…

Bolivia South America

The devilish mines of Cerro Rico

A traveller to Potosi could not understand the Potosiño mentality without braving a mine tour. This city was literally built upon the mining industry and the exploited and bare Cerro Rico (Rich Hill) towering above the city is a constant reminder…