Browsing Tag

Travel story

views on the way to kjerag
Europe Norway

My Crazy Hike to Kjeragbolten

My hands were shaking uncontrollably, but it wasn’t from the fear. I knew that below me was an almost 1km drop down to the bottom of the fjord. But the swirling mists hid the valley floor from view. Turns out it’s…

sign to pha thok cave
Asia Laos

In Knee Deep: A solo hike to Tham Pha Thok caves

The river had looked harmless. But the water was already up to my knees and with every step I risked plunging into the stream. My toes poked around for a stable foothold. The current was so fast it seemed…

cordoba mosque
Spain Travel Insights

Why I Travel: Discovering Magic in Cordoba

As I walked up from the Guadalquivir River, light, summery music floated through the streets. Ahead of me was the grand Mezquita-Catedral, Cordoba’s greatest claim to fame. The sun had just set and the sky was entering its magnetic…

famous tannery in fez
Morocco

Navigating Fez’s mazelike medina

“Hello madam,” the young boy said, approaching with a large grin on his face that also lit up his almond-shaped eyes. “Hello,” I said warily and braced myself for his attempt to wrangle some money from me. “What hostel…

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…

northern territory
Australia

Kakadu: Why you end up walking like a ruffled emu

In the Northern Territory, Aborigines have their traditional dances. Hands behind their back, they mimic the animals around them. They pound their feet on the ground. They thrust their chests forward, stick out their bottoms and revere the wildlife…

beach at perhentian islands
Asia Malaysia

Cast away on the Perhentian Islands

The rocks became more jagged, larger, and more tightly fitting until they were one obstinate cliff front. I had several options: Turn back. Swim. Or start rock climbing. I couldn’t turn back. I’d come too far, and I had…

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…

Asia Laos

Luang Prabang: Learning the loom

Shuttle in the left hand, foot on the left pedal, slide. Shuttle in the right hand, foot on the right pedal, slam the beater. Learning to weave on a loom is like learning to use a typewriter while simultaneously…

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…