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Travel story

beach at perhentian islands
Asia Destinations 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 Destinations 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 Destinations 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…

monks on u bein bridge
Asia Destinations 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…

Asia Destinations 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…

tourist in texan shooting range
Destinations North America USA

A tourist in a Texan shooting range

Some of you who know me a little better may be intrigued and slightly disturbed by this post’s title. Alas, it is as it seems. Despite heavy protestations, my Houstonian friend insisted I experience all of Texas’s fabulous culture,…

laguna 69
Destinations Latin America Peru

Laguna 69, Huaraz

Huaraz is a bustling city sandwiched between two thick cordillera slices, making it the perfect starting-point to climb one of the many 6,000-plus metre peaks in the vicinity. Unfortunately, or perhaps luckily for me, I was barely trained for…

isla del sol
Bolivia Destinations Latin America

Lake Titicaca: Isla del Sol

When I arrived at Isla del Sol, I wasn’t quite prepared for the 206 steps up an ancient Incan staircase – scaling 200 metres in all – to reach the island’s southern village, Yumani. With a heavy backpack, 200+…