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Unfiltered travel

Aroamertherapy in pokhara
Travel Insights

Why don’t we ever talk about the bad days?

Yesterday, I had a long wait in Yogyakarta Airport thanks to flight delays. I was in one of those troughs characteristic to solo travel, coming right off a soul-soaring high. I was sleep deprived, hung over, and sad at…

interior of Cat Ba island
Asia Vietnam

Halong Bay: Motorbike adventures

Throughout Asia, I harboured dreams of whipping through the countryside on a motorbike. It’s the quintessential Asian adventure, right? The wind would lick at my hair and the breeze would cool me down. I’d scoot through out-of-the-way roads, waving…

great barrier reef

What’s so great about the Great Barrier Reef?

The boat was pitching from side to side and up and down. Waves burst over the bow to smash against the windows. Inside the cabin on the bottom level, passengers heaved into brown paper bags so thin and ineffective…

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…

girl at angkor wat
Asia Cambodia

What’s so great about Angkor Wat?

It was five in the morning, but the streets showed plenty of activity. Like a school of fish, all traffic – mostly tuk-tuks and bicycles – were headed in one direction. We were all driven by the same urge…

chong kneas village
Asia Cambodia

How I got scammed in Chong Kneas

At the dock of a floating souvenir store in the middle of  Tonlé Sap lake, a fragile woman paddled to our boat. Her child – or her grandchild, it was impossible to tell – clung to the side of the…

shwezigon pagoda
Asia Myanmar

The hawkers at Shwezigon pagoda: A cautionary tale

One of the best things about Myanmar (for now at least) is the absence of persistent hawkers. In the former capital Yangon and even the more touristic Nyaungshwe a simple “no thanks” suffices to quell any sales pitches. But…

colca canyon
Peru South America

How to conquer Colca Canyon

The only sound is the shuffling of feet on gravel and the occasional dry-retching of a fellow hiker ahead of or behind me. It had already been an hour of climbing, but it felt interminable. The sun was only…


Not-so-ideallic Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland

I have for you all today a perhaps not-so-shocking revelation. Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast, one of those little havens we all dream about on miserably grey days in our home cities, is unashamedly unglamorous. We tout this…