Solo Travel | When Friends Come To Visit

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Adventures in Thailand

Hua Hin Cover

A Bike Tour of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park | Hua Hin, Thailand

Things I should have left in the bus: My sunglasses. My camera. My phone. Things I should have brought with me: My new Gortex jacket. A dry bag. We’d only just started to walk up the long path when it started to rain. Really rain. Wet rain. Thick, heavy droplets of the stuff. Within minutes we were in the state that comes after soaking. I couldn’t keep my eyes open as my contact lenses swam…

Cooking with Poo cover

Cooking with Poo | A Bangkok Cookery Class | A Recipe for Coconut Chicken Soup

I did a cookery class with Poo. Go on. Say it. You know you want to. I don’t mind. Go on. “That must have been shit”. Feel better? Yes, I cooked with Poo. And I liked it. (Unfortunately I can’t take credit for that excellent *cough* gag. It was printed on our aprons). Poo is the affectionate nickname for Khun Saiyuud Diwong, a long-term resident of Khlong Toey, the largest informal settlement in Bangkok. In…

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Cycling into Bangkok’s Jungle | A bike tour with ABC Amazing Bangkok Cyclist

Why is it when you tell a guide you are terrified of snakes at the beginning of a tour, and they later point a big crate of them out to you, they look surprised when you start crying and shaking? Seriously? I was on a bike tour, and we were cycling down a tiny alleyway in an informal settlement under a railway track, when my guide stopped beside a brick box with an iron grate…

NEVER AGAIN | VISITING S21 AND THE KILLING FIELDS IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA | TRAVEL BLOG LINK-UP

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Tales from Myanmar

IL Cover

A Tour of Inle Lake | Thoughts on Sustainability

A red and blue school bag hanging from a wooden post, reflected in the water. A woman, squatting on one of the wooden steps leading from the water up to her house, washing plates in a pale blue plastic bowl. The sound of pop music wafting in and out of earshot with the breeze. A tiny boy, standing at one end of a long wooden boat, carefully rowing between the houses. A man leaning over…

Kalaw cover

Kalaw, Myanmar

Kalaw feels very much like an Alpine town. Only with temples tipped with gold. And monks in burgundy robes. And a few extra centimetres of mercury in the thermometer. Ok, so it might not sound very Alpine-like, but trust me on this. The centre is ringed by chalet-like huts with wooden shutters and verandas, built on stilts dug deep into the hillside. The mountains are rolling and covered in a dense forest which gives them…

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In Photos: A Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Bagan, Myanmar, with Oriental Ballooning

There are two questions that tourists ask other tourists in Myanmar: One, “Did you trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake?” (I didn’t, more on that soon); and two, “Did you do a hot air balloon ride over Bagan?” (I did). If the answer to the last one is yes, then the follow up question is always “was it worth it?”. And my answer, post-flight, was always strongly in the affirmative. Yes, it is a sizeable…

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF POOTLING: BAGAN, MYANMAR

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Stylish Stays

Grid 9 2

Cheap and Stylish in Kuala Lumpur? Surely not! | Grid 9 | Hotel Review

My one non-negotiable requirement of all the hotels, B&Bs and home-stays that I feature on here is that they are stylish. They don’t have to be fancy, they don’t have to be luxurious, they definitely don’t have to be pricey, but they do have to have some sense of purposeful design to them. I try to stay at, and write about, a wide variety of places in all price ranges, but I do sometimes struggle…

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A Cool and Contemporary Homestay in Bangkok | Loog Choob | Homestay Review

So far this is the only place that I have been back to – I think that says a lot! It’s where I chose for Bella and I to stay when she came to Bangkok for the weekend. This was partly because of how much I love this homestay, and partly because of the location – which is really good for sightseeing, if you don’t mind walking a bit (we don’t). Overview: Occupying one of…

Ariyasom Villa cover

AriyasomVilla Bangkok | A beautiful and relaxing 1940s Villa | Boutique Hotel Review

Whenever I’m shown my room at a hotel I classify as a “treat night”, I always try to act nonchalant. I arrange my face into one that says “oh, I stay in these places all the time” (I hope). “It has its own private plunge pool? Sure. Two sinks? Well that’s just to be expected really. There’s a minibar. Hmm, looks decent enough.” Meanwhile the voice in my head goes something like this: “OH MY…

Pages from my Travel Diary

Sean and I, pre-coffee, on our bike tour of Angkor Wat

Solo Travel – When Friends Come To Visit | Travel Diary 

Yesterday I said goodbye to Seán. There were tears (me) and Taylor Swift lyrics (him). Seán has been in Thailand and Cambodia for a couple of weeks – to visit me and another of his friends who works out here – and to, you know, lie on some beaches and stuff. We didn’t spend the whole time together, although I “booked-ended” his holiday (his words), and we spent his last four days in a group of…

I mean, you could travel in one of these if you really wanted to...

On Finding Your Travelling Style | Travel Diary

There are many things I found difficult during my first few weeks of solo travel. Jet lag (I suffer from massive sleep problems enough as it is). Loss of appetite. Difficulty adjusting to the heat and humidity. Feet that weren’t used to flip-flops. The language barrier. Panic that I wasn’t enjoying every single minute of every single day. Thoughts about what the f**k I had done giving up my stable job and life to pursue…

hard solo

The Hardest Days of Solo Travel | Travel Diary

The last couple of days have been tough. And not for any particular reason really. But this is something I’m realising about solo travel: it’s not the days when something, or everything, is going wrong that are the toughest. I can cope with those days. I dig deep. I batter up. I go into auto-pilot. Something needs sorting, and I’m bloody well going to sort it. They’re the days I feel strong. Brave. When I…

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Sean and I, pre-coffee, on our bike tour of Angkor Wat

Solo Travel – When Friends Come To Visit | Travel Diary 

Yesterday I said goodbye to Seán. There were tears (me) and Taylor Swift lyrics (him). Seán has been in Thailand and Cambodia for a couple of weeks – to visit me and another of his friends who works out here – and to, you know, lie on some beaches and stuff. We didn’t spend the whole time together, although I “booked-ended” his holiday (his words), and we spent his last four days in a group of…

Read More
Grid 9 2

Cheap and Stylish in Kuala Lumpur? Surely not! | Grid 9 | Hotel Review

My one non-negotiable requirement of all the hotels, B&Bs and home-stays that I feature on here is that they are stylish. They don’t have to be fancy, they don’t have to be luxurious, they definitely don’t have to be pricey, but they do have to have some sense of purposeful design to them. I try to stay at, and write about, a wide variety of places in all price ranges, but I do sometimes struggle…

Read More
I mean, you could travel in one of these if you really wanted to...

On Finding Your Travelling Style | Travel Diary

There are many things I found difficult during my first few weeks of solo travel. Jet lag (I suffer from massive sleep problems enough as it is). Loss of appetite. Difficulty adjusting to the heat and humidity. Feet that weren’t used to flip-flops. The language barrier. Panic that I wasn’t enjoying every single minute of every single day. Thoughts about what the f**k I had done giving up my stable job and life to pursue…

Read More
Hua Hin Cover

A Bike Tour of Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park | Hua Hin, Thailand

Things I should have left in the bus: My sunglasses. My camera. My phone. Things I should have brought with me: My new Gortex jacket. A dry bag. We’d only just started to walk up the long path when it started to rain. Really rain. Wet rain. Thick, heavy droplets of the stuff. Within minutes we were in the state that comes after soaking. I couldn’t keep my eyes open as my contact lenses swam…

Read More
One Petronas tower from the other Petronas tower.

A Postcard from Kuala Lumpur

I love an underdog. I really do. I love rooting for the one no one thinks will make it. Supporting those others don’t. And if there was ever an underdog city, it’s Kuala Lumpur. It’s not that people hate it, it’s more that people just don’t seem to love it. It’s the mousey girl at school who everyone knows the name of, but no one knows anything about (me). When I spoke to other travellers…

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Cover 2

A Cool and Contemporary Homestay in Bangkok | Loog Choob | Homestay Review

So far this is the only place that I have been back to – I think that says a lot! It’s where I chose for Bella and I to stay when she came to Bangkok for the weekend. This was partly because of how much I love this homestay, and partly because of the location – which is really good for sightseeing, if you don’t mind walking a bit (we don’t). Overview: Occupying one of…

Read More
IL Cover

A Tour of Inle Lake | Thoughts on Sustainability

A red and blue school bag hanging from a wooden post, reflected in the water. A woman, squatting on one of the wooden steps leading from the water up to her house, washing plates in a pale blue plastic bowl. The sound of pop music wafting in and out of earshot with the breeze. A tiny boy, standing at one end of a long wooden boat, carefully rowing between the houses. A man leaning over…

Read More
hard solo

The Hardest Days of Solo Travel | Travel Diary

The last couple of days have been tough. And not for any particular reason really. But this is something I’m realising about solo travel: it’s not the days when something, or everything, is going wrong that are the toughest. I can cope with those days. I dig deep. I batter up. I go into auto-pilot. Something needs sorting, and I’m bloody well going to sort it. They’re the days I feel strong. Brave. When I…

Read More
Ariyasom Villa cover

AriyasomVilla Bangkok | A beautiful and relaxing 1940s Villa | Boutique Hotel Review

Whenever I’m shown my room at a hotel I classify as a “treat night”, I always try to act nonchalant. I arrange my face into one that says “oh, I stay in these places all the time” (I hope). “It has its own private plunge pool? Sure. Two sinks? Well that’s just to be expected really. There’s a minibar. Hmm, looks decent enough.” Meanwhile the voice in my head goes something like this: “OH MY…

Read More
Kalaw cover

Kalaw, Myanmar

Kalaw feels very much like an Alpine town. Only with temples tipped with gold. And monks in burgundy robes. And a few extra centimetres of mercury in the thermometer. Ok, so it might not sound very Alpine-like, but trust me on this. The centre is ringed by chalet-like huts with wooden shutters and verandas, built on stilts dug deep into the hillside. The mountains are rolling and covered in a dense forest which gives them…

Read More
Cooking with Poo cover

Cooking with Poo | A Bangkok Cookery Class | A Recipe for Coconut Chicken Soup

I did a cookery class with Poo. Go on. Say it. You know you want to. I don’t mind. Go on. “That must have been shit”. Feel better? Yes, I cooked with Poo. And I liked it. (Unfortunately I can’t take credit for that excellent *cough* gag. It was printed on our aprons). Poo is the affectionate nickname for Khun Saiyuud Diwong, a long-term resident of Khlong Toey, the largest informal settlement in Bangkok. In…

Read More