The road to Hue: Marble Mountain, Monkey Mountain, and the Hai Van Pass. At least that was the idea.

We booked, through a seemingly legitimate tourist office, a private car to take us to Hue from Hoi An. It took a while for the beautiful town to become a speck in the distance since our driver refused to go over 40km/h. I’m not convinced he had a license, or had even driven a car […]

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Hoi An – a treat for your eyes

By all accounts and certainly in our experience the prettiest town in all Vietnam, Hoi An’s charm drips from every pore of its riverside old quarter. The entire area is pedestrianised – although nihilistic scooters still career through – and the maze of streets and lanes connect beguiling Japanese temples and colonial merchant houses, all […]

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Ho Chi Minh what-a-City

Ho Chi Minh/Saigon is a pulsating behemoth, an endlessly energetic urban sprawl. Modern skyscrapers sprout in clusters, dominating the horizon, looming over traditional low rise buildings. Traffic is incessant, wave after unstinting wave, a sea of vehicles. The streets are packed, shops and stalls spilling onto and into them, bikers and pedestrians weaving and dodging […]

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Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Samloem

Sihanoukville is nothing to write home nor blog posts about. It has some nice stretches of beach but a real problem with litter, and is packed with scummy people, bars and restaurants. It doesn’t have a particularly nice vibe (apparently it’s a haven for paedophiles which can’t do wonders attracting families) but is a necessary […]

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The wonders of Angkor

In the 12th century Angkor was a megacity, capital of the Khmer Empire, an estimated 0.1% of the world’s population living there. Today it lies in ruins – magnificent, other-worldly ruins, around 1000 buildings and monuments spread across nearly 1000km2. Many have been restored under the auspices of Unesco, the result an astounding collection of […]

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Goodbye Laos. Hello Cambodia :)

After a shade under three weeks we’re leaving Laos by plane, having heard some horror stories about the border crossing, and heading to Cambodia. We had some fantastic times – Luang Prabang is a delight, Kong Lor is spectacular, and 4000 Islands / Si Phan Don is an experience to savour – but some less enjoyable moments […]

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4000 Islands / Si Phan Don

I must begin my account of Lao’s wonderful 4000 Islands by describing the odyssey to reach them. It was unforgettable. Tortuously so. I think it was the most uncomfortable journey I’ve ever had, with honourable mention to the trip to Kong Lor a few days before, and the 20-hour aircon-less minivan I once stuffed myself […]

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