Today, I like decent hotel rooms and charming restaurants with delicious local specialities, and splashing out some money on cool activities. Back in 2012, I was on a shoestring budget, staying in mosquito-ridden hotel dorms and eating cheap pineapple curry from local diners. My electronics didn’t work, and my bag packing skills were atrocious. When … More Revisiting my old backpacking days: My sweaty visit to Kuching
Blue skies, wide sandy beaches, soaring palms and fishing boats bobbing in sparkling waters. This is Vilankulos, Mozambique’s paradisial beach getaway. So far, Mozambique had not been comfortable on our self-drive. Sand and offroad, potholes and camping. It was time to relax with gin and tonics.
The three scooters parked in front of us looked rough. If we sat on them, I imagined we’d collapse into a clanging pile of rusted engine parts and bald, eroded rubber tyres. But Jeff and Wessel were wearing the biggest grins i’d ever seen. We had poorly-fitting helmets, no riding experience and brake pads as effective as kitchen … More Scooter crashes, police roadblocks and flea bites – a crazy riding day on Zanzibar
We didn’t book a hotel in Zanzibar. It was a mistake. We wandered around the city at dusk getting desperate, with a tout stalking us the whole time.
We stared at the menu with skepticism. A pile of limp, pale, thick-cut fries was piled in the corner of a glass-doored display cabinet. On another wooden shelf was some kind of withered, skeletal fish. Both options looked like they’d been waiting for quite a while for a brave customer.
I came across a quote by Leonardo da Vinci the other day, which I quite like: For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you long to return.
Kuta, the party beach on the island of Bali, might be the worst place I’ve travelled to. Aggressive touts stalk people down the street, souvenir shops sell sexist and homophobic slurs on bumper stickers, and Balinese culture as a whole has been twisted into a sleazy, cheap, tourist-pleasing circus.
As we approached Ubud by car, I thought about Eat, Pray, Love. Leafy jungle roads, sunshowers, a community village feel. That was the preconception of Ubud I had in my head when we travelled to inland Bali for a few days. So we got there, and…wait a minute, where are all the rice terrace farms?
The road was getting worse. I sat in the middle of the backseat, holding on to the headrests in front of me, trying not to wipe greasy smears of sweat on the arms of those next to me. Cindy sat to my right, holding on to the roof handle to stop herself from being launched … More Nusa Penida – stepping foot on Bali’s untouched island gem
The banana pancake trail: a nickname given to the popular tourist routes through South East Asia, where foreign influence has shaped that place to cater for foreign taste (ie. banana pancakes for breakfast in Asia!).