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
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.
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s bustling capital, was a place I didn’t care to stay long in. The drive in was a gridlock of beeping horns and clouds of exhaust fumes. Trucks with colourful stickers and cabin decorations, battered cars with cracked windscreens and huge luxury 4WDs and black taxis.
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.
You may not have heard of the Pont des Arts by its real name – but you might have heard of the ‘love lock’ bridge in Paris. It’s the pedestrian bridge known for its railings covered in padlocks, locked there by loving couples who sign their initials and throw the key into the Seine river … More The story of the Paris love lock bridge
When glaciers end their slow motion tumble down the mountains, they calve off into serene glacier lakes. At the south end of Iceland’s epic glacier Vatnajökull, the glacier pools into the Fjallsárlón glacier lake, and nearby Jökulsárlón. Iceland is a rough circle shape – and if you imagine it is a giant clock – we … More Vatnajökull glacier lakes – Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón
It was almost 2am when we finally arrived at Vannes station, on the west coast of France, by TGV. I was pretty excited at the thought of flashing through the countryside at 300km/h, turning cows, fields, and villages into one long smear of green and brown blurs. But it was dark, and I fell asleep from exhaustion, … More Vannes – a step back in time to medieval France
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