I’ve been pretty lucky over the last few years. I’ve been to many incredible places and done and seen some pretty amazing things. But there’s some experiences that do stand out above the rest. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten but since I have to do so (well I don’t have to, but I’m making myself do it) then I’d say that it would probably be these, so in no particular order: Continue reading “My Top 10 Travel Experiences”
16-17 September 2011
We had an earlier than usual start the next morning. Our guide had told us that the local monks walk through the streets of Luang Prabang, past our hotel, first thing each day as they collected food donated to them by the local people, so we went to see them for ourselves. Soon enough, a line of monks clad in orange robes walked past, whilst villagers sat at the roadside offering them something to eat. Continue reading “Laos Part Four: Journey to Thailand”
14-15 September 2011
The journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang was an unpleasantly bumpy one. Our tour group of six piled into a mini-bus along with our tour guide and the driver. Since there were three sets of three seats in the back, we divided into pairs and sprawled across them. I get car sick at the best of times and, as we swung around mountain corner after mountain corner, I could barely sit up straight. In fact, I couldn’t sit up at all – I had to lay across the seats with my travel buddy holding onto me, acting as a seatbelt to stop me from falling off. In that position, the ride was much more comfortable. I think I even dozed off. Continue reading “Laos Part Three: Luang Prabang (Elephant Sanctuary and Kuang Si Waterfall)”
12-13 September 2011
With a 9am start, we got a bit of a lie-in this morning before we left Vientiane for Vang Vieng and, after quite a bumpy ride, we arrived early afternoon. We checked into the Inthira hotel and went straight back out again to find food down by the river. Many of the restaurants had TVs playing shows I recognised and we settled on a place showing Friends. Who doesn’t love a bit of Friends (in fact I’m actually watching it right now whilst I’m writing this). Sadly, we sat outside so I couldn’t actually see the screen but I suppose I was here to be sociable. There were no chairs so we all squeezed around a little table, cross-legged. Our guide recommended the baked potatoes but sadly they turned out peeled, halved and under-cooked, with only a little bit of cheese, a few beans and something that claimed to be tomato sauce.
10-11 September 2011
It was an early start as my tour group left Vietnam for Laos. Apparently, the Laos border closed at 5pm so we had to firm deadline to meet. Thankfully, depending on your point of view, our mini-bus proceeded to bomb around the country roads, overtaking any car or bike that got in our way and beeping at anything in sight – standard driving practice in Southeast Asia really. Beeping in Vietnam essentially means, “I’m here, watch out”, unlike in England where it tends to angrily mean, “what are you even doing?!” Continue reading “Laos Part One: Lac Xao and Vientiane”
1. 1770, Australia The first time I rode a motorbike was pretty much by accident. I’d reached the town of 1770 on my tour of the Australian east coast (that’s the actual name of the place) and the main tourist … Continue reading Biking in Australia and Laos
After doing my list of the Seven Wonders of the World, I wondered how many UNESCO World Heritage sites I’d seen without knowing it and how many I had left to do. It turns out, that out of the 1,121 (as updated) preserved cultural and natural landmarks, I have been to 58. Only 1,063 to go then – I may complete my Seven Wonders list first: Continue reading “My UNESCO World Heritage Checklist”
Eating unusual foods in Asia is as much of a tourist activity as any. You cannot leave without having sampled a local delicacy and experiencing a different food culture. Here is my guide to some of the tasty treats I tried when I was in the area.