Burmese diaries: 445 Miles to Mandalay

Unlike many of our other travel destinations, we were strongly advised to properly plan in Burma. Whereas Nico and I generally like to ‘go with the flow’, experience a place and what it has to offer before planning our exit date, we acted to the contrary in Myanmar. Our planning was driven by several factors, … Continue reading

Off to Bangkok: Preparing for Myanmar

We had a lush last few days in Siem Reap in Cambodia, staying in a Belgian-owned boutique hotel called Shanti Villa with a marvellously cooling plunge pool. As we hopped from temple to temple within the heat of the Angkor temple complex…and as we were driven by our personal tuk-tuk driver to the Cambodian Landmine … Continue reading

Disabled Cambodia: Limbs lost from landmines

One in every 290 Cambodians is an amputee. From the garbage-ridden sands of Ochheuteal Beach in Sihanoukville to the entrances and souvenir stalls opposite the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, limbless victims of Cambodia’s landmines stand with crutches, hands out, begging, to passing tourists, for money. There are – of course – other … Continue reading

Les Ruines D’Angkor: A Khmer Pride

Lonely Planet lists Angkor Wat in Cambodia as one of the ‘1000 Places to Visit Before You Die’. With over 2 million visitors per year – including the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Charles de Gaulle in the 60s; and, more recently, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and Ricky Martin in the decade of … Continue reading

Castaways in paradise: Koh Rong in Cambodia

We almost cancelled Sihanoukville. We received mixed messages from other travellers: some loved it, others hated it. One English guy gave a more neutral view: ‘There’s something for everyone in Sihanoukville. You just need to make sure you find it!’ Our journey from the capital to Cambodia’s coast was smooth running – thanks to P.P. … Continue reading

Shadows beneath the light: Six feet under, but not dead

Cambodia is getting richer, particularly Phnom Penh. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lists Cambodia as the 14th most rapidly growing economy in the world in 2011-2012, measured by percent change in GDP. It is no wonder the streets are bustling with tuk-tuks, motorbikes, and cars; all seemingly following their own traffic rules when zooming past … Continue reading

Kratie to Phnom Penh: Why we loathe Cambodian ‘bad boys’

Those drivers were certainly ‘bad boys’. We didn’t need to speak Khmer to understand that they were rude; loud; grossly inappropriate to poor, local passengers; profiteers; unethical; and equally importantly, incredibly aggressive and unsafe drivers. We’d had a few uncomfortable and thought-provoking bus journeys by this point. From the stomach-wrenching, windy roads starting in Luang … Continue reading