Serene monks on mobile phones and corrupt politicians in limousines. Stinking traffic jams and stunning deserted beaches. Ancient ruins and gleaming skyscrapers. Armani suits and subsistence farmers. Full moon parties and silent contemplation. No matter which way you look at it, South East Asia is one of the most interesting, vibrant, beautiful and complex areas in the world. For me, it’s utterly fascinating, achingly beautiful and one of the greatest places in the world to backpack, and I find myself returning there time and again. Here’s a few things that I’ve figured out to help you enjoy your time in the region, and avoid a few of the pitfalls along the way.Continue Reading →
Even the name conjures up a sense of wonder and mystery, an appreciation of both the incredible feats of mankind over the millennia and the inexorable power of nature in equal measure. Or maybe that’s just me. In any case it would be fair to say that I was rather looking forward to my time at the vast Angkorian temple complex near Siem Reap in Cambodia, albeit tinged with a slight concern that perhaps it wouldn’t live up to the picture already formed in my overhyped imagination.
I needn’t have worried.
If your first view of the towers of the main attraction, the smiling faces of Bayon or the encroaching jungle at Ta Prohm don’t leave an indelible impression on your consciousness, I’d suggest double-checking for a pulse. It really is that sort of place, and one that you owe it to yourself to visit at least once during your lifetime.
Here are a few things I figured out while I was there to help you make the most of your time in this unbelievable part of the world.Continue Reading →