The Perils of Paradise – Koh Rong

The Perils of Paradise – Koh Rong

What makes a "paradise island"? A beautiful, white sandy beach? Warm, perfectly clear sea, complete with shoals of playful tropical fish? Wooden bungalows that look out over long stretches of unspoilt and virtually uninhabited coastline? A bit of jungle in ...

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

It's still the mid-nineteenth century in the Old Town in Luang Prabang. At least that's what they like you to think. One of the more upmarket bars even advertises itself as taking you "back to the elegant good old days, ...

Gliding Through Jewels and Jade – Halong Bay

Gliding Through Jewels and Jade – Halong Bay

We'd been warned, but the weather was a bit of a suprise, to be honest. From the warm stickiness of Saigon and the Mekong Delta, arriving in Hanoi in Northern Vietnam was a little like arriving to a late Autumn ...

Faces of Tet – A Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Faces of Tet – A Vietnamese Lunar New Year

For the last week, Saigon has been filling with flowers. As the numbers of Westerners diminish and the hotels and restaurants become crowded with revisiting expat Vietnamese and those taking an early holiday, the signs have been abound that the ...

New Friends – Allambie

New Friends – Allambie

Never ones to over sell things, 'amazing' is a word we try not to use too casually. However, our time in Saigon has truly been 'amazing', thanks to our new friends from Allambie Orphanage [caption id="attachment_1001" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Clockwise ...

Satays-faction – Bali Asli Cookery School

Satays-faction – Bali Asli Cookery School

Since we were joined for New Year in Bali by some of our family and friends, we've been eating, drinking and generally making merry in the Seminak area. Our retreat, which was refreshing in so many ways, is over and ...

Rain and Rest With Friends – Melbourne

Rain and Rest With Friends – Melbourne

One aspect of long-term travelling that we perhaps hadn't anticipated, but which makes total sense when you consider it, is the fact that when you get to a place of comfort, you feel a magnetic pull just to stay there ...

Whales And Wales – Puerto Madryn

Whales And Wales – Puerto Madryn

For a nineteenth century Welsh immigrant arriving in Puerto Madryn after two months on a boat, the landscape of their new Patagonian home must have been quite a disappointment. The miles and miles of flat and featureless shrubland would surely ...

Perito Moreno Glacier – It´s Cracking!

Perito Moreno Glacier – It´s Cracking!

Perito Moreno Glacier in Southern Argentina is like nothing I´ve ever seen. Nestled in the snow-capped mountains of Patagonia, near the town of El Calafate, it´s one of only a few glaciers that are actually growing. This means the sounds ...

Portraits of Uruguay

Portraits of Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay... Colonia, Uruguay... Oh, and we went to the Museo del Fútbol at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo - the home of the very first world cup...

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Now that we’ve safely returned to good ol’ Blighty (quite a culture shock already), we thought we’d share some of the stranger things we managed to snap on our way around South America, Australia and South East Asia. Look closely…                      

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What makes a “paradise island”? A beautiful, white sandy beach? Warm, perfectly clear sea, complete with shoals of playful tropical fish? Wooden bungalows that look out over long stretches of unspoilt and virtually uninhabited coastline? A bit of jungle in the middle for exploring? If this all sounds like the paradise ideal you’d imagined, then it also almost describes at […]

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Modern Cambodia is a story of the sublime and the ridiculously difficult. Corruption, poverty, extreme begging and, in the living memory of many, the horrific recent past under the Khmer Rouge mixes with a gentle and proud culture, harbouring a more distant and glorious history when the Khmer Empire were “the Romans of Asia” an their capital was the unparalleled […]

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Gollum would have been at home here. Harry and Dumbledore, Kirk and Spock, Orpheus and Persephone, they’ve probably all paid a visit. And now that it’s in the book that’s surgically attached to every traveller – I hope not to see another Lonely Planet for a long time after this trip – many others may be making the interesting curveball […]

Don't stray off the roads! UXO - Unexploded Ordinance

Shortly after setting off from the Elephant Village our minivan driver stopped in the middle of the dirt track that was the road, wound down his window and, without pause for thought, proceeded to throw a large amount of plastic shrink wrap out of the window and out into the forest. We and other westerners in the van squirmed with […]

Elephants In The River

It’s still the mid-nineteenth century in the Old Town in Luang Prabang. At least that’s what they like you to think. One of the more upmarket bars even advertises itself as taking you “back to the elegant good old days, the great colonial days..” No wonder the French love it here. Nevertheless, the reputed charm is not without merit. The […]

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There are some people and places that you just cannot rush. Sometimes this is because the terrain, weather or lack of infrastructure is preventative; sometimes it’s because the people just like to take things slowly; more often than not it’s a combination of the two. Laos is a prime example of a slow-moving people in a sometimes tricky environment, trying […]

The motorbike had come on the roof from Vietnam

Unless you’re still at a nightclub, very loud European trance music (with accompanying DVD pictures) is not the sort of thing that makes 5am a more pleasurable hour. Still less comfortable, is to have this inflicted on you at this time in the wee small hours whilst effectively being stuffed into a tin can. Nevertheless, it seems that this might […]

Halong Bay in the morning, from 'Amazing Cave'

We’d been warned, but the weather was a bit of a suprise, to be honest. From the warm stickiness of Saigon and the Mekong Delta, arriving in Hanoi in Northern Vietnam was a little like arriving to a late Autumn in the UK. Cold and incredibly damp (98% humidity), fleeces, hats and the occasional shiver were the order of the […]

More waterways

It’s not often that you get treated like a good luck charm, welcomed with open arms everywhere. It’s even less common for this to happen when you’re a red-faced sweaty mess, but happen it did in the waterside villages of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, as we (accompanied once again by Den and Babs) cycled through during the Lunar New Year’s Tet […]

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For the last week, Saigon has been filling with flowers. As the numbers of Westerners diminish and the hotels and restaurants become crowded with revisiting expat Vietnamese and those taking an early holiday, the signs have been abound that the Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival of Tet is almost here. In the large central park in District 1, orchids and […]

Rice paper parcels

As the flower displays have sprung up around Ho Chi Minh City and the orchids have begun to bloom for Tet (the Lunar New Year festival,) we have continued to spend time with the children from Allambie. Cinema trips, the zoo, bowling and games in the park have all helped us to get to know this fantastic group, and for […]

Nhi, Helen and Sa

Never ones to over sell things, ‘amazing’ is a word we try not to use too casually. However, our time in Saigon has truly been ‘amazing’, thanks to our new friends from Allambie Orphanage It seems a bit strange calling it an orphanage because it feels more like a family home. In fact, that’s exactly what it is, thanks to […]

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Our time in Asia has yeilded one universal truth: you’re nothing here without a motorbike. But, we’re not too keen on the traffic or the insurance issues related to driving the things so, as we head off each day to meet our new friends (more to follow soon) we’ve decided…if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! (ps if you can’t […]

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Let’s get one thing straight: the Vietnam War was not very funny. Not at all. So it was a little surprising to find the tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels to be so bereft of gravitas. The tunnel system became enormous from the 1950s through to the 1970s, stretching for an estimated 250km. The protection, camouflage and communication and storage […]

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For those of you not familiar with the classic 1980s video game “Frogger”, it involved guiding a frog across a hectic road full of cars, bikes and lorries, with the aim being to get to the other side without being squished. If you fancy a game, click here. For us here in Ho Chi Minh City (the official name for […]

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From the generally relaxing stay at the villa in Canggu to the hustle and bustle of Kuta and Seminak, and through the culinary delights and lovely snorkelling of Candidasa, we are finishing our Bali experience with our family and friends in Ubud. Our homestay (effectively a Balian bed and breakfast) is beautiful, being a large traditional family home set around […]

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Since we were joined for New Year in Bali by some of our family and friends, we’ve been eating, drinking and generally making merry in the Seminak area. Our retreat, which was refreshing in so many ways, is over and life is slowly beginning to get pleasantly busier once more. Time to pack those backpacks again. On Monday, thirteen of […]

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Bali has been a quiet time for us, but you can’t come here without testing out it’s legendary surf. Unfortunately for us, matching the amazing wave carvers and tricksters we’ve seen on the local beaches means starting surfing at about the age of nine. Two lessons wasn’t going to quite cut it. We did plenty of standing up though, largely […]

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Merry Christmas from Bali! Keeping busy with sun (most days), surf (once), yoga (Helen) and swimming. Christmas dinner in Kuta tonight with our friend Louise Byam Cook. Fried rice more likely than turkey. Lots of love and seasons greetings wherever you are! H & P xxx

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