Travel

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Rollin' down the Mekong river

2010-05-23 IN THE late morning of Wednesday the 12th of May, I reached Nong Khai (Northeast Thailand), after a whole-night bus trip from Chiang Mai with one change in Udon Thani, about 60km south of Nong Khai.Nong Khai is a small but charming town, lying along...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Hong Kong's twin 'peak'

2010-05-16 FOR many, no visit to Hong Kong is complete without getting an overview of the city at night. And Victoria Peak has long been the favoured place to get a bird's-eye view of the colorful panorama.Come October, visitors will have a new vantage point...

Cambodia by bicycle

2010-05-16 "WHENEVER you see three Cambodians, remember the fourth one who was killed by the Khmer Rouge." A friend shared this sobering thought on the eve of a special adventure I was about to embark on: a bicycling trip from Bangkok to Angkor Wat...

In Chiang Mai, capital of Northern Thailand

2010-05-16 THIS is the longest time I've spent in the same place since I started my trip — one whole week! In fact I arrived here on May 4, by bus from Lampang (about 80km south of Chiang Mai) and I'm leaving tonight on the long bus trip (about 12 hours...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Shanghai: between the past and the future

2010-05-09 AS BEFITS a city which has been at the forefront of China's recent economic rise, Shanghai is characterised by restless and impatient energy. This was clear as, an hour off the plane, I contended with peak hour traffic, choking exhaust fumes and...

Enjoying historical sights in Thailand

2010-05-09 THIS past week has been both the most "archaeological" and the hottest of my whole trip so far. The plain of central Thailand is where the history of this country mostly happened, and it is also the area where the highest temperatures in...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

'Surfin' in Batang Lupar

2010-05-02 WOULD you dare to be on a surfing board and battle a tidal bore in Sarawak's Batang Lupar, famed for its crocodile-infested waters? For the "dare-devils", then they should look no further then Sri Aman, 170km from Kuching, as Sri Aman's...

From Penang to Ayutthaya, the old capital of Thailand

2010-05-02 SUNDAY April 18, first thing in the morning I checked out from the small hotel where I had slept the night before and moved into another guesthouse, this time pretty and clean, with a sink in my room that had been cleaned that very morning, not the...

KK is OK for family trips

2010-05-02 AS PARENTS, we are often at wits end on weekends and school holidays with what to do with the kids. Most urban kids are kept busy with tuition, piano, ballet, computer or art classes, and whatever free time they have they use to glue themselves to...

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Indonesia: To see and to experience

2010-04-25 I'VE spent the last few weeks touring Indonesia, a country I'm visiting for the first time and which is so large and breathtaking I now know I'll have to come back and visit on many more occasions.With over 255 million people, more islands and...

From Melaka to Pinang: Between the historical ports of Malaysia

2010-04-25 WHAT a contrast between Dumai in Sumatra and Melaka in Malaysia! Less than 100km separate them, but it's two worlds apart. Dumai is a rundown rather ugly small town, whereas Melaka is probably the most beautiful and interesting town I've visited...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

On a scenic trail to Don Det, Laos

2010-04-18 SOMEWHAT off the tourist trail in Laos lies a little island — one of four thousand in the area — called Don Det, a place so special I was hesitant to write about it and create more exposure for a place that does so well as one of the...

Through Sumatra and over the Straits of Melaka

2010-04-18 I LEFT Jakarta around four o'clock on Monday, April 5, with a three-hour delay on the scheduled time as the coach had been delayed on its way from Bandung where it had departed that very morning.Pity, because I wanted to cross the Sunda Strait...

Bangladesh celebrates 'Pohela Boishakh'

2010-04-18 BANGLADESH is the largest delta in the world with a long history. The land, the rivers and the lives of the common people are intertwined in the formation of a rich cultural heritage of Bangladesh different from neighbouring regions.Bangladesh's...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

A 4WD odyssey through Mali's plains

2010-04-11 THE globe-trotting Bruneian, Norhayati Abu Bakar, and her husband, Harun Kurt Eichbauer, have embarked on the second leg of their odyssey, this time driving through Mali with their trusted four-wheel-drive Jambo.Norhayati's expedition is in...

On the long road from Yogyakarta to Jakarta

2010-04-11 I LOVE Yogyakarta. It is not too big, but it's full of life, of art and of history. And the people are really friendly. If the sky is clear, the volcano Merapi (at 2,911m) looms on the northern horizon, always with a puff of white smoke coming out...

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Journey through deserts of Mauritania

2010-04-04 WE REACHED in Mauretania on March 9. The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is 200 times bigger than Brunei, and 75 per cent of its land is desert.Mauritania is an inhospitable place, and easterly wind was blowing sand about one foot high. We passed a...

Wandering in Bali's peripheries to see culture, nature

2010-04-04 ON MONDAY morning the 22nd of March I left Tirta Gangga and three bemos and about three hours later I reached Ubud, about twenty-five kilometres north of Denpasar, which may be considered the cultural capital of Bali. There are two main tourist...

Sunday, 28 March 2010

To 'New England' and back to Asia

2010-03-28 AT 6.30 pm on Thursday the 11th of March, my coach arrived in Armidale, a small town of about 25,000 people in The New England, north of Sydney. It took a little longer than eight hours to get there, travelling through a beautiful green landscape...

Diving deep into Oman's blue waters

2010-03-28 IF Oman's desert offers a slice of adventure its underwater is teeming with a tapestry of marine life, Aftab H Kola is thrilled.What I saw in that first glimpse was shafts of sunlight, probably, slanting off through clear blue water; a coral reef of...

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