Naughty Ngapali

Our 11 days with Rach and Guy ended in the best way; three nights on the Bay of Bengal in western Myanmar. We upgraded our usual backpacker accommodation for the cheapest room in an expensive resort, situated on a prime stretch of the wide and lengthy palm-lined beach. It was gorgeous.  We spent our days lazing…

Wineries and wild dogs on Inle Lake

After our beautiful, yet tiring walk from Kalaw, we were glad to have booked a hotel with a nice pool so we could recover. So after a day of relaxing, we headed to a winery on the edge of town on bicycles. We cycled past some abandoned temples and alongside vineyards and before we knew it we…

A cross-country trek with the Power Rangers of Myanmar

To get to Kalaw from Bagan we ended up on a cramped minibus, which was a right hand drive despite the Myanmar driving on the right (this article attempts to explain why but no-one really knows). It made for some pretty hairy overtaking on mountain curves. We were keen to get out and see some…

Biking around brilliant Bagan

After saying a sad goodbye to my dad in Hong Kong, we headed to the airport for our flight to Myanmar (Burma). Our 20th country and one we were both very excited about. At check-in we were delighted to find out, for the first time ever, that we had been upgraded. They must have been…

Reflections on returning to Hong Kong

Here’s a guest post from my Dad who we met up with in Hong Kong. Over to him: Hong Kong was the place for another reunion (we also met up in Buenos Aires in July) with Jack and Becki. They were en-route to Myanmar and I was coming from Singapore where I had been visiting friends. My…

You know you’re in Japan when…

It’s normal to walk the streets in a kimono and clogs: They auction bras in the street: Toilets are amazing and never dirty:   There are cafes where you can play with cats: You can buy snow monkey souvenirs on trains: People chainsaw ice in the street: You can order your dinner from a machine: …as…

A glimpse into Kyoto’s temples and shrines

Kyoto was the original capital of Japan for a thousand years until 1868 and it is justly famous for its thousands of temples, shrines and geishas. Becki had visited on her previous trip but was keen to explore again so we hit some of the major sights on our two days in the city. Kinkaku-ji (The Golden…

Sipping sake like a local

From the snow monkeys, a long day of travel (train-train-bus) brought us to Takayama in the Japan Alps. After loving our time in Furano and Shibu Onsen, we were excited for more time in and around the white stuff. A relatively small town (by Japanese standards), we checked into a cozy hostel (think heaters under the…

Snow monkeys just trying to keep warm

From Tokyo, we headed 300km northwest via the super fast bullet train to the small village of Shibu Onsen. We were here for two reasons: to spend a night in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) and most importantly see the snow monkeys (Japanese macaques). Ryokans have been part of Japanese culture for centuries and…

A taste of Tokyo

We only had three days in Tokyo so wanted to see as much as possible of this vast metropolis (with a population of around 14 million). And in our 72 hours, we saw many sides of the city across the different neighbourhoods we visited. We based ourselves in a cool hostel in Asakusa, one of the older areas of…

Hokkaido: there’s snowhere like it

After much planning (there’s a lot to see and it’s expensive, so we wanted to maximise our time), we decided to begin our Japanese fortnight in the north of the country, on the island of Hokkaido. The main reason was the winter festivals in and around Sapporo, the largest city on the island. The downside was visiting in…

A tropical island under Sharia Law

To finish off our two weeks in Sumatra we flew up to Banda Aceh in the northern tip of Sumatra. This area is primarily known for two things: the 2004 tsunami and Sharia law. It was the hardest hit area of the world with over 200,000 people killed or missing in the natural disaster 13…