Latest Posts

map of Bangkok's BTS, MRT and  rail networks

Bangkok airport ‘Skytrain’ link to open in December

Exciting news that on January 15th 2010 you will be able to experience a solar eclipse from Galle in southern Sri Lanka. Apparently it will be an annular eclipse, so the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the Sun will appear as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the outline of the Moon.



, , , ,

Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey – a review:

Rick Stein did us a massive favour by doing a programme that focused, almost exclusively, on the area that we specialise in. Apart from Laos, all our bases were covered – Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and of course, Thailand. A big ‘thank you’ to Rick then, as we saw a definite increase in inquiries from the sort of people keen to do something a little different and sample the true flavours of the region – something which we can deliver!



bc-cooking
,

Northern Thailand – Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai

Our visit to northern Thailand was rather short and fleeting. We arrived in Chiang Rai from Laos and were pretty knackered after the Gibbon Experience and so did not do anything too energetic. Chiang Rai is a fairly sizeable Thai city and although a fair amount of tourists pass through, it retains its ‘Thainess’ more than Chiang Mai. We spent a couple of hours at the White Temple just outside town and this is well worth a look. Ben, who is a little on the temple averse side, really enjoyed it. Strangely enough, it is white and in the sun the mirrors that have all been painstakingly hand cut and stuck on shine brilliantly.



Its 5am and we have seen a Gibbon
,

The Gibbon Experience – Northern Laos

After spending a day and a night in the fairly depressing border town (Laos:Thailand) of Houay Xai we were really keen to start our 3 day “Gibbon Experience” trip. It had been recommended to us throughout Laos so we were keen to see what all the fuss was about. The trip involved spending 3 days in the dense northern Laos jungle, living in tree houses high in the forest canopy. The tree houses are connected to the jungle by large zip wires! Apart from having a lot of fun, one of the objectives is to try and see one of the black Gibbons which were up to a few years ago thought to be extinct in this part of Laos. The people that run the company put some of their money back into the local village and pay for the only park rangers in Laos.



Alms Givign in Luang Prabang
,

Luang Prabang – Northern Laos

The journey from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang was a painful one. The air conditioning on the bus decided to break down and the wheel sprung a puncture. Not unusual occurrences in Laos, but it did make for a long, extremely hot and sweaty day. The pain was, however, alleviated by the extraordinarily beautiful views surrounding us as we wound our way through central Laos. They were simply breathtaking!



slide
, ,

Vang Vieng

Now Vang Vieng is pretty much all about tubing as the numerous tee shirts you see worn in South East Asia advertise. But Vang Vieng does offer some other great excursions. The town itself has been shaped with a young western audience in mind and has numerous bars playing Friends on loop. However its surroundings are quite amazing. There are rolling hills carpeted with lush jungle dissected by the Nam Song river and a few spectacular caves.



The course sand and waves of Arugam Bay
,

East Coast Beaches back on the menu soon?

With war finally a thing of the past in Sri Lanka, great excitement and interest is being expressed towards areas which were previously deemed ‘off-limits’ by various travel advisories. It is surely a matter of time before the British Foreign Office revises it’s stance on travelling to certain areas of the island.
[caption id="attachment_780" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The spectacular sands of Kalkudah"]The spectacular sands of Kalkudah[/caption]



,

Phnom Penh

Perhaps we are becoming accustomed to these manic cities of South East Asia, but we did not struggle with the hecticness of Phnom Penh that so many had told us about. Although the streets continue in the theme of Bangkok, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with huge amounts of traffic, we were pleased to find that generally the traffic stopped when the light was red – a phenomenon that had been less evident in Vietnam!



dsc01952
,

Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor

Hidden away in the south eastern corner of Cambodia are these two coastal getaways. Their charm is unique and definately a little rough around the edges – though it is in this that lies their charm. Originally built by the French in the 1920s as plush colonial getaways and then used by rich Cambodians in the 1960s and 1970s, they both fell into disrepair and were pretty much abandoned with the arrival of the Khmer Rouge. Although going through a revival (especially Kep) the earlier desertion is still evident in the derelict buildings and run down buildings.



chilling-in-the-mud-bath
,

Nha Trang

Arriving in Nha Trang was quite a strange experience as it is so different from all the places we have visited so far in Vietnam. It is a real ‘holiday’ destination (for Vietnamese as well as westerners) and has a Vietnamese feeling of a spanish holiday resort! If you want peace and quiet then this is not the place for you, but we had a lot of fun there nonetheless.