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May I introduce JP Sara, a Canadian who owns a language school in Laos

May I introduce JP Sara, a Canadian who owns a language school in Laos

I met JP in Luang Prabang, a delightful town in northern Laos. He’d already been there for four years, running his own English language school. When he told me he had signed a 10-year lease for the school after being in the country for less than a month I was interested in finding out more about this fellow-Canadian. Actually, JP has been working internationally for some time. Before Laos he taught English in South Korea for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Laos, May I introduce, Travel itinerary

Seeing the world through at-home eyes

Seeing the world through at-home eyes

Editorial: Every day as I travel through Southeast Asia I come upon behaviours that are new to me. Usually I try to understand them logically, albeit from a western perspective. So when I see a family of five riding together on a motorbike, my internal storyline goes something like this: They are all skinny; they don’t own a car; they need to go somewhere together; the mother knows how to hold on to the little ones so … Read entire article »

Filed under: Editorials

Photo gallery of Singapore Botanic Gardens

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens are part of a preserved rain forest that was established in 1859 when the city was a trading post under the British. The rain forest still exits, all 6.2 hectares of it, with trees as tall as 45m and home to 314 species, many rare or endangered. There is a hike you can take through the forest but don’t do it if there is a storm brewing (and you never seem … Read entire article »

Filed under: Gardens of the world, Singapore, Travel itinerary

You’re never too old to start snorkeling

You’re never too old to start snorkeling

There’s this resort town on the east coast of Bali called Candidasa, a place the Lonely Planet describes as “slouching into idle age”. The book goes on to say that the “relaxed ambiance and sweeping views from the seaside hotels” appeal to a “more mature crowd”. Ouch, for that’s where I’ve been staying and I actually found it preferable to the southern part of the island, which is overdeveloped beyond description. At the same time, I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adventure travel, Indonesia, Travel itinerary

Photo gallery of Phu Quoc Island

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island

Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island

If you’re looking for an island where much of the shoreline is untouched, that many say has the best beaches in Vietnam along with the best sunsets, then head to Phu Quoc. The island also makes what they claim is the world’s most famous fish sauce if that influences your choice! Phu Quoc, which lies in the Gulf of Thailand near the Mekong Delta and the Cambodian border, is Vietnam’s largest island, about 48km long and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Travel itinerary, Vietnam

The women who carry rocks on their heads

The women who carry rocks on their heads

I was staying at a B&B in the middle of a rice field on the edge of Ubud in Bali. It’s not far from one of the touristy streets but you can’t get to it by car but instead must walk a narrow path that is also frequented by ducks and roosters and a steady line of women carrying rocks on their heads. Some motorbikes use it too, causing you to squeeze to one side … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cultural travel, Indonesia, Memorable moments, Travel itinerary

Photo gallery of Singapore

Filed under: Photo galleries of great trips

If you love the Big Apple (as I do) you’ll adore Singapore

If you love the Big Apple (as I do) you’ll adore Singapore

I knew Singapore was different as soon as I got on the MRT (rapid transit system) at the airport and made my way into the city. Everyone around me was moving quickly and seemed so sure of themselves, at least when compared to other Southeast Asian countries where so many people just hung about hoping someone would ride in their tuk-tuk or taxi, “if not today then maybe tomorrow”. Singapore is a country in a hurry. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Great cities, Singapore, Travel itinerary

The Killing Fields: Where monks were made to disappear

The Killing Fields: Where monks were made to disappear

I was having one of those rambling conversations with the Aussie who owns the B&B where I was staying in Siem Reap and found myself saying that what I missed in Cambodia were the temples like the ones in Thailand and Laos, two countries I had just visited. He was rather aghast for hadn’t I just visited Angkor where the  temples were built for the gods? But Angkor is about ancient glories, now “rediscovered” and restored. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cambodia, Cultural travel, Travel itinerary