Seems I’m bound to spend every bus ride trying desperately to hold in some bodily function; usually it’s needing to pee, but every now and then, just to shake things up, it’s needing to vomit. The bus trip to the Cameron Highlands was of this second type.
‘Malaysia: Truly Asia’ is Malaysia’s current tourism slogan, but I think a better one would be ‘Malaysia: A Nice Break From Asia.’ With Muslims, Indians (and/or Bangladeshis) and attractive men who weigh more than me everywhere, Malaysia is quite a refreshing change of scenery. Besides which, people are so friendly here, almost as eerily friendly […]
On my last day in Hoi An, April and I ate at our cheese-and-chocolate restaurant three times in one day (same server each time, embarrassingly) and in between, we hired the tiniest, most ancient man ever to row us up and down the river for an hour. I felt sure he would expire from the […]
Due to a mix-up with my bus ticket (I confirmed for the bus to Dalat at 7:30 a.m., only to be told when I phoned after no bus appeared that there was no bus that day and I would instead be going tomorrow, causing me to completely lose it over the phone so that they […]
My Aunt Joan, a high school teacher in New Jersey, has a student from Vietnam, and when Aunt Joan told this student I was visiting her home, she very kindly hooked me up with her family. I called them my first night in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, technically, although District 1, where I stayed […]
Our first night in Phnom Penh, April and I took a walk out of the backpacker’s ghetto (where the guesthouses all charge three bucks a night and make up the difference with the 24-hour bar out back), past the mosque (how I love chanting Muslims in the morning), into the alleys and industrial districts in […]
Angkor Wat is the main temple in a complex of hundreds, built from the 9th to 15th centuries. There’s a formula for viewing these temples: most people purchase a three-day pass for $40 and hire a tuk-tuk driver to cart them around.
Perhaps it’s only because ‘Savanakhet’ sounds like ‘Savannah,’ but it reminded me of a slow, Southern town in the States. On the day I visited, the streets were nearly empty, the pavement hummed in the constant heat, and people lurked around in what shady nooks they could find. I tried to locate the local museum […]
My mood, you will be happy to hear, improved upon arrival in Vientiane. Not that Vientiane’s so wonderful – it’s just a city. But it’s a city that would exist whether or not tourists came and that’s all I really required.
I have rarely witnessed anything as truly ludicrous as Vang Vieng. Droves of backpackers originally flocked to this town because of its position on the Nam Song surrounded by limestone karst formations and tons of caves, and in response to the influx, Vang Vieng has completely whored itself out.