Pokhara: Earthquake, Cloud Village and a Ring

Mark Stewart Destinations 2 Comments

Pokhara is, compared at east to Kathmandu, a quiet relaxing town on a beautiful lake. Though being on the tourist trail, it also is full of cheesy bars, shops, restaurants and hotels, although for the most part, the place still keeps its charm. Overall, a pretty relaxed week here, aside from the mild excitement caused by the earthquake the first evening… It happened right near the India/Nepal boarder on the far east of the country, and it turns out, we …

Cows, Dogs, Monkeys and Freefalls

Mark Stewart Destinations 2 Comments

Kathmandu. After only five days, I can confidently say that Cambodia has fallen to second place on the list. Nepal is, from what I’ve seen thus far anyway, the most beautiful country, with the most amazing people, that I’ve ever been to. Arriving at the airport, it was quickly clear that Nepal time is pretty much that it gets done when it gets done. The visa process took a while, and the ride to the guesthouse took longer.. in the …

Seoul: Jet Lag, and the Art of Suction Cup Chewing

Mark Stewart Destinations 6 Comments

Round two: Seoul. Sleep deprived, and awake at 2:30am, once again we’re off to the airport to check out how things roll on the other side of the planet. Flying into Seattle first with the intention of spending at least a part of our 6 1/2 hour layover outside of the airport and checking out a bit of the city, we finally decide against it. The chaos caused on the east coast due to hurricane Irene has caused thousands of …

Christmas in the Barossa Valley

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Fourteen thousand kilometres from home, in the spectacular Barossa Valley in South Australia,we celebrate a very unique Christmas in wine country. Wine Country Fresh off the Nullarbor, we waste no time making our way into our highly anticipated next destination. The Barossa Valley is one of Australias best wine regions, home to some of the best Shiraz in the country. We fell in love with this little area immediately upon arrival. What stands out above all else, is that there …

Crossing the Nullarbor

Mark Stewart Destinations 4 Comments

The previous evening was spent in an abandoned salmon fishing camp on the coast. Celebrating my birthday, we drank cheap beer in the car while singing along to CCR’s greatest hits. Not just out of love mind you, it was one of the only two CD’s we owned and radio reception was non-existent. Pantyhose and Eggs Stopping for petrol and supplies in Noresman the next morning, a man asks us our plans. “Heading into the Nullarbor today!”, we proudly tell …

The Temples of Angkor

Mark Stewart Destinations 4 Comments

Angkor Wat. Arguably some of the most well known ancient ruins in the world, and without question a must-visit spot for anyone travelling through Southeast Asia. While day trips or short overnight tours from Thailand are available and often used by time-limited travellers, the best option is to stay for at least a few days to allow time to take in all of the temples in the area. Following our six-hour bus ride up from Phnom Penh we check into …

Dengue Fever in Vietnam

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Suddenly, out of absolute nowhere, I went from excited and hungry to weak and sick within a few seconds. As if some unknown vampiric force was draining me of all energy. I hobbled to the washroom to wash my face with some cold water as I could feel my temperature rising.

Tea and Tranquility in Vang Vieng

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After a long and bumpy ride, along steep cliffs and winding roads, we make our way from Luang Prabang to the little village of Vang Vieng. Almost immediately we discover the truth behind the rumours we’ve heard to much about: the legendary “Friends bars”. Although we’ve never figured out why, but nearly every bar and restaurant in town has repeats of Friends playing constantly – yes, the NBC show from the 90’s. Although it was quite fascinating, it was without …

The Slow Boat into Laos

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Waking early enough for a quick breakfast before doing one final pack of our bags, we make sure everything is in order and make our way down the dusty path toward the dock. The literal border ‘crossing’ is done in a small canoe powered by an outboard motor, just strong enough to fight the currents of the Mekong River.
 
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A Jungle Trek in Thailand

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We walked to the shop just after sunrise. The guides were waiting by an old pickup truck. The two other travellers joined us soon after. One, a Thai university student living in Bangkok, the other his German classmate. They were on vacation. We climbed in the back of the truck and it drove us far outside of Pai. After some time, the truck stopped and the four of us hopped out. The two guides loaded their guns and told us …