Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich. A bun filled with grilled chicken, cucumber, pickled vegetables and green cilantro.

Recipe: Vietnamese Banh Mi

Mark Stewart Food, Recipe 2 Comments

Bánh mì — literally Vietnamese bread — is the common name for the delicious sandwich that originated in Saigon during the 1950s. Over the years, this melding of French and Southeast Asian cuisine has become wildly popular across the world. I remember the very first time we tried banh mi. It was in Laos, as we were making the two-day boat journey from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. The boat stopped for the night in a small village along the …

Recipe: Street-Style Pad Thai

Mark Stewart Recipe 4 Comments

The cuisine of Thailand is arguably one of the best in the world. It’s bright and fresh; and the fiery chilis burn. It often causes you to wince from the sharp bite of lime and vinegar. Pad Thai however, while undoubtably a staple of the Thai food scene, has none of those aspects. However, it is possibly the greatest introductory dish to those new to Thai food, and is usually one of the first street foods enjoyed by first-time visitors …

Photo Essay: India in Ten Snaps

Mark Stewart Photography 5 Comments

By the time we travelled to India, we thought of ourselves as fairly seasoned travellers. We’d bounced around Canada, the Us, and spent nearly half a year roaming throughout Southeast Asia. We even lived in a car for six months while crossing Australia. On this trip alone, we spent time in South Korea and Nepal before crossing over, we figured it would be a nice warm-up for this incredible land. We were wrong. India is without question the craziest, most …

Recipe: Red Lentil Dahl

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It’s 7 am in Varanasi, Northern India. The ghats are already swarming with devotees bathing themselves in the holy ganges. The sun is still low in the sky but the temperature is already becoming unbearable and the humid air is heavy as we anxiously await the delicious dahl. We sit at a small table, tucked in a corner off the street. Wide-eyed, we stare at the chaos of the buzzing market. Hundreds of people, a few cows, and the odd …

Back to Mumbai… or a Little more Goa

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Well, the last day in paradise arrived. One last swim in the warm, salty waters of the Arabian sea, a quick breakfast, and we check out of our bamboo beach hut. After walking through the burning sand to the main road, we grab a rickshaw back to the ‘town’ at Palolem to catch our bus back to Margao.  From there, the plan is to meet up with the main bus back to Mumbai; and after that 16 hour bus ride, …

Goa

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And to think, of all our plans for this trip, we hadn’t included Goa. Thought about it yes, but thought it would actually happen? Goa is a tiny little state about 12 hours south of Mumbai, and thinking we wouldn’t even have enough time left after traveling the north, even making Mumbai in time was a minor concern. Long blog short, plans changed, and we hopped our train to Mumbai, and from there, the first one we could down south …

India v2.0

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The last week is a blur. As I previously mentioned, Udaipur was a great time. The guesthouse we stayed at was the first true ‘guesthouse’ of the trip. With only three rooms, one of which is occupied by the owner Johar, it is not you’re typical accommodation. First of all, Johar is a very westernized Indian, fluent in English, and sympathetic towards the small day-to-day bullshit a foreign traveler goes through in his country. Secondly, while staying with him, he …

Eid al-Adha

Mark Stewart Opinions, Travel Stories 2 Comments

About a week ago on the train to Jaisalmer, we were told about Eid al-Adha: the Muslim festival commemorating the story in which Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son Issac to prove his love for Allah, and at the last minute, Allah stopped him and provided him with a sheep instead. For the Western (Christian, Jewish…) equivalent, simply change Ibrahim with the obvious Abraham, and Allah to God, and you’ll find the same story in those their associated texts. …

Rajasthan: Into the Desert with a Bhang

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 2 Comments

We knew all about Diwali, the Hindu equivalent of Christmas, the festival of lights… but for whatever reason, we decided to make this the day we travel to the next location, or at least begin the journey. Overall, it really wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as smooth as it normally would have been. Any other day of the year, a bus runs direct from McLeod Ganj, straight to Pathankot (where our train to Rajasthan leaves from). Being the …

Kulcha Shock: Punjab & Dharamsala

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Within the first day, we already find the amazing difference in the attitudes of the Punjabi people. Whether it’s that the majority of population is Sikh, or just the area in general, but so far the most friendly people we’ve met. At one point while looking for the bus station, a rickshaw driver gave us directions, for free(!) even after we declined his offer to drive us. Unheard of thus far in the trip. The only real sight to see …