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Our final week on the Southeast Asian peninsula brought us full circle – sort of. The half-year adventure in one of the most beautiful regions on earth began in the ultra-modern world of Tokyo and ended in the almost as modern world of Singapore. The only real downside to our arrival in Singapore was the sudden increase in costs, as we had officially returned to the ‘West’. Staying at the Inncrowd hostel in Little India, we had very little in …

The Cameron Highlands of Malaysia

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The majority of backpackers in Southeast Asia tend to focus on Thailand. Those with a little more freedom often venture through Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. When time is available, occasionally they’ll spend a bit of time visiting Malaysia, but typically tend to stick to either the beaches or a quick stop over in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, one of the most beautiful spots in the entire country of mainland Malaysia is often overlooked: the Cameron Highlands. With a much cooler climate …

The Temples of Angkor

Mark Stewart Architecture, Ruins 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

Mark Stewart Misadventures 2 Comments

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

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

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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Meditation and Monks in Thailand

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While Kylee has been brought up around Meditation her whole life, I have not. However, we decided to sign up for a ten day Vipassana meditation at Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, a monastery atop a mountain on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. Regarding the meditation itself, Vipassana roughly translates to: ‘seeing things as they really are’, and it is stated as being the process of self-purification by self-observation. So essentially, awareness of ones true self. The temple area itself …

Bangkok: The Moment I Knew I Was a Traveller

Mark Stewart Cities, Inspiration Leave a Comment

Still riding the high from the Blade Runner-esque shock of Tokyo only a day prior, I stood standing on the rooftop of our hostel, struggling to grip the fast-warming sweaty beer in my hand. I remember every detail of this moment, the light brown stray dog in the alley below, the blue skirt drying on the line across said alley, the shards of broken glass embedded in concrete surrounding the local properties.
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