How expensive is Japan? “Oh, Japan will be great,” a friend said to me. “But it will be expensive!” I had sort of expected the second part of the sentence as soon as I heard the slight pause in his voice and then the rising inflexion. When it comes to Japan, the two statements seem ...
Battambang Bamboo Train, Cambodia Ker-bump. The carriage goes over another joint in the track. Although to call this a ‘carriage’ is misleading. Ker-bump. I’m hurtling and hurting down a railway on nothing more than bamboo. It’s almost like a raft on wheels, this little contraption. Ker-bump. And at about 50 kilometres an hour, I finally ...
Rabbit Island, Kep, Cambodia In the world these days, it seems the most isolated you can feel is when you are without the internet. No wifi with which to read your emails, no connection to check current events, no broadband to browse your bored friends and their updates on social media. So it is that ...
The best street food in Bangkok The sizzle hits my ears at the same time as the aroma reaches my nostrils. In the little stall on the side of the road, tonight’s dinner is being cooked. Bangkok’s street food is famous – and for good reason. But it can be confronting for a foreigner. All ...
Bourglinster, Luxembourg Bourglinster is one those places I didn’t expect. And I mean that in a few senses. I didn’t expect it to exist, I didn’t expect it to be so pretty, and I certainly didn’t expect it to have such a nice youth hostel. The town is in a rural area, right in the ...
Traditional taverna on Kefallinia Twelve years ago the Gonata family opened their restaurant on the Greek island of Kefallinia. Back then, in the town of Ay Eufimia, there were only a few other businesses. The port had once been the main stopping point for ferries to the island but that all changed after the facilities ...
A yacht trip in the Ionian Sea We tune the boat’s radio to channel 72. “Vathi harbour, this is Gypsy Love,” we say into the handset. There’s a bit of static then a crackle. “Gypsy Love, we have a space for you,” comes the reply. “You can pull in in front of the restaurant with ...
Cheap Tuscany, Italy It’s no surprise that one of the most popular regions of Italy is also one of the most expensive. Between accommodation, food and sites, you can really burn through the euros on a trip to Tuscany. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way – it is ...
Feldkirch youth hostel, Austria If these walls could talk, there would be a world-weary rasp in their voice. It would probably be a slow voice, one that needs time for thoughts to be collected. There would be a lot of thoughts to sort through… but also an inevitable sluggishness that comes from age. You see, ...
You know those moments when every stereotype you have about a nationality is realised? I had one of them the other evening in a hostel in Austria. It might not surprise you to hear that the nationality in question was American. (Cue slightly off-key rendition of Star Spangled Banner.) I was trying to get some ...