Wearing traditional conical hats and colourful clothing, the rice pickers laugh and chat cheerfully amongst themselves as they go about their work, pausing every so often to answer their mobile phones. The scene perfectly epitomizes Vietnam’s extremes of old and new. From the colourful tribespeople in the northern mountains to the tech savvy teenagers on motorbikes, jostling for position in six indistinguishable lanes of traffic in Ho Chi Minh City. Go to full post
The countryside in northern Vietnam is mind-bogglingly beautiful. Shimmering green rice terraces, rustic little villages, soaring peaks shrouded in curling mist. Chances are these are the images that drew you to travel in Vietnam in the first place. There’s just one small problem…the gateway to this stunning landscape is Sapa, a soulless tourist trap riddled with pushy street vendors where huge hotel blocks are going up at lightening pace. Crowds of selfie stick wielding tourists pour in by the bus load and jostle for position despite the uninspiring streetscape while horns blare incessantly in competition with the local traders for your attention. You buy from me! You buy! Read more
Our eyes met across the dusty red road. Neither of us moved. It was a sunset stand off. Man versus beast, or rather cow versus girl. But I was in his territory here, deep in the Cambodian countryside surrounded by vivid green rice paddies. So with a conciliatory nod I skirted around him and continued on towards the crimson horizon.
That was the moment I fell in love with Cambodia. Read the full post