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Southeast Asia

Finding comfort in cathedrals in Asia

A sense of calm overcomes me as I dip my fingers into the basin, and make the sign of the cross before kneeling in front of the altar and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. I’m not Catholic, and I’m not particularly religious. But I do believe that...
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Postcard from Tonsai

If Railay is paradise for outdoor adventurers in Thailand, then Tonsai is heaven for their dreadlocked younger brothers. It's the major budget alternative to the resorts lining Railay East and Railay West, with very basic bungalows reaching...
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What I really did in Chiang Mai

Lest you think that my travel life is one continuous stream of swim and surf, I'd like to share the week I spent in Chiang Mai in which I did nothing but write, eat and hang out with other bloggers. It was a recharging week that I desperately...
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Postcard from Ko Phi-Phi

It's easy to see why Ko Phi-Phi has been exploited as a backpacker heaven: it's the perfect paradise backdrop for a multitude of sins. Palm trees sway as reggae beats rock, bicycles navigate the narrow unsealed roads and the sky bursts into brilliant...
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Learning how to cook Thai: in the classroom and on the street

This is the story of two Thai cooking classes: one planned for and paid for and expertly executed, and other, an organic connection that sprung up on the street in Chiang Mai. At Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School, we learned about the...
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Getting healed by the Barefoot Doctor in Phi-Phi

“Open your mouth,” the Barefoot Doctor asked. I complied, stretching my mouth wide and sticking out my tongue. “Too much shu-ga!” he laughed as he peered into my mouth. Wait, how does this man know that I snuck in a coconut donut on my way...
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Postcard from Seminyak

Seminyak is considered one of the ritzier areas of Bali: it's not as crass as Kuta or as hippie as Ubud. It has world-class restaurants, excellent shopping and lattes perfectly frothed to meet the high expectations of visiting...
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Where to stay in Phuket: Bodega

If I could pick Bodega up and carry it with me around Southeast Asia, I would. In a heartbeat. It’s a shame that it’s located in Phuket, because while I hated the sleazy vibe of Patong, I loved the bohemian hospitality and modern conveniences...
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Why “backpacker heaven” is actually my hell

I’m learning that any place Lonely Planet titles a “backpacker heaven” will be my idea of hell. Cheap drinks, crowded dorms, tanned and lithe bodies strolling the streets without a shirt. Backpacker heavens seem to be idyllic spots that have been...
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Where to stay in Bali: accommodation options

Bali has no shortage of accommodation options: you can splash out at an incredibly luxurious hotel, settle into a fabulous life at a villa, make your pennies stretch in bungalows or soak up a traditional family atmosphere in a homestay in a Balinese...
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