The boat crested through the waves, bobbing up and down in
the driving rain. Salt water splashed our face, waking us up every time we were
about to doze off. The shores of Sihanoukville shrank into the past as we
approached our next destination: Koh Rong. Rugged, peaceful and sparsely
populated. We were the Swiss Family Robinson, South East Asia backpacker-style.
In the foursome of travellers there was Seren, the chatty Welsh girl with a
bounce in her step and a new idea alwa...
It was when I stood in front of the killing tree, where
Khmer Rouge soldiers beat to death little babies and children, that the
atrocities of the Cambodian genocide really hit me. It was like a punch in the
stomach, listening via audio tape to one of the survivors explain how soldiers
would kill the children by bashing their heads against the tree and then
disposing of their bodies in the mass grave. The tree is now covered with
colourful friendship bracelets, left by travell...
After my epic motorbike bail, I needed someplace to just sit
and relax. Someplace where lying prone in a hammock or on a cushioned bamboo
mat is the most strenuous activity of the day. Enter Don Det, in the 4,000
islands in Southern Laos. A friend told me after emerging from a harrowing bike
trip through the jungles of Cambodia bruised, battered and beaten, he recovered
on Don Det. Once you get here, you immediately sink into a slower routine. After
a cramped and uncomforta...
I had driven
more than 400 kilometres that day, winding through the jungle-thick mountains,
past bamboo hut villages dwarfed by jagged limestone cliffs tracing a zig zag
in the blue sky. I had accomplished my goal, which was to ride a motorbike solo
to the massive, 7 kilometre-long Kong Lor cave in central Laos. The grueling five-hour ride was worth it, the cave
capitivated me for two hours. On the ride home, I took in the lush scenery,
impressed with my own independence and sense of advent...
If Vang Vieng was a student in the high school that is South
East Asia , it would have gained the reputation of the stunning prom queen,
full of promise and hope, whose life went off the rails after she started binge
drinking. People would whisper about her while shaking their heads, wondering
how such a good girl could have gone so bad. Vang Vieng was put on young