We spent the first days of our trip to Burma in its surprisingly modern capital city Yangon. We weren’t expecting glass malls and offices or well-paved roads but that’s what we got, along with typical outdoor Asian markets, shiny pagodas and street sellers. Despite this familiar mix, we still felt that we were exploring a new destination, one not yet geared to western tourists and filled with hotels, 7-11s and hordes of English-speaking touts and Tuk-Tuk drivers. Continue reading
Since Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) recommended that the tourism boycott of Burma be lifted in 2010, the number of people travelling to the country has steadily increased. However, the NLD urges tourists to boycott package tours and cruises as they benefit the ruling government rather than the local Burmese people; with that in mind, here are some tips on how to get around Burma independently. Continue reading
Visiting Burma, which was until recently shut off from the outside world and boycotted by tourists, was an eye-opening experience. On the one hand we met some of the loveliest, most welcoming people, many of whom wanted to pose for photos with us and have their children shake our hands. There was also a raw beauty to the places we visited in Burma which shows through in our photos, particularly of the spectacular sunsets and sunrises we witnessed. On the other hand though, we encountered an uglier side of the emerging tourism trade in Burma which led us to question our role as travellers and the damage we can unwittingly cause. Continue reading
We’ve been back in the UK for over a month now and after an incredible homecoming we’ve settled back into life here more easily than I ever imagined we would. As I write this we’re sat at the kitchen table in someone else’s beautiful South-London home while their cute five-month-old miniature schnauzer mills around our feet. We’re house and pet sitting for the first time in our favourite city and even though it’s raining outside, life is undeniably great. Continue reading
It was our first full day in Burma and we were floundering around Bogyoke market without a clue where to go next when Htun appeared. Immaculately dressed in smart trousers, polo shirt and shiny shoes, Htun removed the cigarette from the corner of his mouth and greeted us like old friends; within minutes he was leading us through the market, buying us fruit and walking us over to the city museum. This act of kindness turned out to be the first of many we experienced during our time in Burma; as we soon realised, the people well and truly make this country. Continue reading
How do you plan your trip to Burma? It isn’t as easy as heading to other nearby countries like Laos, Cambodia or Thailand. You can’t just cross overland into the country, you can’t just pick up a visa on arrival at the airport, you need all your money in crisp, unmarked US$ and you have to book your accommodation in advance, or so we thought. Burma travel planning is full-on! Read on to find out more. Continue reading
Cambodia doesn’t have a wealth of options when it comes to tourist transport; there are no trains (other than the touristic bamboo train in Battambang) and flights are out of the question for budget travel. To get from city to city we had no choice but to use a mixture of buses. So read on to find out more about bus travel around Cambodia; expect breakdowns, bribes and bundles of air con! Here are our travel tips for Cambodia. Continue reading
After 13 bleary hours in the air we arrived back in England on the 6th June to blue skies and sunshine, a perfect reflection of the joy we felt to be back on home turf. The weeks since then have been a blur of visits and reunions, family meals, picnics, walks and planning for the future. So, how have we adjusted to life back in the UK after the adventure of our lives? Continue reading
Back when we were planning our travel adventure Andrew and I did some thorough research on what kinds of vaccinations and malaria pills we’d need for our journey. Now, over a year later we’re occasionally asked by readers whether we’ve updated our shots and kept on taking the malaria pills so here’s an update on how we keep healthy while travelling.
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I first visited Ibiza with my family when I was 15. My lasting memories of that summer holiday are of days spent on red-tinged beaches underneath a yolk-yellow sun, splashing into the cool depths of the Mediterranean Sea and evenings spent drinking apple schnapps and watching the neon sunsets. It may have been years since my first visit to the beautiful Balearic Island but I still dream of returning to Ibiza one day for an ultimate luxury getaway at the Grand Palladium Palace hotel. Continue reading