two brothers

Two Brothers: Rio’s Hidden Gem in Full View

The best things in life are free, so they say. If so, there are worse destinations for the poor cash-strapped wanderer than sun-soaked Rio de Janeiro. Surrounded by thick sandy beaches with year round temperate surf, hills and mountains galore to hike and climb, picturesque favelas to visit if you’re brave or foolhardy enough, and…




risingroads

Planning Sober Vacations: Best Bets For Successful Trips

Going on a sober vacation can be a great opportunity for someone who is in the midst of addiction recovery and needs a change of scenery as they embrace their new life. A vacation can provide a solid reset, but there are some types of vacations that are better suited than others for someone newly…




Rio Carnival - risingroads.com

Rio Carnival: Merriment and Madness

Sufficient recovery time has now passed since Rio Carnival to attempt to transcribe my somewhat vague recollection of the whole thing. The closest thing I can describe the carnival to, in its affect on the body, mind and soul, is a debauched, drink-fuelled, five day music festival like Glastonbury or Oxegen in Ireland. Day one,…




A Paradise for Bruce Lee Fans

The Bruce Lee Paradise Park is a tourist destination/theme park that honours Lee’s life as a martial artist and actor. The park regularly holds events that celebrate his works as well as his philosophies. Bruce Lee was an innovator. He’s also arguably the most popular and respected martial artist of all time. Not only did…




Communication China

China Survival Guide: Communication

Communication can be an onerous business when travelling or living in China. While young people tend to have at least a smidgen of English, most of the Chinese population speak none. The result of this is that travellers often get very adept at their own brand of sign language/mime. Unfortunately there is only so much…




China Survival Guide: Transport

Public transport in China is reasonably good and ridiculously cheap. The buses’ hard plastic seats are not particularly comfortable though this shouldn’t bother you as chances are you will have to stand anyway – Chinese buses are mainly standing to cram more people on. Get this though. Any citywide bus journey costs 1 RMB ($0.15)…




Chinese Internet

China Survival Guide: Internet

I have lived and worked and attempted to use the internet in China for close to eight months now. It is a fascinating country, rich in everything that makes a country worth visiting: culture, history, architecture and art, with amazingly diverse topography, geography, fauna and flora. Nevertheless, China can be a maddeningly frustrating place for ‘westerners’…




Angkor Wat

Angkor: 1000 Years of History in a Day

With almost two million people visiting annually, Cambodia’s Angkor Archaeological Park is deservedly one of the most popular tourist sites in the world. The plethora of stone temples and monuments situated in modern day Siem Reap province are all that is left of an ancient mega city that reached its zenith between the eleventh and…




Sam, tuk-tuk man, Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh: Sam, Tuk-Tuk Man

Sam the Tuk-Tuk man is my latest example for why travellers should mingle more with the locals of the countries they visit. Sam himself told me that foreigners often treat him with suspicion when he proffers the hand of friendship, perhaps assuming he is trying to sell them something or rip them off. In my…




Yellow river scenic park

Yellow River Scenic Park, Zhengzhou

Chinese to English translations can sound over-flowery and often downright weird. Halls of Mental Cultivation, Palaces of Heavenly Purity, even a Humble Administrator Garden, but the name of Zhengzhou’s chief attraction is almost amusingly succinct. Yellow River Scenic Area is, as you might expect, close to the Yellow River and from its high up vantage…