Tag: Backpacking

Porto Seguro: As safe as the name suggests?

Porto Seguro, which means Safe Port in English, is a fun little seaside city some 11,000 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro. Nick, my latest travel buddy, and I decided to shoot up there in one sitting on our way to the north. Seventeen long hours after boarding in Rio we arrived with sore backs…




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)…




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…




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, 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…




Nanjie Cun: The Last Communist Utopia?

Nanjie Cun has often been described as China’s last Maoist village. Given China’s current approach to economics, which ironically began under Chairman Deng Xiaoping in the mid eighties just as Nanjie Cun became a collective, it could be argued that it is also the last remnant of Communist China. Although the Communist Party of China…




How to Shop Cheap and Healthy

Just because long term travel requires careful budgeting, that doesn’t mean backpackers have to live on instant noodles. Someone should have told that to my younger self. Eleven years ago when I first left home to travel Australia, I pretty much lived on Mi Goreng noodles, bread and the occasional egg. I’m still partial to…




How to Dine for Free in New Zealand

Budget travellers have to make sacrifices to fulfil their dream of world travel. When saving for your trip you’ll have to forgo that daily coffee, eating out, the latest phone and so on. Once you finally have enough to begin your trip it is necessary to budget carefully on the road too. Eating and drinking…




How to do Queenstown on a Budget

Situated south of the south island in New Zealand, Queenstown is a small town of around 15,000 people. Huddled at the foot of Ben Lomond, surrounded by mountains and Lake Waikato, it’s not hard to see why it is so popular with tourists and backpackers. Queenstown’s population swells to more than twice its usual occupancy…