Tag: Travelling

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…




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…




Christchurch: Then and Now

Four years ago I travelled to Christchurch with Noel, a fast walking, fast talking Irishman from Cavan, and Ian, a lanky, slow-ambling Californian. I had met them working on the Thornton overpass in Wellington. We had been working there for months, high up and exposed to the elements, demolishing and removing rusty old crash barriers…




New Zealand: 10 Things I Hate About You

Perhaps this article should be called ‘NZ, Ten Things I Find a Bit Irritating About You.’ But that wouldn’t be paraphrasing the title of a popular movie so I’ll leave it as is… Hate does seem a little strong given that I’ve spent the guts of two years travelling in the country and obviously, for…




A Random Act of Kindness

Well here I am again, on the road. And no sooner have I left the safe confines I had established in Auckland, than I run into a barrage of difficulties. This is a common theme for me when travelling; most of these problems could and should be avoided, but I’m far too lackadaisical. I tend…




Arrival in Mexico – Throwback Thursday

2 June, 2011 The flight from Auckland to Mexico City was fraught with problems. I had trouble processing my Esta (US security check). It was sorted in the nick of time, but when I landed in LA, security carted me off for an interview about my being in the US before. Apparently I had overstayed…




Bikram Yoga in Auckland

What is the purpose of travel, if not to experience new things? That is a philosophy I imagine I share with the vast majority of nomads and vagabonds around the world. And yet when an opportunity presented itself to do just that recently, I was reluctant. The reason for my reticence was that the proposed…




Manic Morning, and a Museum

Our initial intention was to go to Waiheke Island today, but after a farcical morning we ran out of time and settled for the Auckland War Memorial Museum instead. We slept in. Then I discovered there was no bodywash since I had left it in the (communal) shower the day before. If I have done…




Ladyboys – How to Spot from 50 Yards (45.7m)

There are hundreds of online articles purporting to give definitive advice on how to spot a ladyboy (Kathoey) in Thailand. Most of these are copy and paste jobs that quote the same tired old advice that is more closely related to the difference between men and women than anything else. They forget that a lot…




Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui

Chaweng Beach, after the main port Nathon, is by far the largest and most populated area in Koh Samui. For some reason my brother and I have gravitated toward quite touristy areas on this trip. I guess when you’re travelling with a male close in age it changes the dynamic a little bit, especially as…