From the sublime to the ridiculous to the frankly plain unpleasant, Southeast Asia is not short on memorable animal experiences. There's the moment when the baby turtles you release from their hatchery scuttle across the sand on implausibly huge flippers towards the sea and take off for their lifelong journey. And then there's the time an adolescent temple monkey inserts what you think is a finger in your ear, and begins intercourse ...
Here at Travelfish.org we fly quite a bit. Luckily it is just about all short-haul, but that doesn't stop some of our fellow passengers from trying to make it just about as long-haul as possible. Here are some of the more common methods people use to make sure your flight is as interminable as possible.
If you've dreamed of becoming a paid travel writer, here's your chance! World Nomads, in conjunction with Rough Guides, Travelfish.org and hsa*ba, are hunting for one wannabe travel writer with serious potential. The lucky winner will be given the chance of a lifetime, travelling to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia to be mentored by three writers as they chronicle their experiences.
It's just a hop, skip and jump till Christmas Day 2010. The tree is set up downstairs (though the kids keep nicking the presents) and friends are scattering across the globe to catch up with friends and family or just to grab some quiet time. Us? We'll be slumming it in Lombok somewhere -- probably in the back seat of the car given we never got around to booking anything -- but that's another story. We've had more than our fair share of beach Christmases but here are a few Christmas days in Asia we're yet to have.
Kazuto and Azusa Matsumoto began their honeymoon on May 11, 2007. When I happen to meet them in the cozy common room at the Betel Box Backpackers Hostel in Singapore, it's November 27, 2010. In between, they've travelled to 211 countries together. And for the record: they still appear to be on excellent speaking terms.
Travelling is a liberating experience. Whatever worries or headaches you may have disappear (or more likely are postponed) as you walk through the departure gate and you're free to throw yourself at a brand new environment bereft of identity and free from any restraint. This freedom can be just as exhilarating as it can be intoxicating. Here's ten that fall into the latter.
This morning, five years ago, what became known as the Boxing Day Tsunami rolled in, devastating sections of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Maldives and India. We were on holiday in Sri Lanka at the time and were in Colombo when the wave hit. As Sam was a wire journalist at the time, our holiday ceased immediately and we headed down to cover the aftermath.
Whether it's due to the Great Financial Debacle, reluctance to plunge into the monotony of a 9 to 5 job or simply a case of the travel bug, you find yourself speculating on a world and a journey far away. If you can't take six months off to see Asia but you can uproot yourself, you could consider teaching English as a second language in the region.
Just walking down the footpath can be a memorable experience in Southeast Asia -- you could easily cross paths with an elephant, meander past a blind musicians or step aside to make way for a column of monks -- yet one of the most memorable facets is the food. Clayton, Chad, and Lyndon, three Canadian chef-travellers, decided to record their experience as they cooked -- and ate -- their way across Southeast Asia. Read on for the details.
For some of us, the lure of living abroad is irresistible, and often, teaching the ever-marketable English is the easiest route there. For me -- already a teacher in the US -- it was an obvious means to an end. But for others, the transition isn't as natural. Here's my story -- and a bit about what to expect from yours -- should you decide to give it a go.
Every day brings more news about the catastrophic changes that are headed Earth's way. What's the use of heading off for a beach holiday if all the beaches are underwater courtesy of rising sea levels? Unfortunately there's some inevitable environmental impact in opting for a holiday in Asia, but luckily for you, we've put together a list of 34 ways you can try to reduce the environmental chaos you'll contribute to by tramping across Southeast Asia. Read on, and please leave your own suggestions at the end of the story.
Did you know that to drive a car into the Czech Republic you need to have a warning triangle, a fluorescent jacket, a spare set of glasses (if you wear them), a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a replacement bulb for every light in the vehicle? I didn't and nor did Jo Huxster and Antonia (Ants) Bolingbroke-Kent of Tuk to the Road. For Jo and Ants, two British 27 year-old women from Brighton and Norfolk these are the vital snippets of intelligence they've been collecting this year in preparation for a 10,000 mile epic trip from Bangkok to Brighton raising money for the UK mental health outfit Mind... oh and did I mention they're doing it in a bright pink tuk tuk called Ting Tong?
During my first two-month trip to Thailand I had at least 20 massages in which I was prodded, twisted, crippled and then repaired by some of the best masseuses and worst hacks in the country. At 200B for a beach massage (back when the baht was 25B to a $1), they weren't cheap, but I just couldn't help myself.
"You are a very lucky man. A very happy man. You are a lucky man. Do you know why you are a lucky man? Show me your palm. How is it that I can tell you the name of your mother and your girlfriend? How is that I can tell you your age and how many brothers and sisters do you have? How is it that I can tell you what work that you do? Come with me to my place. Come."
Feature story quicklinks
- Giving back in Southeast Asia (19)
- All stories
- Angkor Hospital For Children
- Blue Dragon Children's Foundation
- COPE: Helping people move on
- Epic Arts
- Free the Bears Laos
- Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
- Helping Phuket's children in need
- Helping Siem Reap's rubbish dump families
- Helping Singapore's transient workers
- Helping the Karen of Burma
- Humanitarian Services for Children of Vietnam
- Khlong Toey Music Program
- Lifestart Foundation, Hoi An
- MyME Yangon
- Soi Dog Foundation
- Swim Vietnam
- Thai Freedom House, Chiang Mai
- The Samui Prison Project
- The SET Foundation
- Burma ()
- Cambodia (9)
- Indonesia (4)
- Laos ()
- Malaysia (1)
- Singapore ()
- Thailand (38)
- All stories
- 10 Thai treks aside from Chiang Mai
- 31 Thai islands
- 5 Southern Thai towns to lose time in
- Andaman Sea island hopper
- Chiang Mai's temples
- Corruption in Thailand
- Far southern Thailand: Go or not?
- Great Thai food blogs
- Ko Mun Nork: a nearby paradise
- Ko Pha Ngan 7-day detox:Colonic fast
- Ko Pha Ngan's best beaches in 2013
- Ko Phi Phi on a budget
- Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai?
- Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop
- Narathiwat: residence of good people
- Navigating Bangkok: The BTS Skytrain
- Phuket by night
- Phuket for kids
- Phuket heritage walk: Car parts to saris
- Phuket's secret beaches
- Planning around Thailand's civil unrest
- Should I book for the full moon party?
- Should I cancel my Thai holiday? No.
- Should I cancel my trip to Thailand? No.
- Soi Thong Lo, Bangkok
- Thai islands for nature lovers
- Thai islands to lose yourself on
- Thai visa FAQ
- Thailand tsunami wrap
- Thailand's Full Moon Party
- Thailand: Where to from here?
- The best beach on Ko Samui
- Trekking in Thailand
- What is the best island in Thailand?
- What's a good beach on Ko Pha Ngan?
- What's a good beach on Ko Samui?
- Which beach on Ko Samui?
- Which island in Trang?
- Vietnam (5)
- Accommodation guides (3)
- Travel with kids (7)
- Opinion & advice (17)
- All stories
- 10 reasons to do an adventure tour
- 10 reasons to travel independently
- A year's worth of travel for 2013
- Christmas and New Years in Southeast Asia
- Do I need reservations for my holiday?
- Evil man of Krabi
- Fifteen tips for a great holiday in Asia
- Getting a cheap airfare to Asia
- Great river trips in Southeast Asia
- Hotels should never charge extra for WiFi
- Long distance buses in Southeast Asia
- Mass tourism in Southeast Asia
- Nine Asian upcountry hideaways
- Planning a Gap Year? Some advice.
- Ten Southeast Asian trips for 2008
- Ten thoughts on ten years with Travelfish
- Where is the best place in Southeast Asia for ...
- How do I? (7)
- Cycling Asia (12)
- Health and safety (5)
- Money and finance (4)
- Diving guides (4)
- Photo essay ()
- Guest blog (2)
- General (15)
- All stories
- 10 Christmas days in Asia we're yet to have
- 10 dumb things I've done while travelling
- 34 ways to travel greener
- Asian animal experiences
- Call me Mr Massage Magic
- Chefs Without Borders
- Flying is fun!
- Mr Golden
- On being a travel writer
- Teaching ESL in Asia
- The 211 country honeymoon
- The Boxing Day Tsunami: 5 years on.
- To Teach or Not to Teach
- Travel writing scholarship 2012
- Tuk to the Road Charity ride
- Book reviews (5)
- Interviews (8)
- Explore Bangkok by BTS (18)
- All stories
- Bangkok by skytrain: Ari
- Bangkok by skytrain: Asok
- Bangkok by skytrain: Chid Lom
- Bangkok by skytrain: Chong Nonsi
- Bangkok by skytrain: Mo Chit
- Bangkok by skytrain: National Stadium
- Bangkok by skytrain: On Nut
- Bangkok by skytrain: Phaya Thai
- Bangkok by skytrain: Phloen Chit
- Bangkok by skytrain: Phrom Phong
- Bangkok by skytrain: Ratchadamri
- Bangkok by skytrain: Ratchathewi
- Bangkok by skytrain: Sala Daeng (S2)
- Bangkok by skytrain: Sanam Pao
- Bangkok by skytrain: Saphan Taksin
- Bangkok by skytrain: Siam
- Bangkok by skytrain: Surasak
- Bangkok by skytrain: Thong Lor
Sign up for Travelfish Burp!
Our weekly wrap on Southeast Asian travel.
Click here to see a recent newsletter.