Life according to somtam2000
I'm Somtam2000, better known as Stuart McDonald, and am the co-founder of Travelfish.org, which I founded alongside Samantha Brown who is Editor in Chief.
I've been travelling in Southeast Asia since 1993 and living in the region since 1997 with stretches in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Jakarta and Bali. I've travelled extensively in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and continue to work on expanding my personal coverage of Malaysia and Indonesia. I've never been to Burma, the Philippines, Brunei nor Timor Leste.
Before Travelfish.org I co-authored a couple of guidebooks, worked at a foreign embassy, taught English, did a bit of freelancing and mastered the art of laying in a hammock doing nothing.
Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Yugoslavia (when it was still Yugoslavia!) germany, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Turkey.
Timor Leste, Burma or the Philippines.
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Review: Rang Kha Mhin Homestay, Bangkok
Published 8:17 am, 19 May 2013
Bangkok’s Khao San Road area has a reputation for grungy budget digs and some of the most apathetic receptionists in Thailand. Rang Kha Mhin Homestay bucks this trend with spotless, reasonably priced rooms, organic food and a thoughtful, caring staff. Opened earlier this year, Rang Kha Mhin is a breath of fresh air in the ... read the full post
Photos from the summit of Gunung Agung on Bali
Published 7:42 am, 19 May 2013
Gunung Agung is the tallest and most revered peak on the Indonesian island of Bali. On a clear day (billboards not withstanding) it can be seen from just about anywhere on the island. Last year as a part of the World Nomads travel writer scholarship programme, I made an attempt on the peak but we ... read the full post
Nam Phu: Vientiane’s famed fountain
Published 9:54 pm, 18 May 2013
Nam phu literally translates into ‘water mountain’, and is the Lao equivalent of fountain. While Nam Phu in Vientiane is not the largest or most spectacular fountain in the city, it’s known by no other name and acts as the central landmark of downtown Vientiane. The fountain is a legacy of the historic French presence in ... read the full post
Saigon street food: Banh trang
Published 9:34 pm, 18 May 2013
While most street food in Saigon could almost be classified as fast food, where you sit down and pretty much immediately start eating, some dishes from the streets make you work a little harder: banh trang is a case in point. In the world of Saigon street food, a restaurant advertising banh trang is where you ... read the full post
Learning stuff in Phnom Penh
Published 2:55 am, 18 May 2013
If you’re lucky enough to have a few days to spare in Phnom Penh, there’s plenty of opportunity to learn a new skill or try out something different. Thanks to a growing expat community, courses and taster sessions held in English are plentiful. So pull out your dancing shoes, learn what all those buttons are ... read the full post