Author Archives: Chris Wotton

About Chris Wotton

Chris is a twenty-something crazy about Thailand and with eternally itchy feet. A foodie at heart, he is happiest hunting out spots off the beaten track and gorging on street fare at local markets. Follow him on Twitter @chriswotton.

Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu: serious prawn tom yum, pla kung and more in old-town Bangkok

Tom yum kung pla meum hot and sour soup with prawns and squid at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand - photo by Chris Wotton

An unassuming street stall in Bangkok’s old-town of Banglamphu, two streets away from Khaosan Road, serves some of the city’s best tom yum kung soup. Continue reading

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Zab Zab: killer Isaan food in Kanchanaburi

Isaan (northeastern Thai) food at Zab Zab restaurant in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

West-central Thailand’s Kanchanaburi town might not be a foodie destination in its own right, but for those passing through for its numerous other attractions – among them the WW2-era death railway line, Hellfire Pass, numerous war cemeteries, and countless waterfalls … Continue reading

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Lao Cafe – outstanding somtum and Thai-Isaan cuisine in central London

Somtum tart pla rah tray-style papaya salad with fermented fish at Lao Cafe London - photo by Chris Wotton

I’ve said it countless times before, and I’ll say it again: somtum is the national dish of Thailand. This fiery papaya salad is what fuels the nation, and yet overseas it’s still green curry or pad thai that the country … Continue reading

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Revisiting the Perhentian Islands: awful food, deserted beaches, and a glimmer of hope

Teluk KK beach on Perhentian Besar island Malaysia - photo by Chris Wotton

In July, I made a return visit to Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands some two years since my first time there. These islands, just a short flight from Kuala Lumpur followed by a taxi and speedboat connection, have been well and truly on … Continue reading

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Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel – a nourishing oasis in Siem Reap: Review

Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia - photo by Chris Wotton

Our tuk tuk turns into a dry, narrow, dusty lane – dusty from the kind of thick red dirt that seems so uniquely Cambodian. Children squeal as they run between houses, dodging the ducklings and chickens that are also waddling … Continue reading

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The quiet back alleys of Bangkok’s historic Kudeejeen neighbourhood

Kudeejeen neighbourhood in Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok’s Kudeejeen neighbourhood is overlooked by visitors and locals, but this network of walkable alleys hides an enchanting riverside community. Continue reading

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Hom Duan (หอมด่วน): homely khao soi and stunning gaeng hunglay in Ekkamai, Bangkok

Hom Duan (หอมด่วน) khao soi, gaeng hunglay and northern Thai food restaurant in Ekkamai, Bangkok, Thailand

This informal indoor café-restaurant serves home-style northern cooking, including dishes like khao soi and gaeng hunglay, steps from Ekkamai BTS station. Continue reading

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Trang: coffee, crispy pork, and colonial architecture

Green frog-headed tuk-tuks in Trang, Thailand

Often no more than a blip on the radar of those en route to the coast, southern Thailand’s Trang – a whopping 800-plus kilometres from the capital – sees a trickle of visitors, but packs in a charming atmosphere and … Continue reading

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A seafood feast at Soei, at Bangkok’s Samsen railway station

Soei (เส่ย) restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

Right alongside the busy platform at Bangkok’s Samsen train station, Soei is an atmospheric setting for a stunning Thai seafood spread. Continue reading

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The Alcove Library Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City: Review

The Alcove Library Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

The Alcove Library Hotel is a boutique property that provides an oasis from Saigon’s frenzy, and is a hotel worthy of any trip to Vietnam’s southern capital. Continue reading

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Frog jungle curry and stir-fried winkles at Gaeng Pa Sriyan in Bangkok

Gaeng pa gob frog jungle curry, pad cha hoy comb stir-fried winkles and krapao nok kata sub stir-fried quail and basil at Gaeng Pa Sriyan restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand

There are no prisoners taken at Bangkok’s Gaeng Pa Sriyan restaurant, where rare dishes like frog jungle curry and stir-fried winkles are loaded with spice. Continue reading

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Kanom jeen sao nam and Sukhothai noodles: Somsong Pochana in Bangkok’s old town

Kanom jeen sao nam rice noodles with prawns and coconut milk at Somsong Pochana restaurant in Bangkok

At a modest but bustling shophouse restaurant in Bangkok’s old town, a dish of rice noodles with prawns and coconut milk evokes feelings of summer. Continue reading

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Streetside quan oc shellfish and seafood in Ho Chi Minh City

Quan Oc shellfish stall in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It was the basket of as yet unshucked oysters that caught my attention as we walked along a busy side street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s chaotic southern metropolis. Then I saw a granny perched on a tiny stool … Continue reading

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Hua Takhe art market – a slice of old Bangkok

Hua Takhe art market in eastern Bangkok, Thailand

A peaceful art market on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok offers a glimmer of the city’s way of life from years gone by. Continue reading

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Siam Gypsy Junction – Bangkok’s newest vintage market

Siam Gypsy Junction night market in Bang Son, Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok has a new vintage market on the block – Siam Gypsy Junction has retro wares, trendy haircuts and beers on a bus roof. It’s the place to be! Continue reading

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Bangkok Tree House: Review

Bangkok Tree House in Phra Phradaeng

On an artificial island just outside the Thai capital of Bangkok, an eco-friendly luxury resort of tree houses is the ultimate escape from the big city. Continue reading

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London Pie – pies and English breakfasts in Bangkok

Full English fried breakfast at London Pie in Bangkok

Where can you find an authentic, generously sized and well priced English breakfast in Bangkok? London Pie, in Ekkamai, might be the answer. Continue reading

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Dasa Book Café: a haven for Bangkok’s readers

Dasa Book Café in Bangkok - photo by Dasa Book Café

In a country that’s decidedly lacking a reading culture, Dasa is a fortunate exception, a bastion of a second-hand bookshop in downtown Bangkok. Continue reading

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4 floating markets in and around Bangkok

Taling Chan floating market - photo by Alpha

Floating markets are not created equally, but luckily there are several great ones within easy reach of Bangkok. Continue reading

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The Bangkok Hit List: 11-17 December 2014

NASA  Space Exhibition - photo by TAT

If it’s happening, it’s here – the definitive guide to where to be this week in Bangkok. Continue reading

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Roti Fatimah: outstanding southern Thai curries and roti in eastern Bangkok

Gaeng gari gai at Roti Fatimah, Bangkok

In an area already packed with excellent southern Thai eateries, Roti Fatimah – inside the Paradise Park food court – is a stand-out. Continue reading

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Krabi: where to stay

Ao Nang, Krabi

Five great accommodation options in Krabi town – hotels, guest houses and resorts for every budget. Continue reading

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Sanguan Sri: old-school Thai food in downtown Bangkok

Sanguan Sri in Phloen Chit, Bangkok

This restaurant will win no awards for its decades unchanged decor, but it excels in turning out well executed southern and central Thai classics. Continue reading

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The Bangkok Hit List: 27 November – 03 December 2014

Slowfest Farmrak - photo by thebarrowboy

If it’s happening, it’s here – the definitive guide to where to be this week in Bangkok. Continue reading

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The Bangkok Hit List: 20-26 November 2014

Chomp - photo by Chomp

If it’s happening, it’s here – the definitive guide to where to be this week in Bangkok. Continue reading

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Suan Luang Market – Bangkok’s European-style farmers’ market

Suan Luang market, Bangkok

A short way from the eastern outskirts of the Bangkok Skytrain is what might be the closest Thailand has to a European-style farmers’ market. Continue reading

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The Bangkok Hit List: 13-19 November 2014

Ancient Siam - photo by Ancient Siam

If it’s happening, it’s here – the definitive guide to where to be this week in Bangkok. Continue reading

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Al-Tasneem: murtabak and biryani in Singapore

Deer murtabak at Al-Tasneem restaurant, Singapore

Opposite the Sultan Mosque and a skip from Arab Street, Al-Tasneem is the pick of a block of three Muslim restaurants if you’re after great deer murtabak. Continue reading

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Baan Dinso @ Ratchadamnoen Boutique Hostel, Bangkok: Review

Democracy Monument as seen from Baan Dinso @ Ratchadamnoen

In Bangkok’s old town, two associated guest houses within spitting distance of each other have distinct atmospheres – and one has killer views of Democracy Monument. Continue reading

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Perhentian Islands: Malaysia’s hidden treasure

Coral Bay, Perhentian Kecil

While thoughts of Malaysia may not always conjure up images of tropical beach hideaways, perhaps they should – east coast Malaysia holds a jewel in the white-sand beaches on the secluded and laid-back Perhentian islands. Continue reading

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The Bangkok Hit List: 06-12 November 2014

Concert in the Park - photo by Bangkok Symphony Orchestra

If it’s happening, it’s here – the definitive guide to where to be this week in Bangkok. Continue reading

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We need to talk about Khao Sok

Khao Sok

Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand boasts impressive limestone karsts that nosedive into a stunning emerald lake, and tranquil floating houses in which to pass away a relaxing, away-from-it-all break. Continue reading

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Filed under Evergreen, Islands & Beaches, Surat Thani, Thailand

Goat kuruma curry and more at Yusup Pochana

Yusup Pochana, southern Thai food in north Bangkok

The little-known kuruma curry is the star of the show at a southern Thai restaurant in northern Bangkok. Continue reading

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Northern Thai food in northern Bangkok: khao soi and gaeng hunglay at Han Jao Nua

Khao soi and gaeng hunglay at Han Jao Nua, Union Mall

When a craving for khao soi strikes, nothing beats Chiang Mai – but Bangkok can still do a mean version of the northern curried noodles, including at this spot in Union Mall. Continue reading

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Amazing seafood at Krua Lung Meuk Pa Lord in Prachuap Kiri Khan

Lung Meuk Pa Lord seafood, Prachuap Kiri Khan

Why go to the beach if not for the seafood? And if you’re going to Prachuap Kiri Khan, there’s nowhere better to start your pilgrimage than at Uncle Squid’s and Aunty Straw’s. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Laab Dib

Laab Dib on Sukhumvit 101/1

One for the more adventurous foodie, this spicy northeastern salad is made with same herb and spice mix as namtok. But the twist is that it’s made with raw pork, giving the dish a red tinge as it oozes blood. Continue reading

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The Bangkok Hit List: 30 October – 05 November 2014

So Be It (A-Wang)

If it’s happening, it’s here – the definitive guide to where to be this week in Bangkok. Continue reading

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Khao Gaeng Jake Puey: Thai curry in Bangkok’s Chinatown

Khao Gaeng Jake Puey

At a curry and rice stall in Bangkok’s Chinatown, the food is decent but not as impressive as the quirky surrounds. Continue reading

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Authentic southern mataba in Bangkok

Chicken mataba at Soi Supaphong

Tucked away in a hidden but bustling corner of Bangkok, one man serves up authentic southern chicken and beef mataba pancakes in the capital. Continue reading

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Could this be Bangkok’s best somtum?

Somtum at Udomsuk Soi 19

Where is the best place to eat papaya salad in Bangkok? It could well just be this no-name roadside stall on the outskirts of the Skytrain’s Sukhumvit line. Continue reading

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Food Porn: deer murtabak

Deer murtabak at Al-Tasneem

Stuffed murtabak pancakes are common in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, but where will you find one filled with rich and meaty deer? Continue reading

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10 things to do before you leave Sangkhlaburi

Broken bridge, Sangkhlaburi

For such a small town Sangkhlaburi, just a short hop from the Burmese border, is bursting with things to do. Here are ten spots to check out before you leave – enough to keep you there for at least a few days! Continue reading

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Loy Krathong in Thailand – where to celebrate

Loy Krathong at Wat Dhammamongkol, Bangkok

Loy Krathong is one of Thailand’s most popular festivals, and perhaps its most romantic and photogenic. But where best in the kingdom to celebrate it? Continue reading

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10 things not to miss in Prachuap Kiri Khan

Khao Chong Krachok, Prachuap Kiri Khan

Skip Hua Hin and head straight for Prachuap Kiri Khan, a laid-back beauty of a town that hugs the golden gulf coast heading towards Thailand’s south. Continue reading

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Bangkok by night: same city, different feeling

Wat Prayoon

Expique’s tuk-tuk tour of Bangkok gives a different take on the city – by attacking it at night. Continue reading

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Bangkok’s vintage cinema experience: the antithesis of a ‘cineplex’

Scala cinema in Siam Square

Bangkok may have a reputation for glossy super-malls and cinemas, but a couple of old-time hidden spots in the centre of the city can still offer the vintage movie-going experience. Continue reading

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Kam Leng Hotel, Singapore: Review

Kam Leng Hotel, Singapore

Conveniently located for the MRT and with a design accentuating its original design with modern retro touches, Singapore’s keenly priced Kam Leng Hotel should be high on your list. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak at Nagasari Curry House

This Malaysian breakfast staple is a favourite at traditional kopi tiam Chinese-style coffee shops – think rendang curry, coconut and pandan infused rice and plenty of crisp and crunchy accompaniments. Continue reading

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Six things to know before your first trip to Singapore

Merlion, Singapore

Heading to Singapore for the first time? Equip yourself with the crucial details to get the most out of your visit to the notoriously pricey southeast Asian city. Continue reading

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Maltby Street Market: London hot spot

Maltby Street Market

Bored of Borough? Need a new foodie market to spice up your life? With its warehouses-come-food-joints, gin distillery bar and killer French pastries, Maltby Street Market could well be your new best friend. Continue reading

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4 reasons not to skip Krabi town

Railway sign, Krabi

Heading to Ao Nang or Railay? You would have to be a fool to miss Krabi town itself – here’s why. Continue reading

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The dilemma of Bangkok’s beggars

Beggar in Bangkok - photo by Sam Sherratt

My resolve to not give to beggars is severely tested by one particular elderly woman, sat each day outside the On Nut branch of Tesco Lotus. Her slight and fragile frame reminds me of my own grandmother. Continue reading

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Mooning on the 61st floor: the sky bar at Bangkok’s Banyan Tree

Moon Bar - photo by Luca Boldrini

There is no denying, it’s the views that draw people to the infamous sky bar on the sixty-first floor of the equally renowned (if only for its prices) Banyan Tree Hotel in Sathorn. It is mentioned in just about every … Continue reading

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Bang Nampheung – a floating market amidst Bangkok’s lungs

Bang Krachao

On an island cut off from Bangkok by the winding of the Chaophraya river lies a floating market of epic proportions, and one in the sort of serene setting you’d not expect to find within 15 minutes of the Skytrain. Continue reading

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Day Trip: Suan Soan Pradipat Beach – 12km from Hua Hin but a world away

Suan Soan Pradipat beach

Suan Soan Pradipat beach lies just 12km south of Hua Hin but is a haven of peace away from the condos and shopping centres of its royal resort neighbour. Continue reading

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Toney Restaurant: a taste of India in Bangkok

Toney Restaurant, Pahurat

Tucked away in a soi in Bangkok’s Little India, Toney Restaurant serves up authentic street food dishes right out of the subcontinent. Continue reading

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Talat Rot Fai Srinakarin: revamped and growing

Talat Rot Fai

After its fair share of ups and downs, Bangkok’s famed Talat Rot Fai vintage market is settling into its new home on Srinakarin Road – here’s what to expect. Continue reading

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Cheap-as-chips National Stadium market

MBK Market

Keep an eye out for this occasional market at BTS National Stadium in Bangkok – head along for some great food and unbelievable bargains! Continue reading

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Six memorable meals from my travels

Food fuels travel, at least in this writer

Amazing food is everywhere when you travel – or at least it should be. Here are six of my most memorable meals from recent years. Continue reading

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All wrapped up: Ayutthaya’s infamous Wat Mahathat temple

Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya

A buddha head entangled in the chaotic roots of a banyan tree within the grounds of Wat Mahathat, a temple complex in the ancient Thai capital and UNESCO world heritage site of Ayutthaya, is arguably one of the most photographed of Thailand’s tourist sights. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Somtum Hoy Dong

Somtum hoy dong

Another one to make your gut turn, if you’re so inclined. This papaya salad variety is a new favourite of mine, and I love it for its sweetness – but that comes not from palm sugar, as is the case … Continue reading

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Koh Kret: an island on the Chao Phraya

Koh Kret

Serenity is within easy reach of Bangkok on the river island of Koh Kret. Here’s what to expect from a day trip there. Continue reading

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Recipe: Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Holy Basil

Screen shot 2013-10-18 at 11.25.18

Make your own Thai stir fried chicken with holy basil at home with this easy recipe. Continue reading

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Must-Visit: Bangkok Art & Culture Centre

Bangkok Art & Culture Centre - photo by Ken Ohyama

Bangkok might not be your number one destination for museum browsing, but only a fool would visit and not check out the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre. Continue reading

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Eight varieties of somtum papaya salad you just HAVE to try

Somtum Thai and laab moo in Mahachai

I admit it, I’m addicted to somtum. This ultra-spicy concoction, a salad of shredded papaya, fish sauce, a copious amount of chilli and a whole host of other ingredients depending on the type, is an assault on the senses hailing … Continue reading

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Koh Si Chang: An island retreat two hours from Bangkok

Haad Tampang, Koh Si Chang

A little over two hours from Bangkok and the closest island to the capital, Koh Si Chang receives less attention than the nearby (ghastly) resort town of Pattaya on the mainland and the white-sand island of Koh Samet further down … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Gaeng Om Gob

Gaeng om gob

Go on, be a daredevil. You won’t find this exact bowl of gaeng om gob on the street because it was homemade just for me, but any Isaan food stall worth its salt will be able to whip you one … Continue reading

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Bangkok’s best pad thai

Pad thai at On Nut night market

It’s not often that I rave about pad thai. That’s partly because, as a dish, it is over-hyped outside of Thailand to such an extent that you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s all the Thais eat, or that’s … Continue reading

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Meat Liquor: 100% worth the hype (and the queue)

Meat Liquor is somewhere between a club and a restaurant - photo by Feline DaCat

Top nosh, check. Classy cocktails, check. But it’s the awesome service that makes a visit to London’s MEATliquor burger joint memorable. Continue reading

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3 surprisingly good eats near Khaosan

Good food here, really? Oh, yes. Photo by Brandon Fick

Khaosan Road, the backpacker ghetto of the Thai capital, has a dearth of authentic, quality Thai food, right? Wrong! Here are three spots you might not have considered eating – but absolutely, definitely, without-a-shadow-of-a-doubt should. Continue reading

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Ice cream worth crossing Bangkok for

Four scoops of mango comes pretty close to perfection

There are some things worth a long bus ride across a city, and I include a bowl of awesome ice cream in that list. That’s exactly what I did at the weekend, having tried and failed on previous occasions to … Continue reading

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A week in Instagram shots

My regular noodle soup shop was closed on Sunday, so I had to make do with this bowl from a nearby spot for brunch.

  Happy Wednesday! Here are a few shots from the last week or so, straight from my ridiculously overly-food-obsessed Instagram feed (follow me @chriswotton) Tweet

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Feasting at Khlong Lat Mayom floating market

Khlong Lat Mayom

Just when you think you’ve had your fix of Thai floating markets, along comes another one. Khlong Lat Mayom, sitting on the outskirts of the Thonburi side of Bangkok, is one worth a visit – at once a million miles from and within easy reach of the city. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Gaeng Hed

Gaeng Hed

Gaeng hed is a death-willingly spicy, sour and citrus-infused soup laced with a variety of mushrooms, lemongrass, galangal and a heap of other fresh herbs, spices and leafy greens. It’s a taste of Isaan food you won’t forget in a hurry. Continue reading

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Mae Klong: Guide

There

  Samut Songkhram may be Thailand’s smallest province, but it sure packs in the punches. Yet despite being full of attractions genuinely befitting the tags ‘Amazing Thailand’ and ‘Unseen Thailand’, it rarely figures on the average tourist’s itinerary. In fact, … Continue reading

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A week in Instagram shots

Now THAT

A week or so of my life in Instagram snapshops – including far too much food to be healthy. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Guay Deow Nam Tok

Guay Deow Nam Tok

Turn your nose up at pig’s blood soup if you will – but guay deow nam tok is a treat you’ll be missing out on. Packing a chilli punch and a half, and delectable whatever the weather, this is a Thai street food dish you shouldn’t skip. Continue reading

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For the love of pie and mash

Pie and mash at Harrington

Pie and mash has been a traditional staple for Londoners for centuries – find out where to enjoy it at its best. Continue reading

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How to get to Don Muang airport

Don Muang International Airport, Bangkok - photo by Dream Iada

What’s the best way to get to the budget airlines at Don Muang airport in Bangkok? Take your pick – taxi, bus or train. Continue reading

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Recipe: Grilled Duck Thai Red Curry

Grilled duck Thai red curry (gaeng phet bped yaang)

Recreate this authentic Thai red curry with grilled duck, pineapple and kaffir lime leaves – with a whirlwind of flavours as tantalising as if you were in Bangkok. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Namtok Moo

Namtok moo

Namtok moo, commonly enjoyed with other Isaan dishes like papaya salad and grilled chicken, is a mix of grilled pork, mint, spring onions, roasted rice and lime juice. A zingy and totally addictive treat! Continue reading

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Chanthaburi: East Thailand’s melting pot

Crumbling old shop houses back on to Chanthaburi

The diverse mix of people and cultures in the eastern Thai city of Chanthaburi is reflected as much in its religious buildings and crumbling shop houses as it is in the foods that fuel the locals. Continue reading

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Is this Bangkok’s best gay bar?

One Night Only  (photo by One Night Only)

While other spots nearby have hogged Bangkok’s gay scene to date, newbie One Night Only is shaking all that up with a fresh feeling, higher end bar and club that has a distinctly smaller, friendlier vibe. Continue reading

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Eating your way around Krabi

Eating your way around Krabi

Go to Krabi province without hitting Krabi town itself and you’ll miss out on the chance to taste some of the most delicious and authentic fiery southern Thai food you’ll come across. Continue reading

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Food Porn: Kanom Jeen Nam Prik

Kanom jeen nam ya pakang

  Kanom jeen are Chinese rice noodles, served over a curry soup usually made with lots of creamy coconut milk. My favourite is nam prik, deliciously sweet with the distinct taste of satay sauce. Load it with fresh vegetables and enjoy … Continue reading

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3 spots to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Bangkok

Steve Café & Cuisine - photo by Nokkie Kemakawat

In Bangkok this Valentine’s and stuck for somewhere to wine and dine your loved one – or the one you want? Avoid the overhyped and overpriced hotel packages; here are 3 great ways to spend a romantic evening in the … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Khao Mok Gai

Khao mok gai at Areesaa Rote Dee

  Say hello to one of my favourite Thai dishes – khao mok gai. This southern dish, best described as a Thai version of a biryani, is made up of a hunk of chicken, beef or lamb, slowly marinated in … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Kanom Tuay

Kanom tuay

These coconutty parcels of deliciousness are without a doubt my all-time favourite Thai dessert. With a layer of sweet coconut milk and another layer of thicker, chewier, coconut cream, they are often also made with pandan leaves for extra flavour … Continue reading

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Filed under Evergreen, Food, Food Porn, Photo Essays, Thailand

Food Porn: Kung Che Nam Pla

Kung che nam pla

Simplicity at its best, kung che nam pla is one of my favourite Thai seafood dishes. Marinated raw prawns are served with plenty of garlic, chilli and fish sauce based dipping sauce – bliss. Make sure you use the extra … Continue reading

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17 never-seen-before photos from Prachuap Kiri Khan

Mirror Mountain

    After my recent second visit to Prachuap Kiri Khan on Thailand’s gulf coast, I trawled through the photos I took on my first visit in 2011 and found a whole load that I didn’t publish at the time … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Prik Gaeng Pla Meuk

Prik gaeng pla meuk

While the street food staple for many Thais is pad krapao, mine is pad prik gaeng – like them, it’s what I order when I don’t know what else I want. I normally take my prik gaeng with pork – … Continue reading

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Best of the Rest: Friday 11 January

Amazing tribal costumes in Papua New Guinea. Photo by Michele Westmorland.

    Each week, words fly around the travel blogging community in their millions. Here is my wrap on some of the most inspiring, interesting or just plain beautiful stories and photos that have caught my attention of late. If … Continue reading

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Food Porn: Somtum Puu Ma

Somtum puu ma

Somtum puu ma is Thai papaya salad made with briefly marinated, raw blue crab. This plate was whipped up on the stunning beach at Ao Manao in Prachuap Kiri Khan, on Thailand’s gulf coast. Tweet

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Dual pricing and social media – a dangerous mix for Asiatique The Riverfront

This wheel, half the size of the London Eye, is the cause of such furore. Photo by Heiko S.

Bangkok’s Asiatique The Riverfront has spectacularly created itself a public relations nightmare on a monumental scale, by indulging in the distasteful practice of dual pricing. Continue reading

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Ultimate relaxation: 3 of Malaysia’s finest spas

Spa. Photo by Hotel Casa Velas

    If all of the skyscraper city action that Malaysia’s sprawling metropolis cities have to offer gets just a little too much, and you need to soothe those aching bones, what better way to do so than with a … Continue reading

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Pulau Tioman – an island retreat

View from the beach on Pulau Tioman. Photo by Marc van der Chijs.

    A world away from the bustle of the big city and yet just a few hours from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur lies Tioman Island, or Pulau Tioman in the Malay language. This small island makes the perfect … Continue reading

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Discovering Malaysia’s best local markets

Jalan Petaling flea market. Photo by Joanne Lane

    Like elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Malaysia has more than its fair share of local markets – some low key, others less so. For lower prices, a great selection of goods and interaction with real locals in an authentic … Continue reading

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Malaysia: hunting out the best nasi lemak

Nasi lemak at Old Town White Coffee.

    Rendang may be popular internationally, but if there is one dish that defines Malaysia for those who have visited, it is nasi lemak. This incredible dish, somewhat of a ‘tasting platter’ and a mix of tastes and textures … Continue reading

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Discovering Kuching: Sawarak’s sleepy capital

Fort Margherita by night. Photo by watchsmart

    Eastern Malaysia’s Kuching, capital of the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, is worth a visit if you’re in search of a slower pace of life than you find in the nation’s other sprawling metropolises like … Continue reading

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Penang: discovering Georgetown’s local markets

The streets of China town in Georgetown, Penang. Photo by McKay Savage

    There is no better way to discover a destination than to rub shoulders with the locals and get some retail therapy under your belt in the same way that they do – at their local markets. Like many … Continue reading

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Escape to the country: Malaysian rural getaways

The Cameron Highlands. Photo by Peter Gronemann

    Malaysia isn’t just about city skyscrapers and glistening white beaches – though it doesn’t sound as though it would be so bad if that were all it had to offer. But the nation’s expanses of luscious green countryside … Continue reading

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Up close with nature: discovering Malaysia’s best wildlife spots

Boko National Park. Photo by amrufm

    Malaysia’s national parks teem with wildlife, and whichever park you choose to visit you are bound to come across a whole host of critters large and small getting on with life in their natural habitat. Mostly, you do … Continue reading

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Perhentian Islands: Resort Round-Up

Perhentian islands. Photo by Gemma Bardsley

    Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands in the South China Sea, around ten miles off the northeastern coast of western Malaysia and just forty miles south of the border with neighbouring Thailand, offer that picture perfect image of paradise you may … Continue reading

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5 not-to-be-missed Malaysian festivals

A Chinese temple at Chap Goh Mei. Photo by Jin Thai

    Malaysia’s impressive multicultural society means the country is forever playing host to different cultural festivals and celebrations. With many faiths living alongside each other, at any one time there is usually something – or more than one thing … Continue reading

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Drink chic: discovering the hottest hotel bars in Malaysia

SkyBar, Kuala Lumpur. Photo by vincentq

    In a country where the lights glimmer as brightly as those of Kuala Lumpur’s famed Petronas Towers, the only difficulty about finding somewhere to wine and dine is choosing from so many fabulous options. As a popular destination … Continue reading

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Penang: 5 must try dishes in Georgetown

Roti canai. Photo by Yun Huang Yong

    The sheer clash, collision and blend of cultures on the island of Penang, near Malaysia’s northern border with Thailand, make the food in this part of the country simply phenomenal. Here Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Thai influences … Continue reading

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24 hours in Ipoh

Shop houses in Ipoh

    Historically known for its valuable tin mining industry during the time of the British Empire, Ipoh is probably better known today for its Hainanese chicken rice dish. That said the tin connection remains to this day – the … Continue reading

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24 hours in Kuching: laksa and orangutans

A sunset view across the river in Kuching. Photo: Peter Gronemann

    Any popular destination in Malaysia offers more than enough to keep visitors entertained for days and make for an extended trip, and squeezing the best of a city into just 24 hours is no mean feat. Kuching is … Continue reading

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Why Ramadan is the ultimate time to eat your way around Malaysia

Crowds surround Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s street food is good at any time. A simple walk along any road can present you with the choice of an array of dishes that all represent a specific part of the country’s culinary heritage. What’s more the vendor … Continue reading

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Taling Chan – a floating market at a softer pace

Longtail boats pass in the khlong at Taling Chan floating market

  Floating markets are two-a-penny in and around Bangkok, and yet most visitors still swarm to the over-commercialised tourist trap that is Damnoen Saduak, in Ratchaburi province about an hour and a half from the capital. Taling Chan floating market … Continue reading

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Word of mouth: eating your way around KL’s street food scene

Freshly grilled satay

    Street food across southeast Asia is well renowned for its quality, variety and low cost – and Malaysia is no exception to the rule. In the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, tasty street food abounds and eating on … Continue reading

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Rafting on Malaysia’s Sungai Selangor

White water rafting at Padas River. Pic: Smim90, Wikimedia Commons.

    There is very little in the way of adventure activities anywhere to match up to the adrenaline-fuelled excitement of white water rafting. And while Malaysia might not be your obvious choice of destination for this often extreme water … Continue reading

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My travel wish list

Italy - photo by Flickr user randa

    I frequently reel off many places as ‘number one’ in my travel desires, and ‘it’s on my list’ is perhaps one of my most used phrases – because, in truth, I have many, many places I still want … Continue reading

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40 best photos of 2011

  A day or two late, but all the same here are my 40 favourites of the travel-related photos I took in 2011. Tweet

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The real Thailand top 20

TAT Top 20 Things to do in Thailand

    Last summer, a friend gave me a booklet produced by Thailand’s tourist body listing its top 20 attractions the country had to offer – the ones no visitor to Thailand should miss. Amazing Thailand Top 20 Things to … Continue reading

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5 cookbooks from my shelf

  As I add another stunning cookbook to my collection, five recommendations for titles that should fill your shelves too. Call me superficial, but the initial attraction of most of these books was their pretty covers! It just so happens … Continue reading

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The best of UK train ticket web sites

Wherever you

Not all UK train ticket booking sites are created equal – find out how to pick the best one to suit your needs. Continue reading

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How to cheat at Christmas

    This isn’t some Delia-style preach to use ready-made mashed potato. There are only one and a half shopping days left, but it is still not too late to get a good deal on gifts – they key is … Continue reading

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Scouring the seashore

Freshly picked winkles

There are not many stereotypical ‘childhood memories’ used by writers that I can relate to, which is quite natural – not everyone is going to have had the same experiences as a kid. Continue reading

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A whistlestop foodie tour of Banglamphu

Khao mok gai at Areesaa Rote Dee

    I’m bleating on about Banglamphu again, Bangkok’s backpacker-popular old-town district. As I mentioned in my recent post on getting away from here, its plentiful array of fantastic Thai street food actually give you ample reason to want to … Continue reading

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Wat Ratchabophit – an oasis in Bangkok

Wat Ratchabophit

    The Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho – the same Buddhist temples get all the tourist glory when it comes to Bangkok. And while these are undoubtedly architecturally and religiously stunning temples worth the scores of visitors they … Continue reading

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Lose yourself in Phu Lang Ka

View from the back of the Bangkok - Chiang Mai sleeper train

    There isn’t a whole lot to do in Phu Lang Ka, it has to be said. This remote hilltop village in Phayao province is known more for its beautiful vistas than anything else – but those vistas are … Continue reading

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Cultivating a khao soi addiction

Khao soi at Khao Soi Khun Yai

    Thailand’s northern cultural capital of Chiang Mai has much to offer – stunning temples, mountain views, massage and language courses and a seemingly endless supply of coffee shops come local art galleries – but its biggest and best … Continue reading

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What’s the best way to get out of Banglamphu?

    It’s not just first-time-to-Thailand backpackers who stay in Banglamphu, and there is more to the area than Khaosan Road. Temples and other sights, great street food and a general feel of an older Bangkok are all reasons to … Continue reading

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Samut Songkhram – mud, mangroves and mysterious vegetables

Homestay-on-stilts in Samut Songkhram

    A few weeks back I was lucky enough to visit Samut Songkhram with my best Thai friend, her then-fiancé-now-husband and my boyfriend. Specifically, we were there to visit the Don Hoi Lot area that sits along the basin … Continue reading

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Why Cambodia still leaves a bitter taste

    It is raining outside, heavily. Very heavily. We have done little really but travel for the last couple of days since leaving Bangkok, and now we are in Sihanoukville there is little to do because of the weather. … Continue reading

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Bangkok’s Talat Rot Fai

Campers and old vans are the order of the day

    I love a good market, and so much the better if it is of hippy, alternative persuasion. Even better still if, despite being in the middle of Bangkok, it is practically tourist free and very much the real … Continue reading

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The Mae Klong train track market

Wongwian Yai railway station

    The very idea of Samut Songkhram’s railway market is so bizarre that some people simply refuse to believe it, assuming instead that it must be a prank created for YouTube. Mention the place to someone and chances are … Continue reading

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Prachuap Kiri Khan – beyond words

Prachuap Khiri Khan city, at once laid back and buzzing, hugs the coast of the Gulf of Thailand

Prachuap Kiri Khan town, an hour south of Hua Hin, is often considered as one of Thailand’s ‘next big things’ – and it’s easy to see why. Continue reading

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Recent travels – part eight: Freiburg

    Part eight of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from Freiburg, Germany… Tweet

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Recent travels – part seven: Schaffhausen

    Part seven of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from Schaffhausen, Switzerland, including the stunning Rheinfall waterfalls (more to follow on those later)… Tweet

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Recent travels – part six: Lausanne

    Part six of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from Lausanne, Switzerland… Tweet

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Recent travels – part five: Luzern

    Part five of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from Luzern, Switzerland… Tweet

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Recent travels – part four: Basel

    Part four of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from Basel, at the start of my recent stint in Switzerland… Tweet

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Recent travels – part three: Croatia

    Part three of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from a five-day trip to Croatia, taking in Zagreb, Plitvice, Split and Dubrovnik. More reflections on Croatia to come in due course… Tweet

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Recent travels – part two: France

    Part two of my attempts to catch up on blogging – with photos from a day trip to the stunning sandy beach at La Baule, western France… Tweet

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Recent travels – part one: France

    A long time since my last post so, in an effort to get up to date and make space for the many pieces I want to write now I am back in Asia, a selection of short photo … Continue reading

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A tale of two cities in France: how Angers outdid Nantes

Angers Chateau

With its beautiful cathedral, chateau and botanical gardens, there’s something very seductive about western France’s Angers. Continue reading

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Stick to the rules or just don’t bother

    This is a post that I meant to write just after I last flew with Ryanair from Nantes to East Midlands. It is, perhaps surprisingly, not a rant about Ryanair. It is instead a rant about the inconsistency … Continue reading

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Thailand Highlights – Photo Essay

    Extended highlights from another amazing trip to Thailand. I really struggled to choose between all my shots, so there are quite a few to share – including total overkill on Sangkhlaburi’s wooden bridge, for which I apologise in … Continue reading

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Thailand’s Got Talent

    A very brief post because I just have to share this video clip with you, from Thailand’s Got Talent – the warmth and acceptance reminds me quite how much I love Thailand. I’ve got goosebumps right now. Thailand’s … Continue reading

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Spot the difference – what a hotel says and what it means

D

    Compare these two pictures. One is from the D’Ma Hotel’s web site, showing a plush, pleasantly decorated room. The other is the reality, the hotel in the flesh; nowhere near the most grotesque I’ve had the misfortune of … Continue reading

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Highlights from a brief flirt with KL

    A selection of photos from my three-day trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – reflections to follow (at some point): Tweet

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Asia’s calling (again)

    I write this post from around about 40,000 feet up in the sky. The last time I looked out of the window it was broad daylight – half an hour of My Family and an hour of Hustle … Continue reading

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I like France really

    After my whinge last time, a reminder of one of the reasons why I do love living in France really: Tweet

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Are the French stupid?

Tramway at Commerce, Nantes

    From time to time I come to think that the French aren’t a very intelligent people. I am not one to stereotype, but here it is just too easy. Take today – after spending the afternoon battling for … Continue reading

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The road to Saint-Nazaire

Between 35 and 50 minutes by train from Nantes, Saint-Nazaire makes for a pleasant coastal getaway from the city, and is definitely worth a drop-in on any visit to the area. While not immediately striking as being overflowing with character … Continue reading

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Across the river: Trentmoult, Nantes

Trentmoult, Nantes, France

Taking a trip to Trentmoult doesn’t make you feel as though you’re going very far. And in truth, you’re not – it’s just across the Loire from the centre of Nantes. A ten-minute ride on the ‘Navibus’ ferry (included in … Continue reading

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Paris – times two

  I am no longer a Paris virgin; the city of romance is the latest to be knocked off my ‘yet to get to’ list. In fact, while a month ago I had still not been, I’ve now already made … Continue reading

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The language of Eurostar

    I am beginning to feel like St Pancras is my second home, such is the frequency with which I am seem to be travelling by train from Nantes to London of late. But there is one part of … Continue reading

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder

    ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ So I was reminded by a friend last night as we caught up on six and a half months of gossip, not having seen each other since June last year, over a … Continue reading

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Photo Essay: Beautiful Nantes

    It looks a lot less like this at the moment, what with a snowy grey sky (yet no snow) that, together with a truckload of fog a few mornings ago, didn’t look dissimilar to a post-nuclear scene. But … Continue reading

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The terrorists have won

    Dear oh interested one, I write from the battlefield of several personal and professional crises. Hapless ex-employees, broken cash cards, impossible-to-access bank accounts; I have been afflicted by all of these and more over the past few weeks. … Continue reading

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The Girl Outdoors

    Another quick plug for someone else’s blog – I’ve just discovered The Girl Outdoors, run by the lovely Sian, who I worked with on the Student Impact newspaper at Bath University. Now I’m neither a girl (well not … Continue reading

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Public urination and handshakes

    About time for some more thoughts on the French, now I’ve been here five weeks. First up, pee. Yes, pee. What is it about the French that makes them think it is okay to pee up walls, into … Continue reading

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My son is gay

    I’ve just come across this heartening blog post and wanted to share it with you. And doesn’t the kid look awesome in his costume?! http://nerdyapplebottom.com/2010/11/02/my-son-is-gay/ Tweet

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Culture rage

    The French must have some of the silliest opening hours in the world. I’ve just got back from an attempted trip to do some washing, having watched the clothes pile up for weeks – I must have more … Continue reading

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A morning at Talensac

Talensac Market, October 2010

    I did try to get to work this morning, honestly. Not like yesterday, when strike-caused disruption to the buses was in truth only part of the reason I got to school more than half an hour late (the … Continue reading

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My Big Fat French Life

Nantes City Centre, October 2010

    It’s been a funny couple of weeks since I arrived in Nantes. Having extended my stay in Thailand, I had arrived back in the UK with only a week before I needed to leave again – meaning that, … Continue reading

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Discovering Isaan

Khon Kaen Fresh Market, September 2010

    This post comes from high above the Thai skies, as I fly back from the second of my two-pronged first stab at the northeastern Isaan region. Having kicked off in the small provincial capital city of Chaiyaphum, I … Continue reading

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On Koh Pha Ngan

Ban Tai, Koh Pha Ngan, July 2010

    I remember returning home after my first trip to Thailand, and looking at an atlas to pick out the places I had been. Thinking I had been all over the country, I was a little disappointed to see … Continue reading

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Returning to Sangkhla

Sangkhlaburi, July 2010

    Three months had passed between my visits to Sangkhlaburi. I was last here in April and, returning at the start of July, the contrasts could not have been starker. The cool, dry season that was coming to an … Continue reading

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The highs and lows of Kanchanaburi

    For me, the best part of Kanchanaburi town is getting out of it. I admit it, I am a relatively difficult person to please and I am yet to be thoroughly convinced by this place. There are parts … Continue reading

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Kanchanaburi – a town with many faces

    I am finding Kanchanaburi difficult. I have been here before, but only for a few hours at most – a quick glimpse of the Death Railway, en route to Erawan waterfalls or transiting to Sangkhlaburi, further west. In … Continue reading

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Catching Up

    My summer of updates on this blog didn’t go quite as planned; in fact, it didn’t get further than Bangkok’s Lumpini Park at the start of July. I did write a collection of posts while on the road … Continue reading

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An oasis in Bangkok

Lumpini Park, Bangkok

    Let’s face it, Bangkok doesn’t have a reputation for being a particularly green city. Undeniably, it has its positives as a city – the food, the shopping, the nightlife (though even that becomes questionable as to whether the … Continue reading

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World wide wonders

    A bit of a techie post from me for a change. You see, I’ve got a bit of a split personality. I am not only a person with a love of travel but also a languages student back … Continue reading

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Home-grown escargots

Snails

    As I write this, I am on the eve of harvesting my second batch of home-grown snails, ready to be cleaned and boiled and served up with heaps of tasty garlic butter à la France. What started out … Continue reading

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Bath’s hidden waterside delights: Photo Essay

    A walk along the Avon & Kennet Canal and Avon River in Bath reveals some of Bath’s hidden beauties. Tweet

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Bangkok’s troubles and an overreaction from the Foreign Office

    I’m glad I’m not the only one criticising the UK Foreign Office’s current travel advice for Thailand. This short and sweet blog post from Adrian Michaels at the Telegraph pretty much sums up what I’ve been saying for … Continue reading

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South West Coastal Path: Photo Essay

    A gorgeous day in sunny Cornwall demands a walk along the South West Coastal Path from Polperro back to Looe, passing through the delightful Talland Bay and with Looe Island in view on the home run… Tweet

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P Guesthouse, Sangkhlaburi: Thailand’s Wild West?

P Guesthouse

    P Guesthouse has easily the best views in Sangkhlaburi, no question. A deceptively sprawling complex, with restaurant terrace and its biggest and most expensive rooms at the top and a pathway through its grassy little gardens right down … Continue reading

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On Sangkhlaburi

Wooden Bridge at Sunset, Sangkhlaburi

    Over the past four days in Sangkhlaburi, I have thought time and again about how I would start this piece – where usually I might be stuck for a catchy, witty or insightful introduction, here they are aplenty, … Continue reading

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Sangkhlaburi: Photo Essay

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