Hanoi: Hello Like Before

  It has been a year since my first visit and while the city looks the same, there have been casualties. The small corner shop where I had my first ‘banh mi’ (baguette) has gone. The cool cafe where I had lunch is now a hair salon. Even the magnificent Maison D’Orient has undergone some […]

Hanoi: Pictures from Le Cotta Cafe

As an appendix to my Hanoi blog, here’s some pictures of a spectacular three story cafe on the west bank of the west lake (Tay Ho). Every now and then you just get the feeling that it’s one you have to explore further and it ticked all the right boxes for a rainy or in […]

Saigon/HCMC: Journey to Hanoi

Saigon to Hanoi is the longest train journey I have ever undertaken, it’s 35 hours eclipsing Hong Kong to Beijing at 23 (back in 2011). Both took place in December and both were in search of new fortune, not just travel. A metro under construction and ancient buses meant a rare taxi ride, never my […]

Phnom Penh: Chaos and Creation

Only now looking back do I wonder why I never came here after Turkey and Thailand went pear shaped and I suppose the answer to that is.. it would’ve have been too similar and maybe not so much work as China offered in 2011 and still. So Cambodia and Laos remain the last two countries in […]

Guangzhou: Paddington in Canton

As it’s silly season here are some photos from my recent visit to Guangzhou. Did a lot of shopping myself, new day bag (American Tourister again), new shoes (Li Ning again), and some Apple merch to replace the plug I left on the Budapest bus – doh! Oh well, it happens to us all, thank […]

Xmas 2017

Wishing all my friends, followers, students and associates a peaceful xmas, and harmonious 2018 – the year of the dog in China. Apparently it is bad luck to be there during your own zodiac year so that was another reason for my exit, though I do miss the Chinese. However for the moment they are […]

SPECIAL: CHINA TRANSIT VISAS

Travelling to mainland China soon? Thinking about utilising their transit visas? Think very carefully. Despite being in operation a while now, it appears not everyone everywhere knows about it. Here’s my account of what happened during my journey from Cairo to Guangzhou. As always I arrive at the airport and check in on time, to […]