When I started this site over 6 years ago, I hadn’t even been to Asia. Now, I’ve been to over 10 Asian countries and lived in 2 of them. I love Asia. There is so much to see and do, so many attractions for travelers. The culture is incredibly unique from country to country. There was a time I thought Vietnam and China were similar. Not even close. If you are looking for an alternate view of Asia, this collection of tips and articles will help you plan a trip, or learn about the largest and most populous continent in the world.
The 21 km mountain pass that cuts through the Annamite Mountain range, is widely considered the best road in Vietnam. Whether you are in a car or on a motorbike, you’ll experience curves that make your heart beat faster as you drive past beautiful scenes, including the South China Sea from 1500 feet up. More
There are many reasons I love living in Vietnam. As we come close to the end of our first year in the country, I can’t help but think of something I was told by a man who has spent almost ten years living here. More
“Remember that time we went to George Town, Malaysia? Remember how great it was. With all the hawker stands selling cheap and delicious food. Remember how good that roasted pork was? Do you remember? Huh? Huh?!” Yes, stomach, I remember. More
Pangkor Island, Malaysia: AWESOME! – and then some!
Pangkor Island can easily be reached from Puduraya bus station in Kuala Lumpur. You can catch one of the many buses (20-28 ringgit, 3.5-4 hrs) that leave in the morning (from about 7AM-2PM) to Lumut. At the Lumut bus station, it’s a short walk to the ferry terminal where you can grab one of the frequently running boats to Pulau Pangkor, or Pangkor Island. More
Sometimes, an expat has to go back to his roots. Back to the things he left behind in his first world country. I always try to embrace the Vietnamese culture, but I needed a little taste of home. Plus, it was my birthday, so why not celebrate it with a few of my favourite things? Beer, coffee, and food. It’s time to find the best of these in Saigon. More
The Cameron Highlands in Malaysia are a popular vacationing spot for Malays and other tourists. Only 200 km from Kuala Lumpur, the area is an easy bus ride from Pudu Sentral Bus Station (about 40 MYR, multiple buses in the first half of the day, takes about 4.5 hours). Most people head to the largest city in the highlands, Tanah Rata. We decided to go to Brinchang instead, mainly because we wanted to hike to the top of Brinchang Gunung (Brinchang mountain), which for novice hikers like us, is the best hike in the Cameron Highlands. More
In southern Vietnam, the title for highest peak goes to an extinct volcano that is forebodingly called Black Virgin Mountain. Núi Bà Đen (which more precisely translates to ‘mountain lady black’) sits, like an upside-down mixing bowl, in Tay Ninh province — about 100 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, and only about 30 kilometres from the Cambodian border. The cinder cone is just short of 1000 metres tall – not huge – but the flat farm fields that surround it make it impossible for the granite bulge to hide. More
Thủ Dầu Một (pronounced Too Yow Mot) is about 20 km north of Ho Chi Minh City — straight up the QL13. It’s the capital of Bình Dương province. In 1996, the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) was officially launched in the province. A cooperation between the two countries, the industrial park is a 500 hectare (1235 acres) industrial area that is equipped to hold over 200 manufacturing plants. They offer ready-built, modern factories that are fully equipped for foreign investors. The project brought a lot of attention to Binh Duong province. More
Considering Trip Advisor rates the Củ Chi tunnels the number 2 thing to do when visiting Ho Chi Minh City, it’s ridiculous that we waited this long to see them. The 121 km tunnel system was preserved after the Vietnam War. They are one of the best ways to experience the Vietnamese side of the war, and to understand how they were able to beat one of the most powerful countries in the world. More
When we were planning our trip to Malaysia we originally had planned a stop or two between the island of Pangkor and the state of Penang. Knowing that we’d have to take 2 boat trips and a bus, we thought it would be too much in one day. Of course, plans change when you’re traveling, and we ended up having to go all the way to Penang in one, fairly easy, fairly short day. Here’s the best way to get from Pulau Pangkor to Penang (and also the cheapest). More
It’s easy to take a bus from Kuala Lumpur to the Cameron Highlands (4.5 hours), or Penang (about 4 hours) buzzing right past Ipoh like it was a solicitor on a sidewalk, but don’t underestimate the 4th largest city in Malaysia. I know, the name Ipoh looks like it’s an acronym for something boring — International Party of Humdrum or something, but it actually gets its name from a tree. Yes, trees are boring too, but this particular tree, the Pokok Ipoh, is notorious for killing people. It’s sap is highly poisonous and was used by indigenous people to coat the tips of their darts for general killing purposes. The Chinese have a saying about the tree that translates to: “Seven up, eight down, nine no life”. It means that if someone is poisoned by it they’ll only be able to take seven steps uphill, eight steps downhill, or nine steps on level ground before falling to their death. Yeah man, Ipoh is bad-ass. More
When I first arrived in Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, I headed straight to the KLIA Ekspres train. The 28 minute non-stop train to KL Sentral. I bought my ticket — 35 MYR (about $10). It’s not a bad price considering it’s a non-stop ride on a nice train, but this is a budget travel site. Also, when I got off the train at KL Sentral, I realized that for the area I wanted to go to, around Pettaling Street, I’d have to take another train plus walk for 10 minutes, or to grab a taxi. There had to be a better way. Of course, there was. More