Six hundred miles and Sri Lankan smiles: views from the back seat

The creases in Ranjith’s shirt sleeves were razor sharp. Two first-timers to Sri Lanka in the back, with a 600 mile wish list, and no pre-booked transport? This was a big day for him. At the wheel next to Ranjith: his friend Nandana. Sensing a flinch as we squeezed between two tuktuks and a trash … More Six hundred miles and Sri Lankan smiles: views from the back seat

Train travel in Sri Lanka: 10 top tips to keep you on track

After two long train journeys in Sri Lanka, we learnt a lot. Here are our top 10 tips: Plan ahead Many of the longer distance trains have reserved carriages set aside in 1st, 2nd and 3rd class sections, which will guarantee you a seat. Some go on sale a month in advance, but go fast. … More Train travel in Sri Lanka: 10 top tips to keep you on track

Colombo – a great introduction to Sri Lanka

‘You know what I feel like?’ my juddering voice shouted to Nigel, one hand gripping the  tuk tuk’s plastic bench seat like grim death, the other clinging claw-like to the  front ‘safety bar’. ‘I feel like a real travel pro, now ‘. His mocking reply was drowned out by Colombo’s roar; its dusty city centre … More Colombo – a great introduction to Sri Lanka

Review: Dragon Legend II, Halong Bay, Vietnam

Introduction: Time of year: Late October 2016 Purpose of trip: As part of our round the world trip, we were determined to see Halong Bay. In reality, that is best done by an overnight junk cruise. Why we chose this place: Halong Bay is unlike anything else, with thousands of limestone mountains rising from the … More Review: Dragon Legend II, Halong Bay, Vietnam

Life and death on the Vietnamese Express

Vietnam’s chaotic. The roads are a battleground: cars, cabs, trucks, buses and thousands upon thousands of scooters fighting for space; all, seemingly, blaring their horns at each other simultaneously . Our cab ride to the station at Hue immersed us into this now familiar tangle of traffic. On one side: ten-ton trucks bearing down on … More Life and death on the Vietnamese Express

Bento: the art of the unusual food experience

It was lunchtime on the Shinkansen between Tokyo and Hiroshima and the immaculately dressed food hostess was passing. I had heard that they sell bento boxes on the trains, so I asked the lady what was on offer. She handed me 4 cards, each with a different option. One consisted primarily of braised beef tongue, … More Bento: the art of the unusual food experience

The view from carriage 11: Rocky Mountaineer review

A trip across the Canadian Rockies by train was one of the first things on our whiteboard when we were planning our ‘big trip’. And it ended up being the first thing we booked, alongside our round the world flight ticket. We were also aware that this was an experience that features very highly for … More The view from carriage 11: Rocky Mountaineer review

Photo essay: Rocky Mountaineer Day 2

Today we did the 285-mile run from Kamloops which is in a semi-arid desert into Vancouver. The first 100 miles or so were through the dry landscape, where rainfall is only 25cm per year. It was truly remarkable scenery and we were seeing eagles and long-horned sheep throughout that stretch. Here are a few highlights … More Photo essay: Rocky Mountaineer Day 2