Street eats

Street eats

“Whatever you do, don’t eat the street food!!” That panicked phrase, often uttered by co-workers, acquaintances and well-meaning relatives, is one that plagues many a traveller. Tales of Delhi-belly, intestinal worms and days that were only salvaged by a packet of Gastro-Stop abound, usually accompanied by “it happened to a friend of a friend of mine!” But have you ever noticed that the people who tell you these stories are the…

Learning the language

Learning the language

Although there’s no question it’s very intimidating, I think it’s important to learn a few words and key phrases of the local language when you’re travelling. Although English is widely spoken and gestures will get you most of the way even where it’s not, people love to see travellers making an effort to connect, and they’ll be all the more likely to help you out if you do. I’ll never…

The Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders

The Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders

Chiang Mai is a beautiful city. It’s one of the loveliest places I’ve been, a walled city filled with hundreds of graceful temples, tranquil gardens, and charming Thai smiles. It’s also home to one of my favourite museums – The Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders. I found it quite by accident. Having risen early, I was enjoying getting lost and weaving my way through narrow streets and temple…

The train to Hsipaw

The train to Hsipaw

I like train travel. It may date back to loving Thomas the Tank Engine as a small child, or be related to the fact that there aren’t many trains in the area where I grew up, so train travel has always been a novelty. But whatever the reason, I think it’s a great way to travel. You generally get more space than on a bus or plane, and bigger, clearer…

A few days in St Petersburg

A few days in St Petersburg

While the phrase “Russia in springtime” doesn’t exactly conjure the same romanticism as phrases like “Paris in springtime”, and while the temperature might be lower than what you are used to in the depths of winter at home, early spring is actually a really lovely time to visit St Petersburg. Twelve-hour days give you plenty of time to look around, the weather is pleasantly calm and sunny, if cold, and…