From the sweet perfume of honey-marmalade topped pink rice to the lazy sensuality of a mongrel blend of spices rubbed into a rotating chicken, a myriad of scents assault my nose in the family-run market.
To my left were a group of middle-aged Filipino men, gathered around an old, flickering TV set, watching a sporting match that was evidently very exciting. Every few minutes the cacophony of raucous cheers and jeers and the toppling of chairs as the men leapt to their feet were heard throughout the open-air market. Continue reading Forever my favorite: Siquijor island, Philippines
Nha Trang — an area that was once a simple settlement of a few small fishing villages — is rowdy. Though its beginnings were modest, vacation goers couldn’t shake the affect of the seas siren song, and soon the stunning bay and white sand beaches were home to stripped beach towels in bold hues, swanky resorts, and Speedo clad Russians partaking in a multi-city cruises and sweating beer buckets. Once the sun goes down, vacationers retreat from the beach to luxe restaurants or clubs with the music turned up so loud the sidewalk vibrates and beer pong cup make a wobbly run for the border.
But, if shooters and Speedos aren’t your thing, you can do like we did and get a couple motorbikes to cruise around the neighboring villages. Just outside of the city limits, the raw countryside resumes. There you’ll find sweet old woman parked in plastic chairs facing the bay where their menfolk are out harvesting their living on Crayola-colored boats, hikes ending in glorious multi-tiered waterfalls, and little roadside stands specialize in fresh seafood dishes (like the seafood fried rice pictured below!).
Continue reading Photo book: 13 pictures to inspire a motorcycle trip around Nha Trang, Vietnam
Driving in Asia is like playing Frogger in a blender. It’s a frenzied dance of thousands of bikes and cars threading their way down the street. Horns are used unsparingly. Verbal altercations while driving are frequent; crashes are common. It’s chaotic.
I bought a used motorbike back in October – a clunky, temperamental, maroon beater of a bike, which due to it’s diva-like tendencies I named Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty has broken down at least a half-dozen times, and each time I have had to enlist one of the other teachers to tow my motorbike using their motorbike. I’m sure it’s a sight to see for the locals: one foreigner bobbing through traffic on a fully functional motorbike, with a rope extending from their bumper to another non-functional motorbike, the latter of which being ridden by a wild-haired blonde woman and is swinging back and forth in the chaos like a crazed water-skier. But despite the bikes frequent temper-tantrums, I love the freedom it provides. Continue reading Tips and tricks for driving in Asia