Saturday, October 25th, 2014

I’ve Officially Become a Hippie.

If you’ve traveled any backpacker trail, you know the uniform: harem pants, bracelets galore, dreadlocks, souvenir t-shirts featuring local beers. I swore that I would never look like that, never dress like that. Then Cambodia happened. It started on my first day.  After visiting the Killing Fields, I bought a bracelet made of Cambodian wood [...]

Trouble at the Laos-Cambodia Border

I had been warned about the difficulties of crossing into Cambodia. Corruption is rampant, particularly at the Aranya Prathet-Poipet border, lying halfway between Bangkok and Siem Reap.  Many people there are routed to a fake embassy and charged extra before being taken to the actual border. Thankfully, coming from Laos, we were at a different [...]

Swimming in the Mekong: Surprisingly, Not That Gross

Swimming in the Mekong. It just sounds wrong, doesn’t it? I hear Mekong and I think Vietnam War.  I picture Forrest Gump wading through chest-deep water in full military gear, the rain coming upwards. Even Lonely Planet warned that the Mekong would be muddy and disgusting through December, not turning bright turquoise until early in [...]

The Challenge: Learning to Relax in Si Phan Don

You know what’s worse than being woken up by a rooster?  Being woken up by a cow and baby who are currently having a scream-off. “Moooooo.” “Waaaaaah!” “MOOOOOOOO.” “WAAAAAAAAAH!” Welcome to Si Phan Don. I came to Laos’s Four Thousand Islands, or Si Phan Don, knowing very little about them.  I knew they were nestled [...]

Off the Beaten Path in Laos: The Bolaven Plateau

I’m at a tiny gas station in the Bolaven Plateau of Southern Laos, trying to explain to the woman how much of the magenta liquid I need.  I point to my nearly-empty fuel gauge; she hands me the hose to hold while she cranks the manual pump. And then I have to figure out how [...]

Rock Climbing in Railay: Not for me. And that’s okay.

“You’re a quittahhhh.”  The shirtless Australian climbing guru slash London investment banker draws out his insult slowly. I take off my sunglasses and glare at him, my bloody eye still raging from the Muay Thai fight over a week ago*. “That’s not the eye of a quittah,” he sheepishly replies. I wanted to like rock [...]

Bangkok Lodging Battle: Fancy Hostel vs. Simple Guesthouse

Guesthouses and hostels are two of the most popular types of lodging in Southeast Asia.  But is one better than the other?  I put this question to the test during my most recent stay in Bangkok. Lub*d Silom, known as one of Bangkok’s most upscale hostels, was having a sale with dorm beds at 300 [...]

“Why You No Have Boyfriend?”

“Why you no have boyfriend?” The first time I’m asked this question, I’m on the overnight train from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani, the only foreigner in the car.  I’m taken aback by the older woman’s question and simply smile and giggle.  Thankfully, this is a very Thai answer, and it suffices. I knew this question [...]

Guest Post on A Dangerous Business: What Happens When Travel Plans Change?

A few weeks ago, my friend Amanda, the writer behind travel blog A Dangerous Business, emailed me and asked if I could write a guest post for her about why my travel plans had changed so much.  Amanda previously wrote an excellent post for me: When a Travel Blogger is Stuck at Home. If you [...]

Funny Pictures From Thailand

Have you become a fan of Adventurous Kate on Facebook?  You should be.  Every day, I try to post a different picture of something that amused me. Now that I’m entering Laos and Cambodia, sharing will not be as easy as it was in Thailand.   But my Facebook page is a great place for [...]