Outside Context travel writing has been featured on some of the world’s top websites. Articles have been purchased by Airlines, featured in iPhone Apps, published as questions in degree level English examinations and comments have been posted by everyone from Lonely Planet writers to US Special Forces Lieutenant Colonels!

Vietnam – Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh city

2016-10-18T18:53:14+00:00

Vietnam was always on our list of countries to visit, but I must admit to having been slightly nervous about it. Not because it was Communist or “different” from home- by then, Cesca and I had been through all sorts of strange cultures including Muslim nations, Eastern Block style Communist havens and even Australia. What was actually getting us nervous was the constant reports from our friends about the Vietnamese unfriendliness. Time and time again people, who had already been through Vietnam, would display a sort of nervous laugh and glance at each other before answering our questions. This was exacerbating our reaction to another incident right back before we even left English shores.

Vietnam – Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh city 2016-10-18T18:53:14+00:00

Laos, the gem of Indochina – a cultural connection

2016-10-18T18:53:14+00:00

Spend any time in Laos and it quickly becomes clear that tourism has the potential to ravage this beautiful culture. Travelling through the Laotian hubs is to see history in action. Starting with Luang Prabang; the epitome of French colonialism, forever been preserved for the future by UNESCO.

Laos, the gem of Indochina – a cultural connection 2016-10-18T18:53:14+00:00

Cambodia – devils and angels

2016-10-18T18:53:19+00:00

One of the things that strikes you in Cambodia is the lack of any social services. Thus, it is very common to be approached by beggars missing various limbs or even their eyesight. Indeed, it is so common that since experiencing Cambodia I have been totally impervious to other countries beggars; none could reach the suffering of these poor souls.

Cambodia – devils and angels 2016-10-18T18:53:19+00:00

The American War

2016-10-18T18:53:25+00:00

They say the better part of travelling is meeting the people from the countries you visit.  They do not say how much that meeting will affect you, neither how heartbreaking such encounters can be.  The first time I met a one legged man in Laos, while visiting COPE – the charity for the war injured, I asked him how he lost his leg? “The American’s took it,” he replied.

The American War 2016-10-18T18:53:25+00:00

Malaysia: Highlands to Langkawi

2016-10-18T18:53:26+00:00

The Cameron Highlands, well named that they are, are the tea growing centre of Malaysia.  The temperature up the top is a good 4 degrees less than in the cities and a nice breeze helps take off a few more.  It is a place of gentile rolling tea fields under mountainous peaks.  I found this much more to my liking!

Malaysia: Highlands to Langkawi 2016-10-18T18:53:26+00:00

Malaysia: Melaka to Kuala Lumpur

2016-10-18T18:53:26+00:00

Our first port of call in Malaysia was the UNESCO town of Melaka, which is nestled on the west coast of the peninsula below Kuala lumpur.  The journey from Singapore to the town was uneventful being mainly two good roads (the 1 and the 5), but I was feeling an increasingly vivid sense of excitement about truly getting into SEA and taking that first footsteps on our journey. 

Malaysia: Melaka to Kuala Lumpur 2016-10-18T18:53:26+00:00

Singapore: Gateway to SE Asia

2016-10-18T18:53:26+00:00

The hottest cold One of the first things that hits you on arrival to Singapore airport is the intense cold.  Litres of Icy cold air is blasted at you from almost all directions from a myriad of air-conditioning machines the size of skyscrapers and it is quite nice to get outside and experience a little heat for a while.  Air-conditioning has been taken to new heights by the Singaporeans, indeed the entire Tube system is frosty cold conditioned, as is every single mall and many of the pavement steps surrounding them.  To walk around Singapore is to be blasted by heat and cold at such extremes you wonder if you have wandered into a new form of torture.

Singapore: Gateway to SE Asia 2016-10-18T18:53:26+00:00

Welcome to New Zealand

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New Zealand is a country Cesca and I have longed to visit for many years. Tales speak of this island and its seemingly unique people. That they are more friendly than the most sociable of Australian’s, more “outdoors-loving” than even Scottish highlanders and more into extreme sports than anyone outside Cirque-de-soleil! Moreover, all of the “Kiwis” I have met have been the most persuasive of ambassadors as they have a deep and abiding love of their country, a great love of sporting life and and all of them stand a pint.

Welcome to New Zealand 2016-10-18T18:53:40+00:00