I’ve been based in Bangkok for the last two weeks, and it has been a welcome change in pace after three full-on months of travel.
After a pretty gruelling trip through Russia, I was very happy to be back in Asia. I was especially happy, because my next stop after Beijing was Hong Kong – one of my favourite cities in the world.
My final stop in the Balkans was Slovenia, the economic powerhouse of the former Yugoslavia and a charming country resembling Austria and Switzerland. In fact, I couldn’t really see how it fit with countries like Bosnia & Herzegovina or Macedonia – it was like chalk and cheese.
After being blown away by Dubrovnik I had high expectations when it came to Split and the Croatian islands. Though I did enjoy my time on Brač, the same could not really be said about Split and overall I left Croatia after almost a week feeling a bit flat.
I’m sitting in Sarajevo, reflecting on a very hectic week, in which I visited 7 countries in 7 days. And yet it has been the most interesting, beautiful and puzzling part of my travels so far. If you have never been to this part of the world, then I suggest you book your flights now!
I have a confession to make: I love Singapore. Well, two confessions, actually…I also love tilt-shift lenses (and I apologise profusely for totally overusing tilt-shift images in this post, but I rented one for a day and figured I should make good use of it).
In my mind Da Lat is an anomaly. Situated 1,500m above sea level, and frequently facing prolonged periods of rain and overcast skies, the city is a good 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the country. This temperate climate, and the fact that the French colonialists treated it as a country retreat to get out of the stifling heat of Saigon, makes the place feel oddly European.
What surprised me by far the most about Vietnam was the food. A Seurat canvas of flavours, Vietnamese food combines sweet, sour, tart, crunchy, soft, spicy, fresh, smokey elements in a sophisticated way that is simply genius. That’s before you even consider the intriguing blend of Eastern and Western cuisine…who would have thought that a stew with fresh baguette could be called ‘Authentic Vietnamese’ fare?