Don’t go to Bremen, they said – It’s an industrial scheiße-stadt, they said

Bremen - Germany

I don’t remember who “they” were. Perhaps it was a collection of travellers over the years; a disgruntled salesmen who had been covering Northern Germany for too long; or maybe it was from an actual Bremener I’d met in my travels. Who ever it was, they added to be the voice in my head that […]

Couchsurfing in Groningen, Netherlands

James in Groningen

[Groningen – Netherlands] Groningen is a city in the north of the Netherlands (in case you were wondering). I didn’t know much about it other than it would appear on Ryanair flight sales from London. I once met a guy from Groningen in Thailand who talked it up as a cool university city, so maybe […]

A monolith and a meerkat – camping at Namibia’s highest mountain

Sunset Brandberg Mountain

Brandberg Mountain is Namibia’s highest peak, standing at 2,606 metres. It is also a monolith, so when you cross the northwestern Namib Desert you will know when you see it. I was in Namibia visiting the Mad Max filming locations, which was mostly shot near Swakopmund (this was a press trip on behalf of the […]

On the trail of Mad Max in Namibia

Namib Desert

Visiting the filming locations of Mad Max: Fury Road in the Namib Desert Mad Max: Fury Road heralds the return of the Mad Max franchise thirty years after the third film was released. While the Mad Max world is still set in a post-apocalypse Australia, there is a new Max (Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson) […]

Propaganda posters and a parade – the 40th Anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam

40 Years - Liberation Day Vietnam

April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the day the North Vietnamese Army arrived in Saigon and ended the war. The day is known in Vietnam as liberation day, in the US as the fall of Saigon, and to overseas Vietnamese as Black April. In Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon) there are hardly […]

Notes on Phu Quoc Island – Southeast Asia’s next big thing

Long Beach Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is an island of Vietnam in the deep south of the country, off the coast of Cambodia. I had never heard of it until I came to Vietnam, and having been in Vietnam for much of the past two years I’ve since heard varying opinions about it. For my first visit I combined […]

Telok Ayer Market – The historic hawker centre in downtown Singapore

Telok Ayer Market

One of my favourite hawker centres in Singapore is the Telok Ayer Market. This food court – also known as Lau Pa Sat – is in a heritage building that is worth a visit in its own right. While a Singapore foodie might tell you there are a dozen other hawker centres that are better, […]

Notes on Colombo: Colonial remnants, cricket, and crows

Colonial Colombo

[Cargills Main Store – Classic heritage building when Sri Lanka was Ceylon.] Reading up on Sri Lanka’s capital city I kept seeing the words “hectic”, “chaotic”, and “bustling” to describe the city, followed tips on how to get out of the city as soon as possible. They write that like it’s a bad thing. To […]

New Country Day: Namibia

Namibia Flags

Country: Namibia Date: 21 March, 2015 Visiting anywhere in Africa in 2015 wasn’t even on my radar a month ago, and now here I am in Namibia. I was invited here by the Namibian Tourism Board at short notice, who asked if I wanted to visit the filming locations of Mad Max 4 (Mad Max: […]

My best ever airport immigration experience

Singapore Immigration

There are so many stories online of horror airport immigration experiences that you could start a Tumblr and never run out material (http://shittyairportexperiences.tumblr.com/ is free if you want to be the person to start that Tumblr). In my years of international travel I’ve had some memorably bad border control experiences (some of which were my […]