Byron Bay Train – The world’s first solar-power train

Byron Bay is one of the most visited regional towns in Australia, receiving over 1.5 million visitors annually. It became famous for its surfer and hippy culture in the 60’s, but they long ago got priced out when cashed-up Sydney-siders and Hollywood stars moved in. It still retains an alternative vibe though, with eco-friendly shops […]

How to get from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by train

Getting the train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur used to be a straight-forward affair. The train would leave from Tanjong Pagar railway station (near downtown Singapore), clear immigration for both countries at Woodlands, and then continue on the same train to Kuala Lumpur. I did this journey in 2009 and it was a great way […]

Solomon Islands – Reefs and war wrecks in a tropical island paradise

Solomon Islands was my first trip to a pacific island nation, which I was invited to visit as a guest of Solomon Islands Tourism. I must admit that I had to Google where Solomon Islands are, and if they are even an independent country (the Oceania region is my weakest link on travel trivia nights). […]

Notes on Da Nang, 2018 edition – Maybe I will retire here

My latest trip to Da Nang marked a flippening of sorts in my Da Nang / Hoi An travels. Usually I have come to Da Nang on the way to Hoi An (Da Nang being the airport city for Hoi An). I noted in my 2017 trip report how Da Nang is becoming a destination […]

Visiting the Golden Bridge in Vietnam – the bridge held by giant hands in the mountains

If you follow any travel-related news sites you’ve probably seen a photo of a bridge held by giant hands in the mountains. This is the Golden Bridge at Ba Na Hills, near Da Nang in Vietnam. The Golden Bridge opened in June 2018, and it wasn’t long before it starting making the news. The first […]

The Shenzhentrification of Johor Bahru

If you had of asked me where the tallest residential building in Southeast Asia is as of 2018 I would have guessed Bangkok or KL. Having got those two wrong, I’m not sure that Johor Bahru would have figured into my top 10 guesses. Indeed, Johor Bahru doesn’t figure much in peoples thoughts in general, […]

The Green Corridor – Singapore’s former railway line that’s now a walking path

I’m a big fan of urban walking, and Singapore – being the urban planning masters that they are – are planning to create one of the world’s greatest walks along a former railway. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were once connected by a direct railway, which ran from Keppel Road near Downtown Singapore to the Kuala […]

A day in Dubai – 2018 edition

My last visit to Dubai was in 2007, just before the Global Financial Crisis. There was so much construction going on that I knew I would have to return to check on its progress. I finally returned 11 years later, at what feels like the peak of another financial bubble, and like last time there […]

A sweaty summer stopover in Sharjah

There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. I thought about this saying when I found myself back in the United Arab Emirates in the summer, when I said I would never again visit in the summer. The last I was in the […]

Rebuilding the new Beirut

Sometimes you get a good feeling about a place even before you step foot on its soil. This was the case for Beirut when I first caught a glimpse of the city. The airport is close to the city centre, and if the flights are arriving from the north the flightpath goes over the old […]