Monthly Archives: February 2011


All Dollars Are Not Created Equal


When it comes to travel money, there’s a general assumption that good old US greenbacks will work almost anywhere in the world, even beyond the reach of ATMs. I’ve written before about the prevalence of local-only ATMs in Indonesia and the Philippines. And, after a few hairy moments of being down to our last ten […]


Mmmm….. Pork!

bu oka babi guling sucking pig sign

Now, I do love pork. And, if pork’s your thing – or even if it isn’t normally – Balinese babi guling is a dish you have to try. What is it? A whole pig. A small pig, but definitely not a piglet any longer. So, technically, not actually a sucking pig. But when you try […]


The Sunday Six: Melbourne Bars

biero melbourne wall poster

Biero Like beer? Then you’ll love Biero, which offers several hundred of the world’s finest brews, from the eye-wateringly expensive high-alcohol triple bocks through to local craft brews at $5 a pint on Wednesdays. And the styling’s funky, too. Biero is at 525 Little Lonsdale Street, CBD Der Raum If you’re a cocktail geek — […]


Temple Monkeys: The Devil’s Work


To anyone with an evil sense of humour, hanging out at a temple with monkeys is a guaranteed source of entertainment. Gasp as a tourist buys bananas, hands one in the direction of a baby monkey, and is seamlessly mugged by three or four big males. Bite back advice as a mother thinks it could […]


From the Bowels of the Beast: The World’s Most Expensive Coffee


Ever heard of kopi luwak? It’s the world’s most expensive coffee. Because It Comes From the Bowels of the Beast. Yep. Kopi luwak is processed through the bowels — yes, the bowels — of the palm civet, a bad-tempered tree-dweller which folk in Bali compare to a cat. Ever since I first tried kopi luwak, […]


A Cremation in Bali

Bali cremation: Men tend pyres with kerosene burners.

The three giant black bulls had been sitting in state outside Ubud Palace for a day or so, golden necklaces adorning their necks, their dangling balls covered in gilded hair and their pink felt penises complete with a string so celebrants could wiggle them at will. The occasion? Why, a cremation. In Bali, what else? […]


The S Word

Valentine's Day

When the lovely Colin and Tracy asked me over appropriately, err, lubricating quantities of beer, to put together a piece on sex on the road, for Christine, I was a little tentative. I mean, how long does it take to say, “Nada, nish, zilcho, nothing since January last year, thank you… And, before you ask, […]


The Sunday Six: Europe’s Furthest Frontiers


1: The Canary Islands The Canaries? They’re in Spain, right? Well, technically, yes. These volcanic outcrops, laden with palm trees and beaches, sit off the coast of West Africa, far closer to the Sahara than to Madrid. Which means, for anyone thinking about flights to Canaries, it’s wise to check your map first. 2: Tahiti […]


Help! I'm Location Independent

young rice, green shoots

“Location independent” is a phrase I, frankly, loathe. Though, with its implication that anyone who’s not travelling has somehow failed to think about what they want in life, “lifestyle design” is worse. Like “digital nomad”, another way of saying the same thing, it’s a phrase you don’t often find in print. “Location independence” is more […]


5 Documents No Single Parent Should Travel Without

passport pages stamped with entry and exit visas

1: Travel Insurance Policy Unless you’re an EU citizen travelling within EU countries which offer free healthcare to other EU citizens, travel insurance is one document no traveller should leave home without. Medical costs alone, including evacuation