Tag Archives for taxis

04Oct2011

How to Ride a Bus in China

Ride a Chinese bus

Even after boarding Indonesian ferries, riding rural Cambodian buses and squeezing onto the London Tube during the Christmas Eve shopping frenzy, taking the bus in China has redefined my notion of personal space. Here’s how to get on, get where you’re going and keep your sanity. 1: Know Which Compass Point You Are Headed To […]

26Apr2011

F*ck It. I’m A Tourist.

bangkok dreamworld

Tourist or traveller? It’s a question as old as the first ever travel books. But I don’t like the word “traveller”. It smells of one-upmanship, of smugness. There’s that sense that, just by hitting the banana pancake trail instead of the all-inclusive resorts, the camp site instead of the villa, the traveller is somehow better […]

19Oct2010

Like Jane Austen But Not: The Single Gal's Guide to Travelling Asia

Z and me in Georgian silhouette, Penang, Malaysia,

1: Avoid Spaghetti Straps Shoulders are an erogenous zone in many cultures. Particularly shy ones. In South-East Asia, nothing, and I do mean nothing, says “hooker” more than spaghetti straps. OK. Maybe fishnets, Perspex platforms and a basque. And if you packed those, lady, make like the real fetishists and change before you leave the […]

28Sep2010

Travel Tips: Avoiding Transport “Scams”

taxi reading "this is metered taxi. haggling is prohibited."

It’s probably the commonest travel complaint on the planet from folk travelling the developing world. Transport “scams”. Overcharging… And it does relations between locals and visitors no good at all. Here’s how to make your life easier when travelling. 1: Agree a Price Before You Start the Journey. Would you take a minicab or unmetered […]

03Jul2010

If Bangkok was a Colour…

Pink and yellow leopard's head with tuk-tuk, Bangkok

If Bangkok had a colour, it would most definitely be pink. Hot pink. Like a bar girl’s brassiere, or those gorgeous metallic fuchsia and violet taxis which ply the streets below the Skyrail and the concrete walkways. A slightly shopsoiled pink. Sort of Bladerunner pink. But definitely bright. The swooshy, showy muted colourwash that floods […]

30May2010

The Red Queen

It’s the weekend on Cat Ba island, not to mention the Vietnamese summer, which means there’s a vibe on the beach I can best characterize as Spring Break meets Butlins meets the coach tour from hell. I am watching a stream of cheerleaders doing their schtick to Avril Lavigne on our tranquil beach as hogs […]

27May2010

Cab Journey from Hell #1

I really thought, by now, after over four months in Asia and experience with virtually every taxi scam permutation known to man, my naïve London belief that anyone in a metered taxi with a light-up sign will know where they are going, own a map, and not take the piss too badly would have disappeared. […]

16May2010

The Inflatable Waterpark

Ek biki inflatable waterpark, Santa Rosa, Philippines

This technicolour dream palace is indisputably special. Possibly a little “special needs” too. What is it? You may well ask. For this, my friend, is an inflatable waterpark. Occupying 5000 square metres of apple-green Astroturf in the middle of nowheresville, Luzon, EK Biki comes complete with dangling sharks, inflatable dragon slides, slightly forlorn clownfish and, […]