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Visiting Turtle Sanctuaries in Malaysia (and elsewhere)

When we booked a stay at Lankayan Island, off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo, our intention was a little rest and relaxation and a little diving. That’s all. What we didn’t think about was visiting turtle sanctuaries or seeing sea turtles hatching. Yet the turtle sanctuary on Lankayan became a highlight of our trip….

A view into Gomantong Cave. You can see the boardwalk walkway on the left.

Gomantong Cave in Borneo: A warning

Bat guano, cockroaches and other grossness. That’s what awaits you at Gomantong Cave in Borneo. A standard stop on the adventure tourism circuit in Sabah, the eastern part of Malaysian Borneo, Gomantong Cave is near enough to the popular river boat rides on the Kinabatangan River to make a relatively short detour. So that’s what…

Our chalet at Lankayan Island Dive Resort.

Lankayan Island Resort in Malaysian Borneo

Slowly surfacing from a deep sleep, I gaze up at the dim outlines of the canopy above us, draped with a white mosquito net. A sliver of gray light peeks through the gap in the curtains to my right, the direction of the sunrise. I listen to the pre-dawn noises: a chaos of bird calls…

Kaswi Kueh, seen from both sides. From our Singapore food tour using Bitemojo app.

Bitemojo app Singapore food tour: a review

Bitemojo food tours are not like other food tours. That’s not to criticize other food tours, mind you. I love learning about a place’s particular customs and foods. Bitemojo tours are different, though, in that they don’t include a tour guide. Instead, the tour is led via Bitemojo app, which leads you from “bite” to…

Street scene in Mumbai, near Banganga Tank. Impressions from my first time in India.

Impressions of Mumbai from my first time in India

When I told people I was going to Mumbai, the most common comments I heard were in the form of warnings: “It’s unbearably crowded and noisy,” and “Be careful what you eat; you don’t want to get Delhi belly!” Yes, Mumbai is crowded and noisy, but I wouldn’t say it’s unbearably so. As a matter…

This photo shows just one wing of Victoria Station: it's an enormous building.

Mumbai Sightseeing: 11 sights in 1 afternoon

After our tour of a Mumbai slum – see this post from last week about the Dharavi slum tour – my colleague and I spent the afternoon visiting some of the more popular tourist destinations in the city, led by our guide, Jitu, from Reality Tours. Here is my take on Mumbai sightseeing: 11 sights,…

A plastics worker in Dharavi slum. Photo courtesy of Reality Tours.

Is a Dharavi slum tour a good idea?

Have you ever seen the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”? Privileged Westerners like me are curious about slums like the one in that film. We want to know how people live, how they deal with adversity, how they ended up in a slum, and how we can help. At the same time, we don’t venture on our…

The three-headed Shiva in Cave 1

Elephanta Island Travel Guide: 7 things to know before you go

I strolled down the path, vaguely glancing at the market stalls on either side. My small bag hung on my back and I clutched my phone in one hand. With the other, I swung a plastic bottle of water loosely, half-full, by its neck. Spotting a monkey sitting on a low wall next to the…

In the center of the Kathmandu, everyone vies for space.

Surviving the roads in Nepal: a guest post

The following is a guest post by my husband, Albert Smith, about his experiences on the roads in Nepal last fall. [Beneden is de oorspronkelijke Nederlandse versie] My son and I are on our way back from a football [soccer] match between FC Groningen and AZ. We’re in a good mood: Groningen has won a…

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