Glow-magic in Northland: the Abbey Caves

Have you ever reflected on the beauty of the mucus-lined fishing nets of larval gnats? As a purveyor of bioluminescence in all its forms, these glowing snot-lines – formed by Kiwi “glow worms” – were on my must-see list for New Zealand. Waitomo Caves are one of New Zealand’s most impressive tourist destinations. However, if you want…

Shan state hill trekking (Part 2)

…this post is a continuation from Shan state hill trekking (Part 1)… Day Two: Thansant Village to Kaoncor, 25 km The next morning we woke with the sun, and I retraced my steps from the previous evening to find a spot a few kilometers back in the direction we had come from to watch the sun rise…

Shan state hill trekking (Part 1)

Our arrival in Hsipaw (pronounced: see-paw) felt vaguely reminiscent of Goldilocks’ arrival at the bears’ cabin.  But instead of different portions of porridge it was different treks ranging from the “retiree-grade” to “well you probably shouldn’t do this one since there is active fighting in the villages-grade”. Hsipaw is in Shan State, in north-eastern Myanmar….

Bad luck in Burma

On the final leg of my Sweden to Myanmar (Burma) haul, a 28 hour ordeal with lengthy stops in both London and Hong Kong, I was alternately passing out on the tray table and squirming in my seat. When we finally touched down in Yangon at about one in the morning I managed to clear…

Asia to America, via Hong Kong

Asia to America – where do I fly from? Hong Kong seemed as good a place as any, especially since I had to book my flight months before I had any idea where I might be in June. Turns out in June I was in Indonesia, followed by Thailand and then onwards to HK. Before…

Siquijor: the mystic island

There are a number of famous islands among the 7.000 + that make up the Philippines archipelago. Boracay is popular among Western package tourists and immediately pops to mind. Palawan is known for the crystal diving, Bohol has the Chocolate Hills. Mindanao Island in the south is known as a place to avoid, as there is a strong…

What’s a “snorkel test”?

Mention an upcoming snorkel test to any seasoned diver and they will smile, giggle and probably shake their head. Odds are they’ll have a story or two, or maybe some words of wisdom or warning. Mention a snorkel test to anyone else in the world (read: normal people) and they’ll cock their head to the side…

Quarter year recap and the three month dip

In my senior year of high school there was a perfect storm of bad scheduling and back luck that landed me in a remedial humanities course. The class was made up of meth heads, the occasional ESL case and general space cadets of the highest caliber. Instead of learning normal humanities, as one may expect from…

A poem for Pandan Island

Screw Palms in a Seussian Style Fleeing the snow, my friends from Sweden did come To the Philippines, expecting some warmth and some sun! The weather delivered and good times – they were had, Both Milos and Oskar were thoroughly glad. But work it did call, and Milos departed, So the second phase of the trip…

Motorbike malfunctions and mishaps

After India I swore I would never be that idiot Westerner who shows up in some random tropical country, hops on a motorbike and finds myself three days later on crutches in an internet cafe arguing with with the British Airways call centre about why my flight simply must be changed to accommodate my broken…

S-21: The genocide museum in Phnom Penh

The first few days here in Phnom Penh have been slow, a combination of jet-lag, passionfruit mojitos and Angkor beer. But now I have finally forced myself out of the hostel for my second excursion: a visit to Tuol Seng, or Security Office 21 (S-21 for short), a military prison under the Khmer Rouge that now…

shirting . . . !

Fashion model is not high on my list of aspirations, but when my designer friend Ivan Rocco asked if I would participate in his latest social-media campaign called ‘shirting . . .’ I could hardly say no! Ivan, along with eight other rising stars (including four designers from his store – SQUAT – in Ljubljana), all…