Category Asia

Getting Ready to Rickshaw Run

When I first started traveling I remember reading about a phenomenon known as “The Mongol Rally”  – which basically consists of driving a piece of shit car from England to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  While it sounded like a fun way to explore Eurasia, this was well before I had ever traveled for more than two weeks […]

Beef Noodle Soup & A Day In Taipei

BEEF NOODLE SOUP. Three illustrious words that inspire hunger and drooling amongst the Chu clan – and a dish that triggers one of my earliest childhood memories. Every weekend when I was around four or five years old, my family would go for breakfast at the same hole in the wall restaurant in Flushing, where […]

Eating Our Way Through Taipei & Jiufen with The Best Tour Guide Ever

In the past three years of traveling I’ve had at least two tour guides for whom I’ve abused the superlative of “the worst tour guide ever.”  One got me locked out of my car on an overnight train in Thailand, and the other had me looking for a hat store all over Munich until I […]

Buddhist monks and #firstworldproblems in Laos

And on the fourth day, Luang Prabang created an exhaustion of possible inexpensive activities.  Plus every once in a while a break from “having to do things” is needed,  so we took the day to relax in our cockroach (waterbug) infested room. Around midday I started to get bored and Cely said she was heading […]

A Shitty Day of Elephant Riding in Luang Prabang

By our third day in Luang Prabang we had started to get our shit together and organized full day of elephant trekking. Elephants had been available in several other cities, including Chiang Mai, but we heard they were better treated in this camp, so six of us signed up for a day of elephantitis (is that not how […]

Kuang Si Waterfall and Adjusting to Asia

There are certain times in your life when you have an epiphany.  For Alexandra Wallace  it’s every time she’s at the library.  For me, it was sitting on the toilet in my $8/night guesthouse.  As I sat, staring at the ants climbing across the floor and up the wall, I realized, “Holy shit this is not […]

Luang Prabang and the Spiciest Thing I’ve Ever Eaten

Hazy rays of sunlight peered at us through the thatched walls of the bungalow as the humidity crept through the air snatching us away from the comforts of our single electronic fan.  Stepping onto the balcony, the sun burned like hot coals in a sauna, while dampness from the river hung in the air like a steamy towel.  The clothes I had left out overnight to […]

Nong Khiaw: A Quiet Corner in Laos

Following a village homestay, our group of Strays was pretty excited at the prospect of a non-river shower and maybe a regular toilet.  But first, we had to take “the worst road in Laos” from Luang Namtha to Nong Khiaw where we would be spending the night. The worst road in Laos was promised to be […]

Laos Homestay and Visiting an Akha Village (and an Introduction to Southeast Asian Toilets)

You’re in Thailand at a border town spending the night before crossing into Laos.  You get to the bar, you have a nice dinner, and you’re drinking large Chang beers to soothe your tongue after eating fiery Thai curries.  You’re already tipsy but wait as long as possible to break the seal, then head down […]

Best Temple Ever: The White Temple of Chiang Rai

After celebrating my last day of Songkran by getting blackout drunk, breaking my friend’s nose, almost breaking my toe and getting locked into a building from the outside – I think I had done enough damage in Chiang Mai to be ready to leave the country.  Our new group of Strays hopped into the van, […]