Enchanted Island: Koh Mook

Koh Mook enchanted us with its ultra laid back island vibe, soft white sand, deep primary forests, and sparkling emerald water. We landed on the pretty beach after a two hour speedboat ride from busy Koh Lipe to find a strip of sand with people milling about, waiting for their ride to the next island. It was a whole new kind of paradise.  Where the other islands had been gorgeous, they were by and large developed for the tourist trade.  Koh Mook was much less developed, and felt more like a secret jungle hideaway. Our hotel was about 300m into […]

Thai Islands: Getting our feet wet in Koh Lipe

When you have to get your feet wet to get your passport stamped, you  know you’re somewhere special. If you’re in South East Asia, you’re going to Thailand. And if you’re in Thailand, what are you going to do? Beaches, food, islands (and temples, jungles, elephants, etc.). We left Langkawi in a ferry bound for Koh Lipe, a popular island in the southern Andaman sea. It was about a two hour boat ride from Langkawi, and while we had heard great reviews about Koh Lipe, they always came with a caveat…that it’s expensive. However, lacking any better ideas, we paid […]

Island Hopping Malaysia: Pulau Tuba

Anything you could possibly want to do, eat or see as a tourist is available to you on Langkawi. We passed on the parasailing, jet skiing, boat tours, and banana boats, but did have our share of Mexican food and Pizza and more than a few Tiger beers. Beach tourism can get a little monotonous, and even after moving hotels to one right on the beach with a pool, we were itching to DO something. So we boarded a boat for Pulau Tuba, a nearby island where we had located a tiny little beach resort that looked beachy and inviting. […]

Island time Malaysia: Langkawi

After our recouperation break in Kuala Lumpur, it was finally island time. Malaysia has some incredible beaches, and it was hard to choose just where to go first. But, as we were heading in the general direction of Thailand, we decided to go north. Our plan was to go to Penang – a colonial island paradise with Georgian architecture, white sandy beaches and a killer street food culture. However, Penang had just flooded a few days before, and news reports looked pretty awful. So we opted to go one island further to Langkawi, which would likely have been stop number […]

Kuala Lumpur: Taking a break from our break

After a month of hardcore travel in Nepal, it was time for a break. Our loose travel plan had us going to Thailand next to soak up the sun in a beachside hut, and swim in crystal blue waters. But all flights out of Kathmandu routed through somewhere else…India or Kuala Lumpur. Mark had worked on a project last year in KL, and we came within an inch of moving there, and I thought it was time to go see the place I had agreed to move to sight unseen.  So we detoured to KL, which set us on a […]

Leaving Nepal…for now

As we leave Nepal, I’m filled with mixed emotions. I’m ready to leave. The pollution and dust have given me a painful asthmatic cough that keeps me up at night, and I’m ready for some clearer, warmer air. But on the other hand, I’m not ready to leave at all. I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of this grand little country that seems to have captured the imagination of the world. By all accounts, Nepal should be irrelevant. Its resources are natural beauty and tolerance. While they have monetised these attributes, it’s not something that can be exported. […]

Kathmandu: The spiritual side

The shops, restaurants, signs, traffic, noise, colours and perpetual motion of Kathmandu can be so in your face that you forget there is a quieter spiritual side to this city. The thousands of temples, shrines and stupas intermingle Buddhist and Hindu cultures and practices so seamlessly here that you might not even realise that one holy square can be spiritually significant to two distinctly different religions. You can’t walk to the end of a street in Kathmandu without stumbling upon a thousand year old temple or a tiny stupa glittering in the sun. Many go unnoticed, and unless you take […]