Author Archive for Alastair Donnelly

5 reasons to travel solo in Japan

5 reasons to travel solo in Japan

Whether you’re running a finger over a map searching for your next solo holiday destination, or you’re daydreaming about travelling alone for the very first time, there’s a cluster of islands with rich culture and history, delicious food and kindly people. A country perfect for every kind of solo traveller. Japan, a place with diametric […]

5 luxury honeymoon experiences in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

5 luxury honeymoon experiences in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

Planning a wedding is stressful, there’s no two ways about it. But planning a honeymoon should provide respite. No table plans to navigate, caterers to negotiate with, or photographers to sift through. This first holiday as a married couple should be the perfect tonic after a frantic few months. With a relaxed pace of life, […]

Top 5 things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos

Top 5 things to do in Luang Prabang, Laos

In between Vietnam and Thailand, Laos is lesser-known and lesser-discovered, but no less interesting than its pair of famous neighbours. As a long thin country that also touches China to the north and Cambodia to the south, the landscape varies wildly; from thickly-forested areas to more tropical surrounds with plunging waterfalls and thousands of islands. […]

5 top tips for getting tailor-made clothes in Hoi An, Vietnam

5 top tips for getting tailor-made clothes in Hoi An, Vietnam

Still waters, saffron-coloured buildings and streets untouched by the modern world; no trip to Vietnam is complete without a few days in the beautiful town of Hoi An. Nearly as famous as its well-preserved old quarter is a reputation for top-quality tailors. It’s impossible to amble down narrow roads without spotting countless shops with jumbo […]

5 reasons to stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)

5 reasons to stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)

What is a ryokan? Perhaps you’ve heard the term ryokan bandied around when planning a trip to Japan, but what exactly are they? In ancient times ryokans provided lodging for passing travellers, so the closest comparison would be an old fashioned inn. These days they provide so much more than a bed for the night […]

The best 5 beaches in Cambodia

The best 5 beaches in Cambodia

Cambodia has some of the most incredible temples and fascinating history in the whole world. You can happily spend days marvelling at jungle-clad temple Ta-Prohm, or the intricate pink bas-reliefs of Banteay Srei. But if you’d like to swap shrines for the seaside, just for a little bit, Cambodia is also home to a collection […]

6 great reasons to go skiing in Japan

6 great reasons to go skiing in Japan

With a landscape that is 70% mountainous, it’s unsurprising that Japan’s terrain has some of the best skiing conditions in the world – just look at snow-topped spectacle Mount Fuji. Unique weather conditions teamed with a unique culture make Japan a destination well worth packing your skis for. 1. Powder snow If snowball fights are […]

8 beautiful places to visit in Laos

8 beautiful places to visit in Laos

Laos flies below the radar for most tourists – and perhaps that’s a good thing. This little-known, landlocked country is a beautiful land of ancient Buddhist temples, tropical jungle, beautiful river cruises and softly spoken, laid-back people. It the kind of place the phrase ‘hidden gem’ was coined for, so shhhh – don’t tell! 1. Luang […]

Top 8 hot springs in Japan

Top 8 hot springs in Japan

In Japan, hot-spring bathing isn’t just a favourite pastime – it’s a national obsession. Straddling two bucking tectonic plates on the Pacific’s infamous ‘Ring of Fire’, Japan is extremely volcanically active – and this proliferation of geological activity has one very fortunate side-effect: hot springs. There are thousands of hot springs (onsen) in Japan, and […]

3 little-known places to visit in Burma

3 little-known places to visit in Burma

It’s no secret these days that Burma is one of the friendliest and most unspoilt of all the countries in Southeast Asia. The plains of Bagan have become one of the most recognisable images in travel, and the charms of Shwedagon Pagoda and Inle Lake are well-known to adventurous travellers. But though tourists have cottoned […]

5 amazing boating experiences in Burma

5 amazing boating experiences in Burma

It’s not difficult to find incredible destinations in Myanmar; the hard part, in a country where the public transport network is still in its infancy, is getting to them. But there is a way to get to those untouched places that aren’t yet accessible by road or rail, and it just so happens that it’s […]

5 great hiking destinations in Burma

5 great hiking destinations in Burma

Shut off from the world for decades and untouched by mass tourism, Burma is one of the most unspoilt and wild of all the countries in continental Asia. Though the country has been open to tourism now for several years, there are so many regions that are yet to be explored – so many new […]

5 reasons to travel to Burma in the green season

5 reasons to travel to Burma in the green season

Burma’s rainy season (or ‘green season’, as we prefer to call it) is often treated as a time to avoid, but there are plenty of reasons to consider off-peak travel to Southeast Asia. In Burma, the green season runs from May until October, and conditions can vary quite considerably depending on where and when you […]

6 beautiful places to see Autumn leaves in Japan

6 beautiful places to see Autumn leaves in Japan

Japan is world-famous for its cherry blossom, making spring by far the most popular time for tourists. But did you know that autumn has its own natural displays that are just as spectacular – if not more so? Just as hanami (flower-viewing) is integral to the Japanese enjoyment of cherry blossom, koyo, or momiji (leaf-viewing) […]

Top 5 places to learn about war history in Indochina

Top 5 places to learn about war history in Indochina

Known to the Vietnamese as the American War, to Americans as the Vietnam War, and to scholars as the Second Indochina War – the American-Vietnamese conflict that took place between 1955 until 1975 brought Vietnam to the forefront of the world’s attention. What most people don’t realise is that the conflict had an equally devastating […]

Beyond Angkor: 6 hidden temples to visit in Cambodia

Beyond Angkor: 6 hidden temples to visit in Cambodia

Cambodia is justly famous for its national icon: the magnificent Angkor Wat. This vast 12th century temple is preserved in a remarkable state of repair, contains miles of intricate bas-reliefs, and was constructed using a volume of stone greater than the Great Pyramid of Giza. It represents the pinnacle of Khmer culture and artistry, evoking […]

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