Australia

Exploring Rottnest Island

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Rottnest Island lies 11 miles west off the coast of Fremantle, in Western Australia. The island is home to the quokka, a unique marsupial that lives only on Rottnest Island, and is found nowhere else on earth. The island is mostly pedestrianised and without motorised vehicles, making for very laid-back cycling and walking tours. One […]

Kanchanaburi

Erawan Falls

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Erawan Falls is a national park in Thailand, lying north-west of the town of Kanchanaburi and close to the mountains of Myanmar. It’s a beautiful rainforest setting, where a series of sparkling green pools cascade into each other amidst rampant tropical vegetation. Visiting the Falls you get to clamber around exposed tree roots, low-hanging vines […]

Australia

Western Australia: Cape Le Grand National Park

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My article on Western Australia has been published by the travel magazine Go Mad Nomad. Western Australia covers one third of the landmass of Australia, and if the state was an independent country, it would be the tenth largest in the world. The state of WA is sparsely populated and, apart from the capital city […]

Angkor

The temples of Angkor

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The ancient temples of Angkor are the remains of the Khmer civilisation, an empire that stretched from the heart of Cambodia, across Thailand to the edge of Myanmar, to southern Vietnam in the east and Laos in the north. The ancient Khmers built their capital at Angkor, which is the largest temple complex anywhere in […]

Asia

Arriving in Hanoi: traffic and temples

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After three weeks travelling through Thailand, we flew from Bangkok to Hanoi. I’m quite behind on the blog as we’ve been so busy exploring. We used Hanoi as a base for getting around the north of the country, as the capital has good connections to the surrounding rural regions. We’ve been back to the city […]

Asia

Ang Thong National Marine Park

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One of the sights I’ve been most looking forward to seeing in Thailand is Ang Thong National Marine Park. The National Park incorporates a vast number of small islands in the Gulf of Thailand. These forested, rocky islands are surrounded by a smooth azure ocean, and have outstanding white sand beaches. The islands of Ang […]

Asia

Temple in Taling Ngam

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I’m currently staying on the island of Ko Samui. We’re on the quiet side of the island, in a small fishing village called Taling Ngam. The village has a beautiful temple called Wat Kiri Wongkaram. It’s a Buddhist temple, and is incredibly brightly coloured and well-maintained. It’s kept in immaculate condition, with even the sandy […]

Asia

Surat Thani

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I caught the bus from northern Phuket to Surat Thani, a town near the Gulf coast. I stayed a night there to break up the journey from Phuket to Ko Samui. Most visitors don’t stay in the city and just go straight through, but I’m glad I got to spend a bit of time in […]

Asia

Nai Yang, Phuket

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It’s Day One of my five month trip backpacking through South East Asia and Australia. We flew into Phuket very early in the morning (4.30am) and I’m now at Nai Yang beach. It’s the rainy season here on the Andaman coast at the moment so our visit to Phuket will be brief this time, but […]

Asia

Exploring temples in Jaipur’s Old City

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The Old City in Jaipur is a great place to explore. Not only are there major sights here such as the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), but there are lots of small temples, which you can wander into. These can be more fun than the major sights as there […]

Croatia

Plitvice Lakes: the Upper Lakes

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In early October I visited Croatia. I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for several years, so was excited to land in Zadar, a coastal city with classical ruins and buildings made of white stone. After exploring Zadar we travelled inland by bus, across beautiful misty mountains and moor. The climate and scenery changed, as we […]

India

Things to do in Mumbai

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The world’s third largest city, with a population of over 17 million, Mumbai is also home to the Bollywood film industry. Capital of the state of Maharashtra and the financial powerhouse of India’s economy, Mumbai is a trilingual city with Marathi, Hindi and English as official languages. Mumbai is a peninsula city that has expanded […]

Cambridge

Robinson College

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Robinson College is the youngest college in Cambridge. It was founded in 1979. Robinson College was created after a £17 million gift was made to the University of Cambridge by Sir David Robinson, a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, for the purpose of founding a new college in Cambridge. Constructed entirely of distinctive red brick, Robinson […]

Cambridge

Clare College

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Founded in 1326, Clare College is the second oldest college in Cambridge. Clare College has perhaps the best location of all the Cambridge colleges: a site that spans both sides of the river, and is right in the city centre, off the pedestrianised and picturesque Trinity Lane. Set in the heart of the old University […]

Spain

Cordoba

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We arrived in Cordoba by train. It was 34 degrees when we arrived so not as hot as Seville. The train had been spacious, clean and air-conditioned, and heading for Malaga. We were impressed as it was much nicer than British trains. We caught a bus from the train station and after a quick journey […]

Spain

Seville

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Seville was stop one on my tour of Andalucia, the southernmost region of Spain. We flew from Stansted, over the Pyrenees mountains, laced with snow. Further south the land became brown and dry, despite the presence of rivers and large lakes. There were fields and fields of orange trees, planted in orderly rows. Near Seville […]

Kenya

Wasini Island

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I took a trip to Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park, a protected wildlife area that covers part of the sea on the far south of Kenya’s coast, close to the border with Tanzania. It is one of the most beautiful places I have been to, and was so good that I went twice, making the trips […]

India

Benaulim beach

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We hung out at Blue Corner, a restaurant on the beach with sun loungers out at the front.  You could stay there all day, resting on the sun loungers, going for a walk or a swim, and eating in the restaurant when you get hungry.  The seafood in Benaulim is very good.  The sun loungers […]

India

Benaulim, Goa (2)

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A walk in Goa We stay in a guesthouse tucked away in the forest, just outside Benaulim. We take this path through the forest, passing giant banyan trees. We walk towards the centre of Benaulim village. We take a side road through the fields, and pass these holiday homes with beautiful gardens.  The abundance of […]

India

Agra

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The day after visiting the Taj Mahal we go to Agra Fort, a vast red castle strategically located on a meander of the Yamuna river.  It is built of red sandstone and dates from the 16th century.  Within its broad, high walls are several self-contained palaces, and mosques.  You can see the Taj Mahal across […]

India

Taj Mahal

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The road to Agra We travel by bus from Jaipur to Agra.  All the guide books and travel advice blogs I have read recommend train travel well above buses, but I cannot understand why.  Trains have to be booked in advance, and even then it is quite common for there not to be any tickets […]

India

Jaipur

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My brother and his girlfriend came out to visit me during my stay in India, and for the past two weeks we have been travelling within India.  Our first stop was in Jaipur, Rajasthan. We arrived in the evening, having flown from Mumbai.  It was 35˚C in Jaipur after 7pm when we landed.  From the […]

Kenya

Return to Kitengela

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My last day in Kenya.  Strangely I feel a bit sick and nervous just like I did before I came here.  It’s because the whole world is about to change for me… in the next 24 hours… and Nothing will be the same. I am also looking forward to it, to getting home and seeing […]

Kenya

Jamhuri Day in Mombasa

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Today is Jamhuri Day, Independence day in Kenya.  All the shops are closed, apart from the large supermarkets.  Yesterday I walked to Fort Jesus and sat on the harbour wall looking out to sea.  There are old, rusting canons strewn about everywhere around the Fort, even some laying on the small, rocky beach.  And lots […]

Kenya

Moving on from Diani

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Last week I spent my remaining time on Diani swimming in the sea, reading (Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace – incredible book!) and eating.  In my delight at having a kitchen I cooked three large, warm meals per day, and put on lots of weight, reclaiming all the pounds I had lost during the previous […]

Kenya

Tsavo East Safari and Wasini Island

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So much has happened in the past few days.  The first thing is the weather has changed and is now so extremely hot that it’s worthy of comment.  It began on Sunday afternoon, and through Monday it was almost unbearable.  It probably sounds like a lot of fun to you who are stuck in winter-gripped […]

Kenya

Kitengela to Diani

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Four days ago I left Kitengela behind me, and set off alone into the big wide world.  I took the matatu to Nairobi, but having caught it halfway along the road in Kitengela I didn’t realise it wasn’t from the matatu stand in town, but had come on a different route.  This route ended up […]

Kenya

Kitengela Diary

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Last Sunday two things happened: there was a nationwide power cut across Kenya, and the rains finally arrived in (and flooded) Kitengela.  The internet has been down since last Saturday so I am really excited that today I can blog again!  It’s 4.25pm and I have just got back from school. Last weekend was quite […]

Kenya

Kenya Journal 21-10-09

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So I have arrived in Kenya, and met my lovely host family.  I’m living in Kitengela, a small, rapidly growing town about 30km (19 miles) south of Nairobi. Today was my first day at school. It was overwhelming meeting the kids as they all attached themselves to me and took me off to classrooms 1-4 […]