Plain of History Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars, Laos

It’s only 260 km from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan but even the “fast” minivan takes a good six hours for the journey. If you only get a little bit motion sick, be prepared to get badly motion sick here. The road has approximately 1000 bends. At least. The Plain of Jars Phonsavan is on a…

Across the Bamboo Bridge Luang Prabang, Laos

Back in Southeast Asia. I expected the door of Luang Prabang airport to open and there to be dozens of taxi drivers waiting to make some good money with the newly arrived tourists. The doors of the airport did open but there were no taxi drivers. Maybe on the main road, we thought and started…

Lion City Singapore

It was a very long day traveling from New Zealand via Australia to Singapore and we arrived in the big Asian city tired and hungry. After a big bowl of delicious noodle soup we went straight to bed to be ready to explore the city the next day. We had been to Singapore once before…

One Lane Bridge From Cape Reinga to Bluff: Driving in New Zealand

There are so many bends in the New Zealand’s roads, that the roads are much, much longer than they seems on the map. So many bends, that you forget how it is to drive on a straight road. That’s exaggerating things a little but I guess you get my point. It means: plan much more…

A Rare Sight Mt Cook / Aoraki, South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt Cook / Aoraki, is usually hidden in clouds. Everyone, including the Lonely Planet, told us not to get our hopes up and be prepared for clouds. Driving to Mt Cook Practically since the day we arrived on the South Island, we observed the weather forecast for Mt Cook and it…

Beaches, Lookouts, and (no) Albatrosses Otago Peninsula, South Island, New Zealand

The rugged, steep Otago Peninsula is one of the only few peninsulas on the South Island’s east coast. Although right in front of the city of Dunedin and easily accessible, the peninsula – probably due to its hilly terrain – is only lightly populated. Driving is on narrow roads, along steep hills, and around impossibly…

Waterfalls and Paua Shells The Catlins, South Island, New Zealand

Not too many travelers go further south than Te Anau and Milford Sound. Those who do, however, and travel between Invercargill and Dunedin, have the possibility to take the scenic route through the Catlins and are rewarded with amazing beaches, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful scenery. And lots of gravel roads, yes, that too. The southernmost…

The Icing on the (Carrot) Cake Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand

Another must-do in New Zealand, apart from a visit to a glow worm cave, (and to the west coast), is a cruise on Milford Sound. Getting to Milford Sound Although Milford Sound is the most accessible sound in the South Island’s Fiordlands,  it’s still a long way from anywhere. The drive from the closest town,…

The Glacier or What’s Left of It Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Matheson, Haast Pass. South Island, New Zealand

Franz Josef glacier on the South Island’s west coast is about 12 km long. Once, it reached the Tasman sea; today, it finishes about 19 km from the ocean. Franz Josef Glacier It’s more than 10’000 years ago that the glacier reached the ocean. It’s not so long ago however, when the viewing point, that…

Go West Coast Wharariki Beach, Westport, Punakaiki. South Island, New Zealand

After crossing to the South Island by ferry – a wonderful journey across the Cook Strait and through Queen Charlotte Sound – we drove along the South Island’s north coast all the way to the beginning of the Farewell Spit at the northern end of Golden Bay. Wharariki Beach The spit can only be visited…

Hiker’s Highway Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand is a hiker’s paradise. With hikes from five minutes to five (or more) days, there’s something for everybody. One of the most well-known day hikes is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, an almost 20km hike across volcanic terrain.  It’s so popular, that in summer up to 1000 people a day walk the track. If…

Pools of Mud and Champagne Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand

Rotorua is also known as “Rotten-rua” because of the smell of rotten eggs that hangs over the city. It’s not that there’d be too many chickens and people couldn’t eat all the eggs fast enough, it’s because Rotorua lies in New Zealand’s most active thermal area and it’s the smell of sulfur rising from the…