Bali monkey forest featured image

Ubud Monkey Forest if monkeys scare you

When you think of baby monkeys, what comes to mind? Cute doe-eyed critters munching on bananas? Maybe tiny little mongrels hanging onto their tree-swinging moms for dear life? That’s what the Ubud Monkey Forest promises.   Now, I am terrified of monkeys. I don’t have my rabies vaccine (if any Americans know how to get […]

Sunrise over Mount Bromo

Bromo and Ijen Without a Tour

Mount Bromo and the Ijen crater are two of Java’s biggest highlights. Both feature beautiful sunrise viewpoints and good hiking. But they’re out on a limb on the eastern part of the island — well away most travel itineraries. Travel agencies throughout Java will try to convince you that they’re only possible to visit on […]

Sunrise at Borobudur

Borobudur sunrise: What you need to know

Borobudur Temple in Indonesia is one of Southeast Asia’s can’t-miss sights. It’s right up there with Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Myanmar. The stunning hilltop stupa is best viewed early in the morning, when the crowds are thin and the light is perfect. But a Borobudur sunrise ticket costs $10 more than regular […]

Southeast Asia Packing List for women

So you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia. Awesome — you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime! This fascinating region is among the easiest in the world to travel, while still offering a diversity of culture and outdoor activities. So how do you pack for all that? In this post, I’ll walk you […]

Chiang Mai: Kitschy tourist fun

I really thought that after my difficult, hot, mosquito-y trek in Laos, I was done with nature on this trip. But somehow, I found myself on yet another jungle trip in Chiang Mai.   Managing expectations   Chiang Mai is popular with travelers for offering easy, accessible “adventure tours” for very little money. The tour […]

Sukothai: The original Thailand

Sukothai was the first empire to have a true Thai identity in any semblance of the modern concept of “Thai-ness.” The ruined temples have a remarkable sense of place, with enormous ancient Buddhas staring down at tiny tourists.   The five sections   Sukothai is an enormous site, and visiting the whole thing would be […]

Khorat: Off the beaten path Thailand

Khorat: The capital of Isan   Nakhon Ratchatisma, a.k.a. Khorat, is Thailand’s second-largest city, and the capital of the Isan region.   Its proximity to numerous Khmer-era monuments makes it an important base for anyone trying to explore the region.   Isan — the far east of Thailand, near the Lao border — is very […]