Tag Archives: do it yourself

Taman Negara, Malaysia – how to do it yourself

Doing it yourself is a concept frowned upon in Malaysia, much as it is in Vietnam. Ask someone about arranging a bus trip and they’ll doubtless tell you that wherever you’re heading, you need to stump for a tour too. The fact is, while we’ve been spoilt with guides in the Cameron Highlands and around Siem Reap, Cambodia, the trip has been far more rewarding, and experiences much more memorable, when we’ve sorted things out ourselves. Continue reading

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The ‘speed boat’ from Battambang to Siem Reap

Gazing out across the vast expanse of Tonle Sap lake, the glittering water dotted with locals flicking fishing nets high into the sky and birds swooping merrily in our wake, I was quietly contemplating the imminent end of our eight hour schlep from Battambang to Siem Reap. The journey had been an eventful one. It was then the catfish jumped on board. This huge monster of a fish flew directly across my field of vision, soaking me and the woman in front, before writhing like mad on deck. With a nonchalant grab behind the gills, one of the crew threw him back into the expanse.

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Mekong Delta tour – how to do it yourself in Vietnam’s rice bowl

Finding a Mekong Delta tour is the least challenging thing a backpacker can do in Saigon. Operators from Sinh Tourist to Hanh Cafe offer similar variations on a theme.  A bleary-eyed 5am start on day one, visits to handicraft stores and various local industries and a whistle stop trip around a floating market. This is largely repeated on days two (and three), with the hours punctuated by hotel meals and little chance to interact with the locals that make the area tick.

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