Southeast Asia

SOUTHEAST ASIA

You Can’t “Do” A Place

When I was 18 and visiting Melaka, I met a fellow traveller in his thirties who was adamant that he wanted to “do” the city. Visiting overnight from Kuala Lumpur, he wanted a brief taste of the south Malaysian city so that he could tick it off his list. Melaka is a small city to be sure, with a blend of Portuguese colonial architecture, a Dutch square, and crumbling Chinese shop fronts that stand side by side along the river. However, we had only spent an hour exploring the back streets and the [...]

By | February 15th, 2018|Categories: travel inspiration|Tags: |0 Comments

Why I Chose Travelling Alone at 18

During my last year of high school, I spent too many hours neglecting my studies to plan my gap year travel. At the time, my high school boyfriend was supposed to join me for a few months around Southeast Asia. We even bought our first flight from Adelaide to Bali together. However, even before we broke up, I became more enamoured with the idea of travelling alone at 18. So when I broke up with him, to my parents’ alarm, I refunded his ticket and kept mine. I had no semblance of street [...]

By | January 4th, 2018|Categories: travel inspiration|Tags: , |17 Comments

Don’t Go To Ha Long Bay: A Lesson in Unsustainable Tourism

If you think of Vietnam, one of the first images that you will likely picture is Ha Long Bay. Jagged karst peaks ascending from azure waters, with passenger boats slowly chugging around the otherworldly landscape. Locals in their conical hats rowing past in boats teeming with mounds of bananas and rambutans. Morning mist that slowly sweeps away with the sun to reveal hidden coves and labyrinthine waterways. This is what tourism agencies will try to sell to you as the experience of Ha Long Bay. It’s not like this. I visited Vietnam as [...]

By | December 26th, 2017|Categories: ethical travel|Tags: , |21 Comments

5 Times I Was Genuinely Terrified While Travelling

I know that I’ve written a lot about how the media portrays certain regions of the world, like South America, in a negative light, and how inaccurate this is. I like to write about how the world is accessible and full of life lessons for the solo traveller, and that most places are no more dangerous than your hometown. I don’t want to suggest that travelling is mostly dangerous or that bad things will happen to you if you venture outside of your country. However, there have been several times when I was [...]

By | August 4th, 2017|Categories: mental health|Tags: , , |15 Comments

Acknowledging My White Privilege in Southeast Asia

I’m considered exceptionally beautiful in Southeast Asia. Multiple local men stare at me as I walk down the street, and I have been propositioned by men several years older than I. My Thai cooking teacher referred to me as a “supermodel”, because I have the long legs that Thai women do not. I don’t attract this attention at anywhere near the same level at home in Australia. I get it in Southeast Asia because I am white. This is a characteristic of my white privilege; I am the beauty ideal because of my skin [...]

By | July 11th, 2017|Categories: ethical travel|Tags: , , |24 Comments

Why I Never Want to Go Back to Bali

My knee dislocated for the second time while I was staying in Pemuteran, on the north coast of Bali, Indonesia. I was staying alone in a small, family run guesthouse, and my phone was on the opposite side of the room. I had to scream for five minutes at the top of my lungs before the guesthouse owner came running in. He took one look at my leg, gnarled and at a strange angle, with the knee cap protruding off to one side, and went running back out again to retrieve the local [...]

By | June 16th, 2017|Categories: ethical travel|Tags: , , |6 Comments
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