Phong Nha-Ke Bàng, Vietnam

We were on the train to Đồng Hới when I first read about the tigers. I secretly thought I could outwit the snakes. But with tigers, I wasn’t so sure. We had caught the train from Huế to go to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, an area in central Vietnam which borders Laos. The national park is home to the world’s largest cave (a five-day … Continue reading Phong Nha-Ke Bàng, Vietnam

Huế and the Hải Vân Pass, Vietnam

The 2008 Christmas Special of Top Gear, irritating as the programme may be, had drawn our attention to a winding mountain road called the Hải Vân Pass. The mountain pass was superseded by a tunnel a few years ago, meaning the route is quiet, and ideal for scenic mountain road driving. Due to various Vietnamese laws which I won’t pretend to understand, we weren’t allowed … Continue reading Huế and the Hải Vân Pass, Vietnam

Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

Skopje isn’t a city that attracts many tourists. Many Eastern European cities are busy with stag dos, couples on city breaks and backpackers, but Skopje seems to get overlooked. So, my friend Dave and I headed off in early Spring to find out more about the city. By late March, the temperature starts to climb in Macedonia. We had chosen Skopje with a vague itinerary … Continue reading Skopje, Macedonia (FYROM)

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Europe’s oldest inhabited city, Plovdiv has been ruled by many and invaded by many more. Revival Bulgarian houses sit alongside stark soviet concrete buildings. Modern roads follow the alleyways of an old Ottoman bazaar. Europe’s longest pedestrianised street is interrupted only by a cavernous Roman stadium. And it’s also a pretty affordable place to visit, so what better place to take Nicola for her birthday? … Continue reading Plovdiv, Bulgaria