Southeast Asia: A Beginner’s Guide

southeast asia travel

“I haven't traveled much. Where should I go?”

Well that all depends. There are so many considerations: time, budget, interests, comfort level, experience. But if you are just getting started with the travel thing, you can't do much better than Southeast Asia.

Mainland Southeast Asia – including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore – offers some of the safest and friendliest semi-exotic travel around for people of all budgets and ages. For new and seasoned travelers alike, this region offers heaps of cultural and visual stimuli, a developed tourist infrastructure, endless activities, safety, and incredible food. And best of all, it's relatively cheap.

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Avoiding Theft at Airport Security

Arrival in Quito, Ecuador

Arrival in Quito, Ecuador
Being careful everywhere, including airports.

As we prepare for our departure to Guatemala and secure the various latches on our gear, I'm reminded of being robbed by airport security employees in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport last year. Fortunately, miraculously – and somewhat shadily – I was reimbursed.

A recent comment from a woman who had money stolen at airport security in Toronto, Canada served as a reality check that this sort of thing can happen anywhere.

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Visiting Burma: How To Do It Responsibly

While reading Nicholas Kristof’s opinion piece on Burma (Myanmar) last month I was consumed by a rush of memories – conversations and images from of our month-long visit there last year. My comment on his article shares my views regarding the effectiveness of international sanctions in changing the behaviors of the military government (junta). I also address whether or not travel to Burma helps or hurts ordinary people.

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Burma’s Golden Kite

The Golden Kite of Burma (Myanmar): the trail connecting Rangoon (Yangon), Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake. These four locations form a common itinerary for visits to the country. Their golden stupas, fields of ancient Buddhist pagodas, floating villages, and royal palaces tell a story of place caught between its modern-day struggles and an underlying narrative of a bygone era.

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