Binakol na manok

On our last night in San Dionisio, Jeoffrey wanted to treat us to a special local dish. He confided that he’d cooked it the week before just to ensure it would turn out ok. The dish was binakol na manok…

Dinagyang!

After three nights at Jeoffrey’s place in San Dionisio, we returned to Iloilo City for the big Dinagyang Festival’s dance and drumming competition on January 23rd. As I understand it, the festival is held to honor a statue of Santo…

Could someone explain this to me?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who saw a hot dog and hamburger taped to his head? (Hint: it’s his ear!) Photo by REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah File this under “captions that do not do their photograph justice”: An opposition…

Sweet sidecar, Pinoy

We spent two nights in Iloilo City during the Dinagyang Festival to be as close to the action as possible, but for our last two days in the Philippines—not to mention our last two days with Jeoffrey and Fatima—they booked…

Ok, where next?

When we were planning the trip (without really planning it), we had no clue when (or if) we’d get to Vietnam, but as it was high on our list and required procuring a visa before leaving the US, we opted…

Where not next

Handy map from the BBC on where not to go next: Source: The losing battle against Somali piracy Guess we’re not taking a boat from Mumbai to Nairobi…

Cuddly Communism

When I think of Vietnam, my first thoughts tend toward the Vietnam War (which I’ve taken a liking to calling the “American War” as they do locally), and not that they are one of the few remaining communist states. This…

Highbrow hawker

On our travels, I’ve gotten used to people trying to sell me all manner of things I usually don’t want: transport, massage, tickets, tours, dinner, cold drinks, cigarettes, lighters, marijuana, jewelry, Chinese fans, t-shirts, crafts, sunglasses, belts… But I have…

Green orange

Holy Freakonomics, Batman! Oranges in Vietnam are green. Wikipedia says: In tropical regions with no winter at all, citrus fruits remain green until maturity, hence the tropical “green oranges”. But wait. If oranges are green, what does that make orange?

Vietnamese cooking

I believe I implied, but didn’t say, that our cooking class in Bali was a revelation. Every meal from that point on made more sense and choosing from menus became less scattershot. Knowing classes like that existed gave me a…

Getting to the Mekong Delta

I mentioned that we spent nearly two weeks in Ho Chi Minh City trying to figure out where next, but I didn’t really get into how we came up with the itinerary that resulted. I wanted to take a train…

Squatting market

At 6am the next morning we met the congenial owner of our Can Tho homestay, Hung, for a tour of his local market. It was a completely voluntary excursion, and not surprisingly, some people opted for an extra hour of…

Floating market

The big reason that tours of the Mekong Delta exist are the Can Tho floating markets. As I understand it, in the days before bridges across the delta’s tributaries (and distributaries), people with produce from upstream and people from villages…

Thinking back on Cambodia

Of all the places we’ve been and will go on this trip, Cambodia is the only country that I’ve traveled to previously. In fact I visited twice, both times for work, first in January 2003, and then again in May.…

Cambodian cooking

Arriving in Phnom Penh felt like a homecoming. Sure it had been 8 years. Sure I’ve been to many places since then. Sure a lot has changed. Yet it felt familiar: warm, dry, dusty heat, and happy, charming people. Usually…

On the roof of the boat to Siem Reap

We sat on the roof of the boat to Siem Reap, Cambodia The Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia We were towed through the channel to the port of Siem Reap

My photo smiling back at me

So I’m flipping through The Siem Reap Angkor Visitors Guide, (36th edition: Dec 2010 to Mar 2011), and exactly halfway through the magazine, there’s an ad for MekongBank. Half the ad is an image of one of the many smiling…