Return to Angkor

I have few memories of Siem Reap itself from 2003. Any that might have remained were likely overwhelmed by either my experience of Angkor or the frenetic pace of development that has seized the town (thanks to the unrelenting flow…

An afternoon with Angkor Wat

We spent all afternoon on our second day with the guide at Angkor Wat—nearly until sunset. Compared to my first trip, the weather was gorgeous: rich blue skies with beautiful clouds. The expansive Angkor Wat from across the moat The…

The trees of Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm was the highlight of our third day at Angkor. Here’s where our guide’s services came in handy. We got off our tuktuk at one corner of the temple’s outer wall and started hiking along it. We walked for…

From Siem Reap to Hoi An to Hanoi

What did we do in Cambodia besides be awestruck by Angkor? We toured a silk farm. We visited the new Angkor National Museum. We got $5 foot massages. We went horseback riding in the Siem Reap countryside. We shopped for…

Learning how to save, four years later

Note: I actually wrote this back in December to post in January, but there was never a suitable gap in the travelogue to put up something non-trip-related. However, now that the dreaded tax season is upon us, I figured: better…

Why does that QR Code go to justinsomnia.org?

Back in 2007 I stumbled something called a QR Code. It was a neat two-dimensional barcode that encodes textual information visually—with URLs being a promising application for the emerging smartphone market (thanks to the release of the iPhone that year).…

Container calamity

Displaced cargo containers after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (photo by Itsuo Inouye/Associated Press) More at The Big Picture: Japan: earthquake aftermath

The making of PANAMAX

Back in May of last year I stumbled upon a blog post about Twitter’s new office. What stood out for me the most were the paintings of San Francisco’s classic 49 Mile Drive sign. (Funny, I don’t think I originally…

Ha Long Bay

We were a little nervous after we learned—a few weeks before our cruise—that a junk boat sank in Ha Long Bay (also spelled: Halong Bay) killing 12 people (11 of them foreign tourists). We’ve put a lot of things at…

Lao cooking

The first thing we do when we arrive in a new place is look for a cooking class. Laos was no exception. We came to Luang Prabang (after several dreary, unmemorable days in Hanoi, post Ha Long Bay) happy to…

What has two wheels and an umbrella?

It wasn’t until we saw the third or fourth person riding a scooter with an umbrella (on our first afternoon in Luang Prabang, Laos) that we realized it was “a thing”. It wasn’t raining—the umbrellas were simply shade from the…

Serendipitous path to Chiang Mai

Jodi Ettenberg heard about my transpacific “wifi” antics via Waxy (or was it MetaFilter?), and sent me an email last September while we were still en route. Once we’d settled back into full bandwidth life on land, I looked back…

Thai cooking, take one

At this point you might be wondering, “What is this, some kind of cooking class blog?” I won’t lie to you, the idea of attending every cooking class I can get my hands on and then reviewing them (Lonely-Planet-style) definitely…