Author: Ben Reeson

Tips for Visiting Remote Communities

Getting ‘off-the-beaten-track’ and visiting remote parts of the world can be a wonderfully eye-opening and enriching experience and this kind of tourism when run sustainably, can bring real benefits to local communities. Community based eco-tourism or CBET projects are becoming increasingly popular and can be a great way to visit remote communities whilst contributing to sustainable development programmes that benefit the area. CBET’s can help deter activities like poaching by offering locals an alternative income working in tourism, often as guides, protecting the wildlife and environment that visitors want to see. If you’re planning on visiting a remote community...

Read More

How to get from Bangkok to Hpa An via Mae Sot

to Hpa An If you are travelling to Myanmar by land from Bangkok then the most convenient border crossing to take it at Mae Sot / Myawaddy. Getting to Mae Sot from Bangkok is relatively simple however our trip was made a little more complicated as we only just arrived at Mo Chit, the northern bus station, in time to catch the VIP bus and due to our last minute arrival there were not enough seats left for us both to get a ticket. One of those ‘oh f*ck’ why didn’t we get up earlier situations! Catching the VIP...

Read More

How to get from Huay Xai to Chiang Rai

Although this guide is about how to get from Huay Xai to Chiang Rai, we start in Luang Namtha as that’s where we were staying and where many other travellers depart from on this journey. Local buses leave Luang Namtha daily at 8.30 – 9am and 12pm for the Laos border town of Huay Xai. The ticket costs 80,000 kip, depending on who you book with, and should include pick up from your hotel. We can recommend booking tickets through the Zuella Guesthouse. The journey from Luang Namtha to Huay Xai (Bokeo) takes around 3.5 to 4 hours and be...

Read More

How to Get from Sapa to Dien Bien Phu

If you’re travelling from Vietnam to Northern Laos by bus then Dien Bien Phu is a good place to stop and recharge your batteries, particularly if you are coming all the way from Sapa. You can get a sleeper bus from Sapa that arrives in Dien Bien Phu at around 5.30am – just in time to immediately catch another bus which leaves Dien Bien Phu to the Laos Border and then onwards to Muang Khua where a boat can be taken to Muang Ngoi, or even Luang Prabang. But if you have the time on your hands and want...

Read More

Vietnam and Laos land border crossing at Sop Hun / Trey Trang

Although previously less popular than other borders between the two countries, the Sop Hun / Trey Trang border is becoming more frequently used by travellers heading from North Vietnam to North Laos. The border itself is a fairly straight forward one – there’s nowhere for you to get lost or miss a step (like getting the visa!) as the process is a fairly linear one moving from one queue to the next. Exiting Vietnam shouldn’t take long (depending on how busy it is) you hand over your passport in one room, get it back, walk through to another where...

Read More

How to get from South Cambodia to Vietnam without a package deal.

Travelling from Sihanoukville / Kampot / Kep – Cambodia to Can Tho / HCMC – Vietnam without a package deal. When travelling from Sihanoukville, Kampot or even Kep to Vietnam a tour company named Kampot Tours and Travel is the usual choice to get to destinations in Vietnam. Many people opt for a simple complete package to HCMC or Can Tho however this will involve being cramped in mini buses for some time either side of the border. Kampot Tours & Travel are reasonably cheap and one of few options when travelling to the Ha Tien Vietnam border especially...

Read More

How to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap by Train & Taxi

The most popular way to get to Siem Reap from Bangkok is through the Aranyaprathet / Poi Pet border with crazy cheap private bus packages purchased mainly in and around Khao San Road. The catch is although the price is vastly cheaper than any other destination on offer, drivers cram minibuses to the brim in Bangkok and aggressively push the Cambodian visa at inflated prices. Last year, like many do, we took this option. It was during the political protests which held our minibus up by over an hour, on top of this the constant stops, visa tout and restricted...

Read More

Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. Fresh herbs and vegetables and a minimal use of oil gives Vietnamese food its own unique identity. Phở (Noodle Soup) Flavourful staple of Vietnam composed of an aromatic broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs and chicken or beef, with lime, chillies and usually fresh herbs as garnish. Phở is available from every local restaurant and street vendors throughout the country, once sampled you’ll be hooked on this healthy, cheap and tasty soup. Bánh Mì (Baguette) Like a good sandwich? Then you’ll love the Vietnamese version, the bread is light with...

Read More

Hungarian Food

Hungarian food is very meat, cheese and vegetable based, meals are always hearty and filling with many of the fantastic stews and sauces also making use of their illustrious paprika. Hungary is less known for its baked goods than neighbouring Austria, but rest assured their traditional cakes and pastries are just as good. Halászlé (Fisherman’s Soup) Bright red hot paprika spiced broth with a mix of thick cut local river fish like carp, perch and even pike, especially popular in the Danube and Tisza river regions a lot of preparation goes into this Hungarian delicacy. Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken) A...

Read More

Technology – The Best Travel Companion

Sat on a deserted island listening to music and sorting through the hundreds of photos on my phone I thought to myself just how helpful technology has been while I had been travelling. I listen to music almost every day, for this I use my 8gb MP3 player which cost under £10 from eBay, it’s AA battery powered and robust, I love it. Then there’s my iPhone which after four months of travelling has saved me on many occasions, its camera is always on hand to take endless amounts of pictures and is also comparable in quality to a cheap point...

Read More

Low Cost Camping in Amsterdam

Hotels in Amsterdam are usually overpriced, understandably so as space is limited and tourist numbers keep rising each year. Quality hostels get booked up fast leaving many regular visitors at the mercy of supply and demand prices. Luckily there’s another option and, after my fourth stay, I can confidently say they always have space (no need to book) and the prices and facilities continue to impress… Camping Zeeburg is 10 minutes’ walk to the number 7 and 14 tram line (great graffiti work under the bridge on the way) then a 20 minute tram ride to Dam square. They...

Read More

Cambodian Food

Here are just a few of our favourite Khmer dishes from Cambodia… Lok lak: Chopped bits of beef cooked lightly. Served with dipping sauce made from lime juice and Kampot black pepper, lettuce, and onion. K’tieu  or Kuytheav: Traditional pork broth-based rice noodle soup a popular breakfast dish. Served with lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, coriander, black Kampot pepper, lime juice, chopped scallions and caramelised garlic oil. Many surrounding countries have similar breakfast dishes Somlar Machou: A sour, sweet, salty and bitter soup made with pineapple, tomatoes and fish. Many variations are found across the region Bai chha: Fried rice the Khmer way....

Read More

Thai Food

Here are just a few of our favourite Thai dishes… Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles) Available in every Thai restaurant worldwide, the internationally popular Thai dish. Thin or wide rice noodles with bean sprouts, onion and egg there are many variations adding shrimp or tofu. Other common ingredients include fish sauce, palm sugar, chillies and ground peanuts on the side. Recommended to anyone visiting. Khao Pad (Fried Rice) Simple and delicious, a staple for backpackers and locals alike. Rice, egg, onions and anything else the chef feels appropriate stir fried together with your choice of meat. Commonly garnished with...

Read More

Recent Tweets

Save 10% off your first order on the BB Shop!

Sign up to our newsletter to recieve a 10% discount voucher off your first order on the Backpacker Bible shop. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!