Stumbling Upon an Off-the-Beaten-Path Fish Market in Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Wholesale Fish Market may be the area’s claim to fame, however, local haunts hidden off-the-beaten path offer a more intimate look at local life. Wandering away from the busy water’s edge and sprawling wholesale market, I come across a large white building framed by a red awning. A stream of people enters and exits through a large open door. No signs mark the otherwise inconspicuous façade. Stepping into the building and down a flight of stairs, I find myself emerging into a dark, windowless interior. Within, a cramped space lit by fluorescent bulbs hosts a bustling fish market.
Continue reading “Below the Surface”
Soaking up Luang Prabang’s rich mix of traditional and colonial architecture.
When I close my eyes and think of Luang Prabang, Laos, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. The small, quiet city is located on a peninsula that is nestled between the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers and cradled by lush mountain ranges — with the sacred Mount Phou Si rising up from the city’s centre.
Continue reading “Caramel and Gold”
Thailand’s “long neck villages” are more than a contentious tourist trap, but also a home and means of income for Kayan refugees.
Visiting the Kayan Hill Tribe in the Mae Hong Son province, Thailand, is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in the area. It is also one of the most controversial.
Continue reading “Ethical Travel: Should You Visit the Kayan Hill Tribe in Northern Thailand?”
On Sundays, thousands of women flock together in Hong Kong’s Central district to create a community during their day of rest.
What strikes me most about Hong Kong is its population. Life in this city is like a layered cake, with shops, restaurants and living spaces crammed on top of each other in towering skyscrapers. Space is a rare commodity, with the average apartment being large enough to hold a sleeping space, hot plate and a bathroom that marries the square footage reserved for a toilet and shower.
Continue reading “Domestic Workers in Hong Kong Make the City’s Streets Their Own”
A local organization is fighting for one of the ocean’s very precious creatures.
Bali’s beaches are, in a word, beautiful. Stretches of white sand hug gently rolling waves where children splash playfully. Colourful boats bob amicably as the tide gently rolls in and out. Closely bordering the beach are restaurants and hotels packed shoulder-to-shoulder as far as the eye can see. Every so often, the sands peppered with beach towels and recliners are broken up by a circle of posts surrounded with blue plastic cordoning off a portion of the beach.
These informal blockades are protecting a very important part of Bali’s ecosystem — its sea turtles.
Continue reading “Saving Bali’s Sea Turtles”
Our brief journey through Sa Pa was but a taste of what I one day hope will be a full experience. While my husband, Alejandro, and I only wandered through the area for slightly less than 48-hours, the peaceful valley that feels so remote from Vietnam’s other popular destinations will remain etched in our imaginations.
Continue reading “Faces of Sa Pa”
A trek through the mountains leads to learning about local life.
By the time my husband, Alejandro, and I woke up from our early morning nap — after taking the overnight train from Hanoi to Sa Pa — it was late afternoon and we didn’t have enough time to experience any of the local tours that would take us through the valley.
Continue reading “Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part II”
An overnight train’s last stop is the first look at Lào Cai Province’s glorious mountain range.
I woke up to the sound of knocking. Fumbling for my glasses, I struggle to sit-up in the already too low bed. It is still dark, but a small woman has slid open the train’s cabin door and seems to be asking a question.
My mind is lingering in the space between dreams and reality and I am not fully grasping the situation. It dawns on me slowly. We must be almost there. The woman is looking around the cabin expectantly, repeating question. What was it?
Continue reading “Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part I”
Feeling at home while roaming the capital city’s streets.
If I was told I had to pack-up my Canadian life and move to Hanoi tomorrow, I wouldn’t even bother to fold my clothes. Rather, they’d be shoved unceremoniously into the closest suitcase on-hand. Continue reading “Streetscapes: Hanoi”
Not all who wander are lost; but losing your way in this city may just be one of the best experiences.
Music pounded through the streets, shaking the restaurants stockpiled in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It was dark when my fiancé and I arrived to the city, and the night was already alive. Revellers drank in nearby bars, spilling out onto the streets and restaurant employees smiled with beguiling faces while enthusiastically waving menus in our direction.
Continue reading “Get Lost in Hanoi”