The Best Bread in Bangkok, And, Perhaps, The World

THERE ARE TWO REASONS we decided to return to Bangkok. One is that flying out of Siem Reap is unavoidably expensive; the other was bread. But not just “bread” in the generic; rather, a very particular bread, a paragon role model—really, the Platonic form of bread—baked at a mystery bakery just off the Wang Lang Pier, across the main river from the infamously filthy tourist … Continue reading The Best Bread in Bangkok, And, Perhaps, The World

“Tourism is a Factory Without Smoke,” And Other Lessons Learned From Our Cambodian Cooking Class

FOR ANY NUMBER OF REASONS, Ch’ngainh! Ch’ngainh! is the least popular cooking class in Battambang, Cambodia. One probable reason is that the name is basically unpronounceable. Another might be that it’s only two-years-old, and competing with local restaurants Smoking Pot and Nari’s Kitchen, which have years’ more reputation behind them. That they have much catching up to do explains the earnest hospitality at Ch’ngainh, which … Continue reading “Tourism is a Factory Without Smoke,” And Other Lessons Learned From Our Cambodian Cooking Class

Photo Essay: Diving Into The Killing Fields

I HAVE NO CLAIM, personal or professional, to Cambodian history, politics or culture. I’d been in the country for fewer than 24 hours when we visited the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison Museum; the extent of my knowledge re: Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot was having watched The Killing Fields in a journalism class a few years back. That may render this photo essay … Continue reading Photo Essay: Diving Into The Killing Fields

Cambodians Make Travel So Easy it’s Creepy

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMON SENSE, and any money at all, Cambodia is a remarkably easy country to travel through. This is not because the roads are smooth (they’re not) or the touts polite (they’re obnoxious). It is, as it often is, the people who are making our lives easier, albeit for a price, further albeit for a small one. Horror stories upheld by statistics … Continue reading Cambodians Make Travel So Easy it’s Creepy

Photo Food Essay: Robyn’s George Town

I AM NOT SPECIFICALLY a food blogger, but Robyn Eckhardt is. A friend I trust in all matters of Asian cuisine—we’ll call him Eldma—pointed me in the direction of Ms. Eckhardt’s blog, Eating Asia, which she has been running with her photographer-husband for enough years to make any journo jealous. They’re quite good at what they do, and so when V and I decided to … Continue reading Photo Food Essay: Robyn’s George Town

Stories Left Behind in Borneo

FROM BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN TO KUCHING, crossing all of Sarawak and most of Brunei, was more an experiment in bus patience than intense jungle adventure. V and I are not wild rainforest trekkers (can I use “jungle” and “rainforest” interchangeably like that?), though we did venture out into the bush once in Miri, which was itself an unforgettable story I’m still trying to write in … Continue reading Stories Left Behind in Borneo

The Food of Kuching, Malaysia

TRAVELLING MALAYSIA is travelling to eat. Doesn’t matter if you’re into greasy Chinese, buttery Indian, carby Western or spicy indigenous stuff, one of the reasons to visit Malaysia is the beautiful flavourfulness of it all. George Town, Penang— which will perhaps always rank highly in my Top Cities Of The World list—was my first and best introduction to the country’s many dishes (it’s worth giving a shout-out to the … Continue reading The Food of Kuching, Malaysia

10 Fun Facts About the Sultan of Brunei

THE SULTAN OF BRUNEI is a mythical sort of guy, inescapable and aloof, both everywhere and nowhere in his country. His portrait hangs in every restaurant, his photo often in the newspaper, his face on at least one TV station at any given time. But public appearances are rare, and his notoriously expensive palace (pictured below) is visible only sort of from a single park. … Continue reading 10 Fun Facts About the Sultan of Brunei