Taitung, Taiwan: Wherein Nearly Everything Goes Wrong (or: How I Learned to Never Stop Worrying and Love Itineraries)

ACROSS THE STREET from the Taitung County airport, in a rural patch of southeast Taiwan, sits a gift shop-slash-restaurant that is in no way discernibly Taiwanese. On its walls hang aboriginal-style handbags of primary colours, generic landscape paintings, kitschy bamboo scrolls and an inexplicable amount of Snoopy paraphernalia. My notes on the contents of this gift-shop-slash-restaurant are extensive, because I sat there for two hours, … Continue reading Taitung, Taiwan: Wherein Nearly Everything Goes Wrong (or: How I Learned to Never Stop Worrying and Love Itineraries)

The Viet-Lao Border: Wherein Our Bus Deserts Us on a Remote Mountain Range

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN Hue, Vietnam’s pre-communist capital, and Savannakhet, a sleepy Lao city by the Mekong River, is over 400 kilometres of thick tropical forest. The border checkpoint, somewhere in-between, lies truly in the middle of nowhere. Four hours got us this far, and it would be longer until Savannakhet: five hours by bus, and unimaginably longer if the bus, say, left without us. Which, … Continue reading The Viet-Lao Border: Wherein Our Bus Deserts Us on a Remote Mountain Range