Viva Indonesia: A brush with death – Nusa Penida

I found my feet off the ground, I was floating. Five seconds before, I was talking with some ladies on the beach. I tried to get back to the shore, but the waves kept coming. They were the most giant waves I had seen in my life. The more I tried to fight the waves… Continue reading Viva Indonesia: A brush with death – Nusa Penida

Viva Indonesia: Companions – Kintamani, Bali

Only one “hello” can bring solo travellers great companions and even friendships. Since my first solo trip in Japan, I have fortunately met numerous people who offer great companies and friendships. Some of them have stayed dear friends ever since. This one more time occurred to me in Bali. I chanced upon Lorella at a… Continue reading Viva Indonesia: Companions – Kintamani, Bali

Viva Indonesia: Rise and shine in Bromo

My knees were shaking, my shoulders shivering. The morning winds kept blowing. I kept breathing in and out rhythmically to stay as warm as I could. I had put every piece of warm clothes I had on but that was not enough. By “warm clothes”, I meant one waterproof jacket, one long sleeve shirt, one… Continue reading Viva Indonesia: Rise and shine in Bromo

Viva Indonesia: Chasing the sun in Yogyakarta

“Are you the couchsurfer from Vietnam staying with Bila?” “Yes I am.” “When are you leaving?” “Tomorrow night”. “Have you been to the beach yet? Or any sunsire? If you want, I can take you to a place to enjoy sunrise”. How could I say no to such a lovely girl like Jannah, who lived… Continue reading Viva Indonesia: Chasing the sun in Yogyakarta

Unexpected adventure in Bach Ma National Park

Being big on nature, I always look out for nice treks in the wild whenever I travel. Returning to Huế for the second time, I had a gut feeling about where I would be going, but was still amazed by the natural gems awaiting in Bạch Mã National Park. Located in a mountainous area on the border between the former North… Continue reading Unexpected adventure in Bach Ma National Park

Khmer Pagodas in Soc Trang Province


Wherever there are Khmer people, there are pagodas. Sóc Trăng Province in the Mekong Delta of Việt Nam is such localities, home to 99 Khmer pagodas with different sizes and splendid architectural styles. I was fortunate to be accompanied by my local host, Thảo, who has a strong interest in the culture, to do a… Continue reading Khmer Pagodas in Soc Trang Province

Rice is twice as nice in a cake

Phan Thị Kim Ngân has been working diligently for more than 40 years to preserve the tradition of making southern rice cakes. It was early afternoon when many people take a nap but in the rustic homes of Phan Thị Kim Ngân in Sơn Islet (Cần Thơ City) the place was abuzz with activity. There… Continue reading Rice is twice as nice in a cake

A bit of Taiwan’s hiking trails

I was probably the youngest on the bus. Around me were local seniors in their late 50s and above. But we all headed to one place: mountains. Taiwan might be thought as a country filled mostly with electronic factories, but in fact, as much as 70% of the island’s landmass is occupied by mountains and… Continue reading A bit of Taiwan’s hiking trails

A hidden gem in Alishan

After a short ride offered by a local, we stood in front of an open ground, feeling a bit puzzled. “Are you sure this is the place? Does it exist?”, asked my friend. “I am clueless but Google said yes. Let’s go to the back”, I said. We went to the backyard, still looking. Then,… Continue reading A hidden gem in Alishan

Non-profit project brings travellers to Taiwanese classrooms

With butterflies in my stomach, I followed Taiwanese teachers to their classrooms where dozens of curious yet excited faces were waiting for me. I then delivered my presentation about Vietnam and myself with unexpectedly great support and engagement of local students and teachers. It is the project “Couchsurfers in Class”, which allowed me to visit… Continue reading Non-profit project brings travellers to Taiwanese classrooms