Beginner on a bike - Lombok's stunning south coast
"If you can ride a bike you'll be absolutely fine." I was far from convinced. If it wasn't enough that I'd reached the age of 46 without ever having ridden a motorbike, on our way into Kuta in southern Lombok just a few hours earlier we'd witnessed the sombre aftermath of a fatal crash between a motorbike and a lorry. But still, we'd come to see the fabled beaches of South Lombok and a motorbike appeared to be the only feasible way to getting to see them. After a short demo and a ride with one of the staff from the guesthouse as my passenger, who screamed "Valentino Rossi!" in my ear as gentle encouragement as I wobbled across the car park, I was ready to go.
Eating your way around Singapore's hawker centres
Food lovers can approach their dining plans in Singapore at almost any level. Those with a palate for luxury will find no shortage of high-end restaurants, offering wagyu steaks, rare lobsters and even truffle caviar, all washed down with lashings of vintage wines from the world's most exclusive vineyards. There's also a glut of mid-range restaurants which are priced similarly to typical European restaurants and which cover pretty much every known variety of cuisine.
Bypassing Casinos in Macau
“Oh it’s terrible there,” mumbled an English expat I came across in Hong Kong. “It’s just so ugly.”
Making coconut oil in a Balinese home
It was hardly a tough afternoon’s work, and coming away with two bottles of coconut oil seemed like a generous reward for doing little more than sitting in the sun. But what was offered as a coconut oil making workshop turned out to be just as much about an intimate look at Balinese family life.
Japan: Convenience and Replica
On a recent visit to Japan I toured temples and shrines in Kyoto, visited temple complexes in the chilly mountain stillness of Koyasan, a centre of esoteric Buddhism, and soaked in mineral baths and ate delicious and strange things at a village onsen in Wakayama prefecture. Most of these experiences were unfamiliar. Each activity was truly unto itself; at no point could I have been anywhere but Japan.