The Outskirts of Tokyo and Beyond

Rainbow-Bridge-and-Booze-Cruise-BoatsSure, central Tokyo is great, but Japan isn’t all about seizure-inducing neon signs, karaoke in the early hours and drunken salarymen slumbering upside down on train station stairways. The outskirts of Tokyo and beyond offer a varied range of things to see and do from tourist-friendly temple complexes to cat-infested islands specialising in amazing seafood dishes. If you have your heart set on a stay in Japan, one thing I’d definitely recommend is getting off the beaten track and taking in a few of the more distant spots the capital and its surrounding prefectures have to offer. Six worth checking out are listed below. Continue reading

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Beng Mealea

DSCN3227Beng Mealea is a little off the beaten track. It is roughly an hour’s tuk tuk ride from Siem Reap but it is definitely worth the travel to get there. I paid $50 to ensure Braus, my driver, stayed with me for the entirety of the day and this included taking me to the temple complex and back and then to Siem Reap so I could grab a bit to eat. I probably could have haggled this price down but in the end I didn’t think it was worth it to save an extra $10 or so. Doing the journey to Beng Mealea by tuk tuk can be an experience in itself as you head down myriad uneven dirt roads which, at times, can have you hanging on for dear life! Continue reading

Angkor Wat and Surrounding Temples

8When people think of Cambodia they’ll probably think of Angkor Wat first and foremost. There are, however, a great deal of additional awe-inspiring ruins surrounding this most famous of temples which are likewise well worth a visit. The preservation of these sites varies wildly – some are in a state of utter disrepair, others are holding up amazingly well considering their age and long abandonment. Continue reading